“Did you guys hear? Benny broke his leg!” “Praised be, Benny broke his leg!” “Whew. I’m sure glad to hear that.” The news went through school like a whirlwind amongst the staff. Now, who would be happy that someone broke their leg? Teachers! You see, Benny was our former student, working a job at the… Continue reading Sometimes College Isn’t the Best Choice For My Students — And I Couldn’t Be More Proud
New York City students completed taking their Regents exams last week, which led to a rather spirited discussion between my high school freshman and me as to whether Algebra 2, which my son passed at the end of 8th grade, should continue to be a graduation requirement or whether New York should get rid of… Continue reading Should New York Require Algebra 2 For Graduation? Answers from a NYC High School Student
As an educator, I never truly know the impact that I will have on my students. I just do my best; that’s my standard. I am concerned, however, and for good reason, that all educators are not doing their best. Consider Christopher Lawrence, who grew up in South Jamaica, is currently a senior at Forest… Continue reading When NOT Listening To Your Teacher Is The Right Thing To Do: The Christopher Lawrence Story
The narrative earned Mr. Sassau acceptance to St. John’s University in New York. There was one problem: None of it was true. “I was just a small piece in a whole fathom of lies,” Mr. Sassau said. I read this statement in in the New York Times when a colleague sent it to me and I… Continue reading What Does Airing The Louisiana Landry School’s Dirty Laundry Mean For The Rest Of Us?
This past weekend, 30,000 New York City 8th graders took the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) in hope of being among the 4,000 students accepted to one of the eight schools which use the SHSAT as its sole qualifying measure. This year, twenty percent of seats at every school are being set aside as… Continue reading Will Changing Admission to Specialized High Schools Change Specialized High Schools? How Do We Find Out?
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!
Most of the eighth-grade students in Jeff Walton’s band class at Uncommon Schools Ocean Hill Collegiate hadn’t picked up an instrument before seventh grade. But you’d never know it from the sounds emanating from Walton’s band room one morning as students were rehearsing for their Spring Concert, a program of songs from New Orleans. Standing… Continue reading “I Am Always Amazed How Fast They Can Learn”: Uncommon Schools’ Music Immersion Program
This week I interviewed Dr. Abena Ampofoa Asare, Assistant Professor of Modern African Affairs at Stony Brook University. Her research and writing spans questions of human rights, citizenship and transformative justice in Africa and the African diaspora. Her work can be found in The Radical Teacher, The International Journal of Crime, Justice and Social Democracy,… Continue reading Our Passion for Equitable Education Should Match The Passion We Feel For a Starving Child, says SUNY Professor
In Part #1 of our four part series, I dove into the nitty-gritty of the Mayor’s plan to get rid of the SHSAT test in Specialized High School admissions, and speculated about his true motives. In Part #2, I laid out who would win and who would lose when the proposal is codified into law.… Continue reading What To Expect When You’re Expecting a New SHSAT Plan (Part #3): Whose Fault Is It, Anyway? And Who’s Going To Fix It?
“Study of N.Y. Schools Finds Wide Racial, Ethnic Disparities in Advanced High School Courses.” That’s the alarming headline that recently captured my attention, based on unpublished state Education Department data from the 2016-2017 school year analyzed by the New York Equity Coalition. The Coalition comprises the State Business Council, the New York Urban League, Albany… Continue reading “I Thought I Was Taking Algebra But It Was Really Pre-Algebra”: the Racial and Ethnic Gap in New York’s Gateway Courses