Accountability

A Personal Story: Why NYS’s Special Education Waiver Is Bad for Kids

When my son Jonah was a few months shy of three years old, our Central New Jersey school district, which had no appropriate programs for a toddler with multiple disabilities, sent him to a county preschool handicapped program. My husband and I were new to the world of special education (our three older children are… Continue reading A Personal Story: Why NYS’s Special Education Waiver Is Bad for Kids

School Choice

Do NYC Arts High Schools Set Extremely High Standards… In Everything But Academics?

In addition to taking the “ridiculous” Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) which I so cruelly forced him to study for, my 8th grade son also auditioned for the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art & Performing Arts.  (Yes, that’s really what it’s called and that’s really how it’s punctuated, although most… Continue reading Do NYC Arts High Schools Set Extremely High Standards… In Everything But Academics?

Accountability

What’s the Value of an “Advanced Regents Diploma”? Parents Weigh In.

It was not until I had a recent conversation with my daughter’s guidance counselor about another matter that I was aware that she is on track to graduate with an Advanced Regents Diploma. This was news to me, as it was the first time I had heard about the different diploma options available. Traditionally, students… Continue reading What’s the Value of an “Advanced Regents Diploma”? Parents Weigh In.

Blog

White Teachers Are Often Too Shocked At Black Students’ Academic Successes

It’s one thing to theoretically write about how academic expectations for Black and Brown children are noticeably lower than they are for their White counterparts, but to witness it in real life is heartbreaking. My heart broke today. As an English teacher, it’s one of my favorite times of year: National Spelling Bee time! Even… Continue reading White Teachers Are Often Too Shocked At Black Students’ Academic Successes

Accountability

Would You Send Your Children to These Schools?

At I.S. 339 in the Bronx in a science class for English Language Learners, says New York City’s  2017 “Quality Review Report,”   during a vocabulary review the teacher gave an answer key to students that included two mistakes.  On the most recent state tests, 3.8 percent of 6th-graders reached proficiency in math. At Martin Van… Continue reading Would You Send Your Children to These Schools?

School Choice

An Open Letter To Matt Damon Who Only Wants School Choice For His Kids – Not Yours

Dear Matt Damon – You don’t know me, although we do have some mutual acquaintances. Those would be families whose children attend(ed) a New York City private school alongside your daughters. I, in fact, am the person who helped them with the application process for those schools. Because that’s what I do, Matt Damon. I… Continue reading An Open Letter To Matt Damon Who Only Wants School Choice For His Kids – Not Yours

Blog · School Choice

Am I Making The Right Choice to Raise My Children in a Segregated School District?

This is a guest post by Lisa Petgrave-Nelson, a graduate of Adelphi University’s School of Social Work.  She is a licensed master social worker and a certified health coach. Lisa enjoys spending time with her family, cooking and nature photography. I grew up in St. Albans, Queens and attended Andrew Jackson High School in the early… Continue reading Am I Making The Right Choice to Raise My Children in a Segregated School District?

Accountability

New York State Has a New Education Plan: What Will It Mean For You and Your Kids?

Last Monday, September 11, 2017, New York State submitted its revised Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Plan to the federal government for approval. The document includes slight tweaks to the standards for Math and English and shorter tests, a change to the way teachers are assessed and certified, and more emphasis on “student growth.” It’s full… Continue reading New York State Has a New Education Plan: What Will It Mean For You and Your Kids?

Blog · School Choice

NYC’s Top 10 Elementary Schools By Test Scores: What Makes Them Special – And How You Can Get In

New York State released their 2017 standardized public school test scores in August, and New York City led the pack. We take a look at the top ten achievers, and explore whether we can find an instructional magic bullet among them: Rank: 1 School Name: Special Music School Average Standard Score: 99.7 % of Students… Continue reading NYC’s Top 10 Elementary Schools By Test Scores: What Makes Them Special – And How You Can Get In

School Choice

Finding the “Perfect Fit”: Why NYC Should Make It Easier To Transfer Among Schools Of Any Type

When New York City parents talk about school choice, the assumption is that they are deciding between a traditional and a charter public school (with private religious and independent schools as a separate issue). But true school choice means the option to leave any school for any reason, without being forced to jump through multiple… Continue reading Finding the “Perfect Fit”: Why NYC Should Make It Easier To Transfer Among Schools Of Any Type