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
On Thursday, June 29, 2017, the New York State Legislature voted to extend Mayor Bill de Blasio’s control of New York City schools for two years. The move was heralded by everyone from NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, who proclaimed it “the best way to provide education,” to former Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who asserted that… Continue reading Now That He’s Got Control, What Will NYC’s Mayor Do About “Chaos, Gridlock, and Corruption”?
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio released his latest school diversity plan on Tuesday, June 6, 2017, but refused to answer any questions about it until backed into a corner by reporters at another event on Thursday, June 8. His Honor responded with a hodgepodge of generalities, including, “I wanted my children in diverse… Continue reading Everything Wrong With NYC’s Latest School Diversity Plan
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
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
“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
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
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?
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