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10 NYC Education Stories You May Have Overlooked In 2019 – And Why They Matter

Heading into 2019 and 2018, I wrote about which New York City education issues vexed parents the most based on their post’s popularity. I have another planned for the end of this year: 20 issues for 2020!

But, over the past 12 months, there have also been topics that didn’t get the attention they deserved. Below is a list of the top 10 – and why they should concern you just as much:


“Mayor de Blasio, Clean Up Your Mess!” Non-Union Pre-Kindergarten Staff Speak Out

Why It Should Matter To You: The  women who work in CBO PreKs, almost all of color, were responsible for the “success” of the “PreK For All” program that he constantly touts as his own. In fact, sixty percent of the PreK seats in New York City are in the centers where they work, year-round (read: no summers off), for tens of thousands of dollars less in salary, benefits, and with few of the “perks” offered to DOE PreK employees. 

NYC School Hypocrisy Continued: Universal Pre-K Edition – Are Parents Part Of the Problem?

Why It Should Matter To You: NYC moms and dads were so excited by the prospect of not having to pay for preschool for our 4 (and, in some neighborhoods, 3) year olds, that we didn’t examine closely who actually was paying for our “free” childcare.

Elementary School

Happily Ever After In NYC: Parents Share School Choice Success Stories – And How They Made Them Happen

Why It Should Matter To You: Yes, school choice in NYC is real. But it isn’t easy. Wait-lists do move, but parents have to put in the work.

Can Single Sex Schools Shrink the Achievement Gap?

Why It Should Matter To You: In examining the achievement gap in education and the economic and social corollaries of this gap, we identified developmental differences and learning styles among males and females as a challenge looming largely unaddressed by traditional public schools in large urban districts.

High School

Everything NYC Families Need To Know About Urban Assembly High Schools: Is One Right For Your Child?

Why It Should Matter To You: With a mission to advance students’ economic and social mobility by improving public education, the Urban Assembly continues to support the schools we founded over the last 20+ years in the five areas we believe are critical to school success: leadership, academics, social and emotional learning, postsecondary access and career readiness.

Public Policy

It’s About Time: Education’s Latest Magic Bullets

Why It Should Matter To You: A pair of structural changes, one statewide, one nationwide, have been introduced as part of the ongoing hunt for that magic bullet to cure America’s learning woes. Both involve time.

A Child’s Education: Whose Job Is It, Anyway – The Parents’ Or the School’s?

Why It Should Matter To You: Shouldn’t teaching kids in spite of their parents’ level of interest be the default position, and kids with involved parents the pleasant bonus?

Student Voice

If You Want Kids To Learn, Get the Teachers Out Of the Way

Why It Should Matter To You: Self-Organized Learning Environments or (SOLEs) and Self Organized Mediation Environments (SOMEs) with an adult asking questions and providing encouragement like a stereotypical grandmother, as Gupta would say, has shown test scores on par with or even above affluent private schools (in India) and always above the public state schools.

Don’t Stop Them Now! Students Can Learn More Than You Think!

Why It Should Matter To You: Computers are fast and stupid, people are slow and clever. This is an axiom that anybody who works with computers must accept in order that computers and people may cooperate effectively. Yet, schools seem to ask students to do tasks to which computers are much better suited, and then let them graduate without ever having gone beyond and explored their own potential as a human.

Movie Review

School Choice Goes To the Movies – The Sequel

Why It Should Matter To You: Education is the civil rights issue of our time. We, the people, have failed in our moral and legal obligation to provide quality education to every American child…. No child should be cut off from education. Poor kids have as much of a right to learn as rich ones.

Which educational issues do you think we’ve overlooked in 2019? Tell us in the comments, below!

What do you think?

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