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Parents: Hold Up Your End of the Bargain!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat at parent-teacher conferences over the years and heard parents of children who are not working up to their potential in my class say, “I don’t understand…I ask him if he has homework and he tells me no or that he did it already.” Really, mom? Really,… Continue reading Parents: Hold Up Your End of the Bargain!

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How Do Teachers Decide What Students Learn Each Day And How Can We Do Better?

One of my central responsibilities as an educator is to perform a task called “curriculum mapping.” Over the years this practice has made me aware of the lack of academic continuity that occurs when students leave NYC middle schools for NYC high schools. According to a 2001 article published by the Association for Supervision and… Continue reading How Do Teachers Decide What Students Learn Each Day And How Can We Do Better?

Blog · Educational Equity

It’s Not Rocket Science: How To Improve Science Teaching in NYC Schools

With 1.1 million New York City public school students desperately needing help with their science education, we are fortunate that, on January 11, 2017, The American Museum of Natural History unveiled its upcoming Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation. Projected to open in 2020, the 235,000 square-foot Gilder Center will include six Family… Continue reading It’s Not Rocket Science: How To Improve Science Teaching in NYC Schools

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Cui Bono: Who Really Benefits From Dual Language Education?

Late last year I wrote about how the Upper West Side rezoning plan intended to desegregate a handful of elementary schools could end up resegregating them in a new way through the addition of a Gifted & Talented program to PS 191, currently serving over 70% Black, Hispanic, and Free Lunch students. Bringing in a G&T… Continue reading Cui Bono: Who Really Benefits From Dual Language Education?

Blog · Educational Equity

Is a Fair and Equitable Education Possible in New York City?

It is clear that students throughout the city are getting varying degrees of quality education, with children of color getting the shorter end of the stick. At times, students may even get varying degrees of quality education within the same building (i.e., tracking or school practices that put less experienced teachers with more difficult kids).… Continue reading Is a Fair and Equitable Education Possible in New York City?

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NYC Schools Are Failing Kids With Disabilities: Parents Speak Out

A December 16, 2016 report by DNAInfo.com outlined the difficulties encountered by New York City high schoolers with disabilities when looking for schools that meet  their physical and academic needs. What the report didn’t cover, however, was that the problems with finding accessible schools start much earlier than high school. In fact, many elementary Gifted… Continue reading NYC Schools Are Failing Kids With Disabilities: Parents Speak Out

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Why NYC’s Public School Computer Science Curriculum Isn’t Clicking

This year December 5th through December 11th was the first time Computer Science Education Week was a citywide effort throughout New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio used the occasion to remind how well it dove-tailed with his Computer Science For All initiative, which promises that by 2025 “all NYC public school students will receive… Continue reading Why NYC’s Public School Computer Science Curriculum Isn’t Clicking

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“The Crazy Team for the Crazy Kids”: A New Charter School Thrives on Staten Island

People said we were crazy when we applied to start John W. Lavelle Prep Charter in Staten Island.   It was a college prep middle school that would cater to students with emerging mental health challenges.  There were no other models to look at in New York, and these kids often faced immense challenges.  This is… Continue reading “The Crazy Team for the Crazy Kids”: A New Charter School Thrives on Staten Island

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How Hard Is it To Dismiss Poorly-Performing Teachers?

Analysts at the Fordham Foundation created a rubric for gauging the difficulty of firing ineffective teachers based on these three metrics: Does tenure protect veteran teachers from performance-based dismissal? How long does it take to dismiss an ineffective veteran teacher? How vulnerable is an ineffective veteran teacher’s dismissal to challenge? Look below (way below) to… Continue reading How Hard Is it To Dismiss Poorly-Performing Teachers?

New York City

My Daughter Went From Victim to Advocate: A Personal Story of Bullying and Harassment

My daughter was a victim. A victim of bullying and harassment. Starting in the 3rd grade in a New York City public school my daughter became the center of attention of a group of girls who were determined to make sure she didn’t have any friends.  She was forced to eat alone by those bullying… Continue reading My Daughter Went From Victim to Advocate: A Personal Story of Bullying and Harassment