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View Diary: Diane Ravitch Endorses de Blasio for Mayor of NYC and You Should Too [Poll] (12 comments)

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  •  My first choice was Weiner (1+ / 0-)
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    Now I'm going with Thompson.

    A tax to fund Pre-K seems unlikely to happen and even if it does, there is no space. If there is a playground then I suppose trailers could be used.

    As a parent, I am sick of themed and screened schools. I wish the DOE would open more comprehensive high schools that offer a variety of programming.  And stop using fourth grade test scores as admission criteria to middle school.

    •  Universal, full day pre-k (3+ / 0-)
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      timewarp, Tool, poco

      NEED - Universal must be done - not a lot needs to happen, mostly just read to them for some of the day

      "As it happens, in the ’80s, the psychologists Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley spent years cataloging the number of words spoken to young children in dozens of families from different socioeconomic groups... Children of professionals were, on average, exposed to approximately 1,500 more words hourly than children growing up in poverty. This resulted in a gap of more than 32 million words by the time the children reached the age of 4."

      full article here

      SPACE - We need a capacity plan. There's certainly not a lot of space available in many districts. Bloomberg basically promised the business community that he wouldn't 'waste' money building schools and that his data driven system would triumph. It's a failure.

      Under Bloomberg the city has built 50,000 apartments in Manhattan alone.  The real estate transfer paid into the city is worth Billions. I think he built about three new schools in Manhattan - and he tries to give them to charter schools. But look at the budget - huge subsidies for developers (Willets Point, even Trump) And new jails....

    •  Middle School (1+ / 0-)
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      Bloomberg (and The Bill Gates Foundation) push the "small schools" movement on us based on some anecdote.  A lot of the DOE Capital Plan is devoted to splitting larger schools into smaller schools, which usually means spending money to demolish classrooms (since each school requires space for administrators).

      Middle school admissions process is a small, painful step on the path to high school admissions. What district?

      •  I am in 15. My eldest and de Blasio's (0+ / 0-)

        Eldest were middle and high school classmates. They had it good and received excellent educations and were relatively unscathed by the data driven curriculum. My youngest who is in high school was incredibly damaged by the policies and the DOE's reliance on them for every educational decision.

        My district doesn't have zoned middle or high schools. I think there should be more replications of Beacon, Bard, Baruch, and Millenium. The small schools waste a lot when it comes to administrative staff. Some are good at the beginning but the grants dry up and so does DOE support so it seems they need a committed parent body that knows how fundraise.

        My advice for parents looking at high schools is to look at established schools with a principal who is an educator. If the principal refers to students as scholars - RUN.

        •  zoned MS for us (0+ / 0-)

          isn't that great or that near

          I'd like zoned schools with different tracks - that way every kid has a sort of close school that will be appropriately challenging.  My suburban experience was like that - kids who went to MIT and kids who were buying diapers at 18. Democracy.

          As parents we debated ethics of zoned vs tracked...but zoned MS is a long walk or two short bus rides. It has a more academic bit but that requires application.  So we opted for closer school as first choice.

          But here in D2 there are lots of schools that are not zoned and somehow ought to be.  There are two new ones in Battery Park City that are just gleaming and seemed good - if you live south of Canal St.  And there are others.  I think most of the kids in those schools are pretty local - parents make them first choice.  But it is a lot of anxiety when they should just have the right to send their kids there.

          I think it is up to each district to set its policy.  Since the superintendents have been sidetracked, the best way to try and change that is through the CEC.  You could bring it up with them.  Its worth asking.  Its worth being on the CEC.

          But it would be difficult.  If you didn't create some tracking at each school, I think some parents would not support the initiative.  And you would need the principals to agree.  

          Without strong district superintendents no one can make that happen.  A CEC might be able to persuade everyone to sign up...but that would take awhile.

          The DOE won't left a finger - they are trying to dezone whole districts.

          Too bad we don't have democratically elected school boards.

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