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Lack of School Choice Isn’t the Problem In NYC: It’s The Lack of Good Choices

Elizabeth A. Harris and Ford Fessenden’s May 5th New York Times piece, “The Broken Promises of Choice in New York City Schools,”  comes to the conclusion that the inequities in the City’s admissions system can be attributed to choice itself. In reality, however, it’s not having multiple high school choices that leads to over half of… Continue reading Lack of School Choice Isn’t the Problem In NYC: It’s The Lack of Good Choices

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Why NYC High Schools Struggle With US News & World Report Rankings

The US News & World Report released their latest rankings of America’s top public high-schools last month. Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña was quick to crow about how New York City schools topped the New York State list. The majority of those were specialized high schools, the ones her boss, Mayor Bill de Blasio, accuses students… Continue reading Why NYC High Schools Struggle With US News & World Report Rankings

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Double Dipping: How “Free” College Forces Students To Take the Same Course (and Taxpayers to Pay For It) Twice

“Free” college is in the news these days because New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, with the support of Hillary Clinton,  triumphantly signed a bill that will waive City and State college tuition for families earning less than $100,000 a year. That makes it a perfect time to take a critical look at what New York City already… Continue reading Double Dipping: How “Free” College Forces Students To Take the Same Course (and Taxpayers to Pay For It) Twice

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Giving All NYC Families the Same School Choice That The Deputy Mayor Has

On April 3, 2017, The New York Post broke the story of how Deputy Mayor Richard Buery, with the help of Chancellor Carmen Fariña, pulled strings to get his son into Park Slope’s top middle school. This is a blatant violation of rules that all families, connected or not, are expected to follow. And here… Continue reading Giving All NYC Families the Same School Choice That The Deputy Mayor Has

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Test Prep Comes Out of the Closet: What’s Really Behind Some of NYC’s High Test Scores?

New York City kids have just finished sitting for the 2017 English Language Arts state tests and so this seems like a good time to talk about the tutoring epidemic that goes beyond four-year-olds prepping to ace Gifted & Talented screenings, and teens cramming for the Specialized High School Admissions Test. Those exams are for… Continue reading Test Prep Comes Out of the Closet: What’s Really Behind Some of NYC’s High Test Scores?

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Why NYC’s SHSAT Diversity Plan Failed – And Why It Will Keep Failing

This year, New York City’s annual day of hand-wringing and mystified confusion fell on March 8, 2017. That’s when everyone from the New York Times to the Daily News to Chalkbeat wrote their Why, Oh, Why Did Only (Insert Tiny Number That Varies Slightly From Year to Year) Minority Students Get Offers to Specialized High… Continue reading Why NYC’s SHSAT Diversity Plan Failed – And Why It Will Keep Failing

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You Call These “Public” Schools? Unconscionable Segregation in NYC’s Specialized High Schools

Segregation won another round in New York City’s most elite “public” schools. The admission numbers are out and they are pathetic. Black and Latino children make up 67.6 percent of the students in NYC schools, yet only 10 percent of the students were admitted to the selective high schools. And get this, only one—yes one—Black… Continue reading You Call These “Public” Schools? Unconscionable Segregation in NYC’s Specialized High Schools

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Diminishing Choices: Why NYC Kids’ Pre-K Affects Where They Go To College

New York City kids are coming to the end of the 2017 application cycle, with general education Kindergarten as well as all Middle School and High School placements set to be released next month. Yet, once again, families were not fully informed of all their choices, entering the process unaware that options diminish as students… Continue reading Diminishing Choices: Why NYC Kids’ Pre-K Affects Where They Go To College

Blog · New York City

Top 5 NYC Schools Silver Linings for 2016

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

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“In New York City, the schools that actually prepare kids for college is so small”: Parents and Administrators Bemoan Mayor De Blasio’s School Improvement Failure

“There are probably at most 20 to 25 [NYC] public high schools that are preparing kids for what I would consider rigorous college-level work.” That’s Rhea Wong, executive director of Breakthrough, a non-profit that provides support to low-income New York City students who strive to graduate from college. And, contrary to even the most modest… Continue reading “In New York City, the schools that actually prepare kids for college is so small”: Parents and Administrators Bemoan Mayor De Blasio’s School Improvement Failure