Accountability · School Choice

Is Parental Engagement Necessary For a Child’s School Success? A Personal Story.

Celia Scott Wickham wasn’t just an HHLA board member. She was also my mother-in-law. On Friday, February 16, 2018, Harlem Hebrew Language Academy Charter School (for those tracking such things, one of NYC’s most diverse public schools at 36 percent White, 30 percent Black, 29 percent Hispanic) dedicated the day to celebrating their neighborhood. Classrooms… Continue reading Is Parental Engagement Necessary For a Child’s School Success? A Personal Story.

Accountability

Why Quantity Doesn’t Equal Quality In NYC Schools: So Where Is the Accountability?

It’s February of 2018 and public Kindergarten, Middle School and High School placements are due out in about a month (or two). In order to to convince families to stick with the system and ignore all their other options, the following are things the New York City Department of Education (DOE) would like you to… Continue reading Why Quantity Doesn’t Equal Quality In NYC Schools: So Where Is the Accountability?

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The “Big Business” of SAT/ACT Preparation: A Mom’s Story

Since the start of this school season — my daughter’s junior high school year — a big focus in our household has been on SAT preparation. My daughter chose to take the SAT rather than the ACT because she is not as strong in math and the SAT better caters to her overall skills and… Continue reading The “Big Business” of SAT/ACT Preparation: A Mom’s Story

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Please Stop Equating Low-Income With Low Achievement. And Pretending That Sitting Next To Middle-Class Kids Fixes Both.

Everyone from Beatrice Kaufman to Fanny Brice to Sophie Tucker to Mae West to Cher has been quoted as saying, “I’ve been poor and I’ve been rich. Rich is better.” Few would disagree with them. Just like few would disagree that New York City schools with wealthier families post higher test scores due, in no… Continue reading Please Stop Equating Low-Income With Low Achievement. And Pretending That Sitting Next To Middle-Class Kids Fixes Both.

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The Importance of Transparency in Education

(This is a guest post by NYC resident Megan O’Connor, the CEO of Clark, a mobile tool for tutors and administrative software solution for tutoring centers.) With testing standards constantly changing, traditional grading systems being called into question, and policy changes affecting the way that classrooms are being run, it’s an increasingly difficult time for parents,… Continue reading The Importance of Transparency in Education

School Choice

Why Everyone  In NYC Has School Choice…And Why Everyone Doesn’t.

It’s National School Choice Week, which makes it the perfect time to discuss why everyone in New York City has School Choice. And why everyone doesn’t. In theory, NYC students have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to educational options. There is Universal Pre K in public schools, charter schools, community centers, and private… Continue reading Why Everyone  In NYC Has School Choice…And Why Everyone Doesn’t.

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“By the Time I Was the Only Black Kid in All My Honors Classes, I Was Already Confident in My Abilities.”

I donated some books to my local public library yesterday. One of the bags that I used to transport the books was from Howard University. I got that bag at a parent orientation for incoming freshman students. On the front of the bag it proudly showcases the date that this historically Black university was established… Continue reading “By the Time I Was the Only Black Kid in All My Honors Classes, I Was Already Confident in My Abilities.”

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Having A Black Teacher Gives Black Students A Better Shot At Success

A colleague of mine and I were talking a few weeks ago and he mentioned something to me to which I’d previously not given much thought. He, a Black male educator, stated that Black children need more exposure to Black teachers as early in their academic careers as possible in order to give them a… Continue reading Having A Black Teacher Gives Black Students A Better Shot At Success

Accountability · School Choice

What Makes a “Good’ NYC School?

With Kindergarten Connect applications due this Friday, January 12 (unless the Department of Education decides to, once again, push back their own deadline), I have been hearing from dozens of parents looking for help with finding a “good” school for their child. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that different… Continue reading What Makes a “Good’ NYC School?

Accountability · Blog

It’s January And Standardized Test Season Is Underway!

Standardized tests have their place. Where that place is needs to be revisited and revised.  The tests are coming! The tests are coming! This is the battle cry this time of year at most schools. In just a few short months, students across New York State in grades three through eight will spend a few… Continue reading It’s January And Standardized Test Season Is Underway!