As the mother of a daughter who will be entering the 11th grade this fall in a Long Island, New York public high school, my summer months have been consumed with thoughts about these final two years and if they will truly prepare her for the transition to college. While the testing has become more… Continue reading This Long Island Parent Asks, Is My Daughter’s School Preparing Her For College?
The New York State Department of Education is in the final throes of tweaking its plan for complying with America’s new school education law called the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). In this brave new world of bloated state control and anorexic federal oversight, parents are increasingly dependent on their state’s commitment to honest and… Continue reading How Honest Is New York State’s Public Education Plan?
In New York City, parents beg, borrow and steal (well, technically, they pay hundreds of dollars for test prep) to get their kids into public school Gifted & Talented (G&T) programs. But one of the issues that gets overlooked with district G&T’s is that they dilute overall school accountability. There are two kinds of public… Continue reading NYC’s Gifted & Talented Programs Obscure Parents’ Ability to Judge School Performance
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”?
Mayor Bill de Blasio won. New York City families lost. Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie get, straight from my hometown, a big fat Bronx cheer. Early Thursday morning the Senate approved a bill that grants NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio two more years of control of the… Continue reading Who are the Winners and Losers in Albany’s Decision to Extend Mayor de Blasio’s Control of NYC Schools?
“If you’re giving a kid a diploma based on a Regents score, does that pass mean that the kid has sufficient math skills?” asked Kim Nauer, education research director at The New School’s Center for New York City Affairs. Not in New York. Although, of course, students and their parents have no way of discerning… Continue reading What Do You Need to Pass the Algebra 1 Test In NYS? Not Much.
The Wall Street Journal and Chalkbeat report today on a new report by Aaron Pallas, an education researcher at Teachers College at Columbia, who finds that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s much-vaunted Renewal Schools Program isn’t actually helping students. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Two and a half years ago, early in his first term, the… Continue reading “No Bad Schools,” Mr. Mayor? Do the Math.
Last week, the article “As More Schools Look to Personalized Learning, Teaching May Be About to Change” published in the official publication of The National Education Association, America’s largest teachers’ union, triggered a massive backlash from a segment of the membership dead set against the mere mention of online learning and curriculum, or the suggestion that it… Continue reading When Talking About School Choice – Let’s Include Kids In the Conversation!
“Ms. Dukes, “I hear the tear-riddled voice of the student standing before me say, “I didn’t pass my (fill-in-the-blank) class. I’m not graduating.” NOT graduating? What are you talking about? Your high school graduation is next week! What in the world happened? I can’t help but hide the shock in my voice or the disappointment… Continue reading Senior Blues: Who’s Accountable When High School Students Don’t Graduate On-Time or At All?
I get lots of emails — me and millions of other people. Most of it is trash and I spend way too much of my time cleaning out my inbox to make room to take more pictures or to download a new app (don’t judge me – lol!). So I was pleasantly surprised when, in… Continue reading An Unlikely Yet Welcome Classroom Observation