Search News & Views
My son did something last month that is apparently unacceptable among driven and high striving high school juniors these days: He failed.
More specifically, he failed the trigonometry Regents by three points – after taking three Advanced Placement exams, six finals, three SAT sittings (one of them unplanned after a testing debacle) and at least four other Regents.
My reaction has surprised me. I'm relieved.
As the recent cheating scandal involving 71 students at high pressure Stuyvesant High unfolds, I'm a lot less concerned about one isolated failure than I am about a "whatever-it-takes to succeed,'' mentality among teenagers bent on success.
We're moving into NYC from out of state with entering 9th and 10th graders. Can they take exams for specialized high schools or is that gate closed?
Welcome to NYC! Yes – as newcomers to NYC your kids may take the Specialized High School Admission Test (SHSAT) – or audition for LaGuardia High School, provided they meet the following conditions:
- They were not New York City residents before November 1, 2011,
- They entered 8th or 9th grade for the first time in September, 2011,
- They did not take the test when it was given in 2011,
- You will have a New York City residence by August 22.
This last condition is crucial because you must register in person between July 9 and August 22. When you arrive, go to any borough enrollment office. The test for the specialized high schools is on August 27, the auditions for LaGuardia are on August 30.
The City Council and Department of Education have launched a five-borough book drive for schools to heighten awareness and understanding in students about LGBT (lesbian,gay, bisexual and transgender) issues.
A message from Christine Quinn's office says: "Access to these books can help prevent bullying, depression and other negative outcomes in students, many of whom come from non-traditional families and/or may be confused about their own thoughts and feelings. It can also help children develop empathy by increasing their understanding about how people around the world are both similar to and different from themselves."
Here's a list of requested books that may help spread the word:
The Center for New York City Affairs and Insideschools.org today will present Inside Stats, a new high school scorecard designed to provide a well-rounded picture of NYC's high schools using available data. But, are there better ways to measure our schools?
Clara Hemphill, senior editor at Insideschools will moderate a June 28 morning panel discussion by experts on high schools: Beyond Test Scores: Imagining New Ways to Measure NYC's High Schools. The panel will include: Robert Hughes, president, New Visions for Public Schools; Martin Kurzwell, senior executive, director for research, accountability and data, NYC Department of Education and Jacqueline Wayans, Bronx parent and parent information specialist at Insideschools.org and Charissa Fernandez, chief operating officer of The After School Corporation.
Can't make the event? We'll host a live-stream here and on our homepage beginning at 8:30 a.m. Watch it and share your ideas of how best to evaluate and measure New York City high schools.
If your 12-year-old is completing 7th grade this week, it's time for you to start thinking about high school. Here's what you and your rising 8th-grader can do this summer.
Schools are handing out the 2012-2013 directory of high schools (now online) before summer vacation. If your child doesn't bring one home. you can pick one up at the nearest enrollment office. You'll will find information about every high school in the city including: what it takes to get in, what time school starts for freshman, whether there is a dress code, and the number of students who applied and were accepted last year. You can also see the school's graduation rate.
To introduce middle school families to the complex admissions process, the Department of Education enrollment office is offering evening workshops, two in every borough betwen July 12 and 19. Rather than a series of workshops offering different admissions topics, all 10 sessions will present the same information so there's no need to attend more than one. There are two additional two workshops, about the specialized high schools only, on July 24 at Prospect Heights High School in Brooklyn and July 26 at LaGuardia High School in Manhattan.
For parents who have not gone through the high school admissions process, the workshops can be very informative. For most city residents the days of sending your 13-year-old to the neighborhood high school are long gone. Even if you think you know how it works, listening to other parents' questions and answers can be constructive. And, you'll be more prepared when admissions season ratchets up in September for the round of school visits, auditions, and tests.
And for more help, make sure to watch our Insideschools videos: Specialized high schools, How to apply to high school, How to apply to an audition school, Weighing your options: long trip vs short trip, and videos spotlighting individual high schools.
The gigantic high school fair, introducing you to representatives from all schools in the city, will be held on Sept. 29-30; fairs for schools in each borough on Oct. 13-14. Before you go, be sure to watch our video, Making the most of the high school fairs
What else should you be doing this summer to help prepare your 8th-grader? Check out Liz Willen's posts on High School Hustle about how to study for the specialized high school exam, the perils of choice, the ins and outs of visiting schools, and more. They which include many thoughtful comments and suggestions about schools by parents.
More students than ever are graduating high school in New York City. And many more are applying to—and attending—college. Yet very few of these young people ever complete a college degree. The number of graduates enrolling in CUNY surged to 25,600 in 2009 from 16,200 in 2002, a jump of 57 percent. But as enrollment has spiked, graduation raties at CUNY's community colleges has declined.
An upcoming report from our parent organization, the Center for New York City Affairs, presented at a forum today at the New School, shows how the city's public schools are preparing more and more teens for high school graduation—but not for success in college and the living-wage workplace.
Keynote speaker David Conley, director of the Center for Educational Policy Research and University of Oregon professor, said that test scores and knowledge of subject matter are not the only indicators for success in college. The ability to show up on time, follow directions, organize your time and know how to ask for help and be persistent are just as important. (Download Conley's presentation here.)
Conley joined Sheena Wright, president of Abyssian Development Corporation; DOE deputy chancellor Shael Polakow-Suransky; CUNY's director of admissions, Richard Alvarez; and Fernando Carlo director of Urban Youth Collaborative's Sistas & Brothas United for the forum, Creating College Ready Communities: Preparing NYC's Precarious New Generation of College Students, moderated by Meredith Kolodner of Insideschools.
There is a chasm between what students want to achieve and what they are prepared for. For every 100 middle school students, 93 say they want a college degree, according to Conley. Of these, 70 will graduate high school, 44 will enroll in college and only 26 will get a degree of any kind within six years of enrolling. The numbers for city students are even more discouraging.
Most city high school students have high aspirations, and want to become professionals, yet too many don't realize that their grades in 9th and 10th grade count for college admissions, said Andrew White, director of the Center in his introduction (download the presentation he gave here).
We also live-tweeted highlights from @insideschools under #collegeready.
Watch our livestream of the discussion. And, to keep the conversation going, please share your thoughts about what our high schools, community groups and parent organizations can do to help make sure the city's graduates are prepared for college.
All children, ages 18 and under, may receive free breakfast and lunch at many schools, parks and pools beginning on June 28, the day after schools close for summer vacation.
Breakfast will be served from 8 to 9:15 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Children participating in the Learn to Swim program at city pools will get breakfast at the pool. Check the city's Department of Parks and Recreation website for a borough by borough list of all available parks and pool sites. You can also call 311 or text “NYCMeals” to 877-877. A list of sites, including public schools, is also on the Department of Education website.
Famiilies do not need to show any documents or identification to receive a free meal. Meals are also offered to any person who participates in a special education program.
The free meals are provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) through SchoolFood, a part of the New York City Department of Education, from June 28 through Aug. 31.
I read Alan Schwartz's frightening front page New York Times piece on the kind of Sunday night when I could have used a performance boost myself – something I'm sure lots of working parents feel in the waning weekend hours.
Oh, for a rush of adrenaline to finish unwanted chores in full efficiency mode, instead of a lazy desire to watch the Mad Men season finale curled up with a glass of wine.
Yet here it was, nearly midnight, and I still had stories to edit, laundry to fold, school lunches to make and those endless permission slips and end-of-the-year forms to fill out.
Laurie Crutcher is a parent and a program officer at TASC (The After School Corporation). Her story originally appeared on the TASC blog.
My daughter Emilie, who just turned 11 years old, will be attending JHS 190 Russell Sage in the fall. One of the deciding factors in my family's decision to send her there was the fact that the school has a Beacon after-school program.
I myself, upon moving to New York City in 1999, worked in a Beacon program in Sunnyside, and know the great service they provide to working parents and their kids. The JHS 190 Beacon is a place where my daughter feels safe and supported. She attended a Saturday program here and has fond memories of playing handball in the gym. The organization that runs the program, Queens Community House, has strong roots in the community and in youth programming, which makes me comfortable sending her there.
Now, we learn our Beacon is slated for closure, as are six other Beacons around New York City. If this happens, where will Emilie go after her school dismisses at 2:30? Will she walk home and stay alone until my husband and I get home from work? Every day, I walk past flowers left in memory of a middle school girl who was hit by a car in my neighborhood as she walked home from school.
I'll be giving advice to 7th grade parents in Queens at a free workshop on "how to choose a high school" sponsored by City Councilman Mark Weprin. The date is Wednesday, June 13, from 6 to 8 p.m. The address is Middle School 74Q, 61-15 Oceania Street, Bayside.
Insideschools reporters Laura Zingmond and Gail Robinson--who have visited numerous high schools in Queens--will be on hand to answer your questions. We'll tell you about zoned high schools, specialized schools like Bronx High School of Science and LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts, selective schools like Townsend Harris, as well as some up-and-coming schools you may not have heard of. We'll also give tips on how to weigh your options. Do you want a large or small school? A school that's close to home or far awav? We'll help you decide what's best for your child.
For questions, contact Council Member Mark Weprin’s office at (718) 468-0137.
Can't come? Take a look at our YouTube videos on how to apply to high school.