In a recent piece in The 74 Bill Bennett suggests that the opt-out movement in New York is driven solely by teacher union leaders and allies who have spent millions of dollars on robocalls, emails, forums, and other tactics. Their motivation to increase test refusals this year is engineered to undermine “tough, high-quality standardized exams” that “will hold their members accountable… Read more →
Tag Archive for suburban schools
Suburban NJ schools underperform, report says
Commentary, Courier News, 4/15/16
Are the public schools serving New Jersey’s middle-class students performing well? Lots of parents think so. They believe that student performance problems are limited to low-income areas in the inner city — in places like Newark or Camden. But many suburban public schools serving middle-class New Jersey students are not performing as well as parents think, according to a new study from the Pacific Research Institute.
Despite these troubling proficiency rates on a respected national exam, many middle-class New Jersey parents believe that their local public schools are doing fine. Part of the reason is that New Jersey’s own state exams have, until recently, been easy to pass. The PRI study found that there were very few predominantly middle-class public schools where half or more of the students in at least one grade level failed to achieve math or English proficiency on the less-than-rigorous 2014 state exams.
A Parent’s Heartbreak to See College Dreams Crushed
There’s no heartbreak worse than seeing your child struggle. And when they struggle to make a successful college transition, it can impact the rest of their life. In my son’s case, the public K-12 schools and the college of his dreams got paid, but he got a pink slip. Like all parents, I wanted my kids to achieve success in… Read more →
‘Not-As-Good-As-You-Think’ Schools: Overcoming NJ Suburban Resistance to Reality
Remember the Hans Christian Anderson story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes?” A vain king hires two swindlers who swear to him that they can sew for him the finest suit of clothes that to wise men will be beautiful but to fools will be invisible. The whole court, fearful of appearing foolish, gush over the ostensibly gorgeous garment. But during… Read more →
Why Families of Color Leave ‘Great’ Suburban Schools
I was at a housewarming party recently with the parents of many of my sons’ current and former classmates. As is typically the case when you get a bunch of parents together, the conversation shifted to the topic of schools—the good, the bad and the ugly. Both of my kids currently attend a private school in Westchester County, New York.… Read more →
Mired in Averageness: What Will It Take, Suburban Schools?
Parents pay dearly for the privilege of living within the boundaries of Chicago suburban schools such as Barrington High and Naperville Central. Both are ranked among the top 40 high schools in the state, and both have average ACT scores that are 24.4 and 24.7, respectively—solidly above the state average. But peek below the hood, and you start to see… Read more →
Suburbia Needs Education Reform Too
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 →
Our Kids Are Drowning in Homework, But Still Not Learning
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 →
The Rise and Fall of the Suburban School
FOX’s first G.O.P. debate is a month from now and Republican presidential candidates, with the exception of Jeb Bush, can’t disavow college- and career-ready standards and assessments fast enough. So it’s up to the Democratic Party to stand up for low-income students who continue to get short shrift in the nation’s public schools. Andy Rotherham of Bellwether (and Eduwonk) is… Read more →
Why Suburban Parents Need to Care About Poverty in Schools
Let’s start with what we all agree on, reformers and anti-reformers alike. Poverty matters in education. Of course it does. Yes, high concentrations of poor students in schools make it harder for those students and their teachers to succeed. Yes, children living in poverty need more support, especially in the earliest years. Yes, teachers who work in high-poverty schools need… Read more →