School Choice

Diversity: You Keep Using That Word. I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

Martin Luther King Day weekend came right on the heels of New York City’s public school Kindergarten application, Kindergarten Connect, scheduled to close on Friday, January 12, 2018. However, as I kept predicting, they extended the deadline to Friday, January 19, 2018, at the last minute. Due to the earlier stated deadline, I spent the… Continue reading Diversity: You Keep Using That Word. I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

Blog · School Choice

Middle School Mayhem: Prospective Admissions Changes… And Their Consequences

When parents ask me why I’ve written a book called “Getting Into NYC Kindergarten,” and one called “Getting Into NYC High School,” but NOT one called “Getting Into NYC Middle School,” I explain it’s because the NYC middle school process is so convoluted and varies so much from district to district, I couldn’t write one… Continue reading Middle School Mayhem: Prospective Admissions Changes… And Their Consequences

School Choice

Your Cheat Sheet For Figuring Out All Your NYC High-School Choices – And How To Get Them

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

School Choice

NYC Needs More Accelerated High Schools: Are Charter Schools the Answer?

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?

School Choice

Why I Make My Son Study For the “Ridiculous” SHSAT

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

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Now That He’s Got Control, What Will NYC’s Mayor Do About “Chaos, Gridlock, and Corruption”?

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”?

School Choice

Everything Wrong With NYC’s Latest School Diversity Plan

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

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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