Are we being overly optimistic when it comes to how well our middle-class students are being prepared for college? Take, for instance, my home state of New Jersey. If you live in one of New Jersey’s many middle-class suburbs, you most likely take great pride in your public-school district, each one a reflection of distinctive township identities. Ninety-seven percent of… Read more →
It was only a couple of weeks into the school year when I found myself venting to family and friends about the amount of homework my first-grader was getting. After a long day at school and at work, we barely have enough time to eat dinner, do baths and get to bed on time—let alone time for the kids to… Read more →
I get it, I really do. Parents want the very best for their children. If they’re in a position to exploit any kind of competitive advantage they have at their disposal, they will gladly do so. Instinct dictates they seek the very best opportunities for their children. But this winner-take-all desire runs afoul of social justice, of what it means… Read more →
In the attic of my suburban home I have this fading yellow Pee-Chee folder covered with my junior high “girl gang” graffiti. These silly scrawls, along with a blue bandana and excessive eye makeup, represented my hapless attempt to “affiliate” and stay safe as one of a handful of white girls in an overcrowded, under-resourced, racially isolated school in Carson,… Read more →
Tests aren’t everything. But they aren’t nothing either. And with the results of our first round of PARCC testing now public, Rhode Islanders would be wise to fight our natural urge to dismiss test scores and poo poo comparisons to neighboring states. Instead, we should boldly ask ourselves the hard question: Why is the state next door performing so much… Read more →
The New York Times recently decided it was time to admit the blindingly obvious. An article entitled “As Graduation Rates Rise, Experts Fear Diplomas Come Up Short” discusses the unmistakable link between declining academic standards and rising high school graduation rates. The article points out that more young men and women are graduating from high school thanks to the lazy… Read more →
NY Regents Chancellor said her “greatest disappointment” is rooted in the suburbs, which have become a hotbed for parent anger over the state’s take on the Common Core, the more-stringent standards being implemented in some form in more than 40 states. Last year, 20 percent of eligible students did not take the state’s grade 3-8 standardized exams, the result of a significant “opt-out” movement that had roots in the lower Hudson Valley.