For the past 50+ years, every mayor has pledged to fix New York City schools, and the current office-holder, Bill de Blasio, is no exception. He is, however, somewhat unique in that whenever a signature initiative has been proven ineffective, his response is to double down and announce its expansion. He has been equally intransigent… Continue reading Why Is the Mayor Expanding School Initiatives That Aren’t Working – And Limiting Those That Do?
It’s school application time in New York City! Parents of four-year-olds are taking advantage of every to advantage to prep them for entry into public Gifted & Talented programs, private schools, and the hybrid Hunter College Elementary. Parents of 5th graders are wrestling with the convoluted process of middle-school admissions. Meanwhile, 30,000 8th graders took… Continue reading Do Parents Know How To Choose the Best School in NYC?
In May, The New York Times blamed school choice for why the NYC high school application process is so complicated and traps the neediest kids in the weakest performing schools. I countered that the problem wasn’t the concept of school choice, but that a weak K-8 educational system left many teens with few choices by… Continue reading Your Cheat Sheet For Figuring Out All Your NYC High-School Choices – And How To Get Them
In their 2012 book, “Exam Schools: Inside America’s Most Selective Public High-Schools,” Chester E. Finn Jr. and Jessica A. Hockett offer a comprehensive look at screened admissions secondary schools across the US by spotlighting a cross-section of educational models. These range from the statewide residential Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, to Pine View School for… Continue reading NYC Needs More Accelerated High Schools: Are Charter Schools the Answer?
My older son graduated from a New York City Specialized High-School this June. Now it’s my younger one’s turn to prep for the qualifying Specialized High-School Admissions Test (SHSAT). “You realize how ridiculous this is,” my 13 year-old posited after taking yet another practice test from one of the many books we’ve purchased for the… Continue reading Why I Make My Son Study For the “Ridiculous” SHSAT
My post last week urging New York parents to say “yes” to the state standardized tests generated many comments, mostly from angry suburban parents. I thank all of you — after all, the primary purpose of New York School Talk is to elevate authentic voices in this ongoing conversation about how to improve the quality… Continue reading Where I Respond To Comments From My Last Post on the “Opt-Out Movement”
It’s natural, when writing about the New York City educational system, to focus on ways it can be improved. However, heading into a new year, I’ve decided to take five stories I’ve done this fall, and emphasize the bright side of each. We could all use a little holiday cheer this week! 1) Why Aren’t… Continue reading Top 5 NYC Schools Silver Linings for 2016
Less than two weeks after I criticized the New York City Department of Education’s (DOE) plan to add racial diversity to Specialized High-Schools by offering intensive test prep to high-achieving, underserved students as too-little, too-late, the Panel for Educational Policy has voted to make a major change to the test itself. But I don’t think… Continue reading As A NYC Parent, I Don’t Think the DOE’s Change to Specialized Schools Admissions Test Will Create Diversity