Fifteen years ago when I began my journey as an education advocate, I was in it for myself. More specifically, for my son Jonah, who has multiple disabilities stemming from a genetic mutation called Fragile X Syndrome. I saw my quest as securing a high-quality seat for my boy in a school that would provide… Continue reading The Dead Canary: The Problems Within NYC’s Special Education System Signify Global Dysfunction
Are you a New York City parent applying your child to public school Kindergarten for September 2019? Congratulations! Here are just some of the forms you’ll need to fill out: Interested in a traditional zoned Kindergarten? That goes on Kindergarten Connect! (Whether it’s your zoned school or not.) Unzoned Kindergarten? Dual language Kindergarten? Magnet school?… Continue reading Could This Change Make NYC Kindergarten Admissions Easier – Or Harder?
Thursday, October 11, 2018 was the last day New York City parents could sign their children up to take either the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) or audition for LaGuardia School of the Arts. It was also the first day when NYC parents could sign their children up to take the Gifted and Talented… Continue reading Want To Make NYC Schools More Diverse? Fix These Parent Portal Problems First!
Yesterday the New York City Department of Education released student test scores on standardized test scores. What do they mean? It depends on whom you ask. Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said this: “These scores are indicative of the sustained progress we have made in classrooms, schools and districts across all five boroughs,” Carranza said in… Continue reading Everything You Need To Know About NYC’s Test Scores
New York City schools are off for Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year, on Monday, September 10, and Tuesday, September 11. (To read why I think all cultures should be allowed to take off their holidays, and how that would work in practice, click here.) One of the rituals of Rosh HaShanah is tashlich, where… Continue reading Why My Kids Accuse Me of Being a NYC Public Schools Hypocrite
Parenting typical children is hard. Parenting children with special needs is harder. (I get to say this; I’ve got three of the former and one of the latter.) For our youngest son with multiple disabilities that range from moderate to severe, we have committed ourselves to finding the best educational placements for him. But what… Continue reading Nobody Puts My Baby In The Corner (Except When They Do). A New Report on Inclusion with Relevance to New York.
The mother below wishes to remain anonymous: My son was denied entrance by our local zoned public school. Here is my story. In November 2017, I visited my zoned school, The Manhattan Beach School (PS 195). We had been displaced by Hurricane Sandy. Our home was a ticking time bomb and we had to move… Continue reading NYC Mom Deliberately Blackballed From Zoned School!
When I work with families looking to find the best school for their child, one of the first things I offer them is, “tell me what you believe, and I’ll send you a study that confirms it.” I’m not joking. The education space is full of experts and studies, all proclaiming to know what’s best… Continue reading Relax, The Experts Know What’s Best For Your Child. They Just Don’t Agree On What It Is. Or How To Get It.
Shirley Jackson’s 1948 short story, The Lottery, is considered a classic of slow-building horror. A small town holds a lottery every year to decide which citizen will be ritually stoned in order to insure a good harvest. Everyone goes uncomplainingly along in the name of tradition, and, despite a few scattered grumbles, nobody outright says… Continue reading The Lottery: A NYC Schools Horror Story (With Apologies to Shirley Jackson)
No one seemed more surprised at the obliteration of ten-term, fourth-ranking U.S. Representative Joseph Crowley than victor Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self-identified Democratic Socialist. Last week, in a gobsmacking upset, she won the primary for New York’s 14th Congressional District. Politico described her today as “not just a full-blown political sensation but an international news phenomenon.”… Continue reading What Are Ocasio-Cortez’s Views on Public School Choice?