Blog · School Choice

A Political Play or Pushback Against Mediocrity? Why We Need Charter Schools in the Suburbs

Education activist Derrell Bradford recently argued that yes, we do–but mostly because it broadens the base of clout-heavy supporters and makes it more palatable for self-interested politicians to “do the right thing” on school choice. I would agree, but for a very different reason posited by Mr. Bradford: We need competition to rouse suburban schools… Continue reading A Political Play or Pushback Against Mediocrity? Why We Need Charter Schools in the Suburbs

School Choice

Traditional School or Charter School? One Parent’s Story

I have never been much of a proponent of charter schools. I am the proud product of traditional public education from kindergarten through 12th grade and I always felt that public charter schools take away money, space, and resources from traditional schools. I remember that when I made my first attempt to go back to… Continue reading Traditional School or Charter School? One Parent’s Story

Accountability

Would a No-Grades Transcript Hurt or Help NYC College-Bound Students?

A consortium of 100 private schools, including New York City elites Dalton and Spence, have banded together to create a new kind of transcript for applying to college. Their proposed format would eschew grades and standardized test scores in favor of “different levels of mastery. Instead of a grade in algebra or geometry, the mastery… Continue reading Would a No-Grades Transcript Hurt or Help NYC College-Bound Students?

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A Few Suggestions for Mayor de Blasio’s Second Term Education Agenda

New York City’s mayoral primary is on September 12th, six months from now, and it’s looking excessively likely that incumbent Bill de Blasio will win the primary and then win a second term in November. Given the odds, here’s a few suggestions from an admittedly edu-centric bystander on what the Mayor can do to improve… Continue reading A Few Suggestions for Mayor de Blasio’s Second Term Education Agenda

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“He Couldn’t Read”: A Teacher Confronts Illiteracy

Sean Davenport has a provocative piece in Chalkbeat about his journey from disaffected student to teacher at (now closed) Theodore Roosevelt High School in the Bronx. On his first day there in his 10th grade English and Speech class, he told the students to take turns reading aloud from a text. He recounts this exchange… Continue reading “He Couldn’t Read”: A Teacher Confronts Illiteracy

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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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My Students Experience Project-Based Learning

My students and I just finished up our unit on project-based learning and I’m one happy teacher! Students who had previously “just gotten by” in terms of the quality of work they created were more invested in their projects. When I asked them why, they agreed that getting to choose the topic and the driving… Continue reading My Students Experience Project-Based Learning

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If at First You Don’t Succeed: A Man Rescues Himself From the School-To-Prison Pipeline

For months you’ve read about my husband John’s former experiences with the public school systems in New York City and on Long Island during elementary, junior, and high school, as well as his current experiences being educated in a maximum security prison in New York State. Quite the dichotomy, some might say. Others, like myself,… Continue reading If at First You Don’t Succeed: A Man Rescues Himself From the School-To-Prison Pipeline

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Why I Go To Parent-Teacher Conferences, Or, The Flip Side of Accountability

The final Parent-Teacher Conference of my oldest son’s academic career took place this March. I didn’t go because I enjoy running up and down stairs, signing up for three minutes with one teacher, being told the wait will be 20 minutes, leaving to speak with another teacher, then returning to be informed that I missed… Continue reading Why I Go To Parent-Teacher Conferences, Or, The Flip Side of Accountability

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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