New York City public middle school placement decisions were distributed to students just before Spring Break 2019. For months leading up to the big day, parents had been hearing about how this would be the season of true equality in school admissions. But did that, in fact, happen? The headlines trumpeted: Two NYC districts embarked… Continue reading True Equality Means Everyone Is Equally Unhappy
News broke last Tuesday, March 12th, that some rich parents, including actors Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives) and Lori Loughlin (Full House), paid from $15,000 to $500,000 to fraudulently arrange their children’s acceptances into colleges ranging from Yale to University of Southern California. The usual suspects made the appropriate shocked noises. Like when Major Strasser learned… Continue reading Say Goodbye To Hollywood: How Much For a ‘Good’ NYC Public School?
On Monday, March 3, 2019, the Board of Trustees for the State University of New York approved 13 new charter school applications. However, only 7 of those will be allowed to open, due to the charter cap. Among them is a new middle school for Manhattan’s District 3 (Upper West Side and parts of Harlem)… Continue reading How Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth It Is To Have Ungrateful NYC Families!
I’ve been keeping a close eye on New York City’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) program since Mayor Bill de Blasio first triumphantly announced his signature initiative in 2014. I read every press release about what would happen… and compared it to what actually happened. I explained why, despite posters insisting it was so, UPK was neither… Continue reading Universal Pre-K Closes Without Warning, Kids Left With Nowhere To Go: Parents Tell All!
Photo Credit: Ballet Hispánico School of Dance © Christopher Duggan This past weekend, I sat at Ballet Hispánico, watching my 15-year-old son perform in their annual Winter Showcase. His exhibition consisted of three performances: Ballet, Modern Dance, and Flamenco. My three children are not even a little bit Hispanic. When my older son spit in… Continue reading Is It Cultural Appropriation To Believe In School Choice For All?
In the January issue of Big Apple Parents Paper, author James Breakwell asserted, “Nobody has secret math. Math at one school will be the same as it is at another school even if the other school has a swimming pool and a polo field.” That is… an astounding amount of privilege. Breakwell (a pseudonym) is… Continue reading The Big Con: Why NYC’s Plan For Raising Student Achievement Isn’t Close To Good Enough For All Kids
Last month District 15 in Brooklyn announced the elimination of all screening processes for admission to middle school. (Yes, even the performing arts one).) Instead of taking into consideration grades, test scores and more, Park Slope’s 11 middle schools will assign seats by lottery, with 52 percent of slots in every school set aside for… Continue reading Who Will (And Won’t) Benefit From Unscreened NYC Schools
Arne Duncan served as President Barack Obama’s Secretary of Education from 2009 to 2015. This August, he released a book, How Schools Work: An Inside Account of Failure and Success From One of the Nation’s Longest-Serving Secretaries of Education. Many of Duncan’s lessons are applicable to New York City. Here, we break down three of… Continue reading What Would Pres. Obama Do About NYC’s SHSAT Schools, College Readiness, and Teacher Quality? Hear From His Secretary of Education!
After announcing his plans to change admissions to New York City’s Specialized High Schools, and after expressing confusion as to why any family would opt for a screened school (despite his own daughter doing so in San Francisco), and after calling a mother “racist “ who objected to District 3 middle-schools setting aside 25% of… Continue reading Why Our NYC School Chancellor Is Absolutely Right About Gifted & Talented Programs… And Why He Is Absolutely Wrong
Not a day has gone by over the past couple of weeks that a family I’m working with hasn’t emailed to cheer that they’ve finally gotten off the waitlist at their first-choice school, usually kindergarten, but sometimes other grades, all the way up through high school. For most parents, summer is the time when you… Continue reading Summertime… And the Waitlists Are Moving: How NYC Families Can Get Into the Schools Of Their Choice