News and views

  • Inside Korean schools: Secret to success?

    Written by Clara Hemphill
    As a biology teacher at a high-poverty high school in Los Angeles, Taylor Wichmanowski was impressed that his Korean-speaking students—including those newly arrived in the United States—seemed to do so much better academically than most of their classmates. He knew that South Korea not only had the world's highest student scores on international tests; it also had the lowest proportion of low-performing kids anywhere. Even poor Korean children did well. He wondered: Is there a…
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  • Pre-k letters out: Here is what to do next!

    Written by Pamela Wheaton
    Pre-kindergarten offer letters went out today to nearly 68,000 city children born in 2012, and 85 percent got an offer to one of their top three choices; 71 percent to their first choice. Those who didn't get a seat at one of the schools they listed on their application were assigned to a different program, according to the Department of Education. Every 4-year-old is guaranteed a slot in a full-day program at a public school,…
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  • College Counselor: No need to submit scores early

    Written by Dr. Jane S. Gabin
    Q: Do you recommend that we send colleges our child's first round of ACT scores? Of course, we don't know how he did, but he seemed to feel confident about it. In addition, his practice test scores had him scoring at the 98th percentile. A: You do not say if your child is a high school junior—I will assume that. I do not think it is healthy to start studying for, or taking, the standardized…
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  • G&T results: Four new programs start in 3rd grade in Bronx, Brooklyn

    Written by Pamela Wheaton
    All 31 city school districts will offer gifted and talented (G&T) elementary school programs next fall—although in districts 7, 12, 16 and 23, G&T will begin in 3rd grade, not kindergarten. In response to the clamor around the city for more programs in poor and primarily Black and Latino neighborhoods, the Department of Education (DOE) announced today that it will open the 3rd grade G&T classes in the South Bronx and Central Brooklyn, areas which have not…
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  • College Counselor: I'm waitlisted! What are my chances?

    Written by Dr. Jane S. Gabin
    Q: I was waitlisted at my top school (Cornell), as well as two other schools (UPenn and Dartmouth). Realistically, what are my chances of getting into Cornell from their waitlist? My major is biomedical engineering (with a minor in animal science) and I am female. I got into my "targets" and "safeties" but none of them offer biomedical engineering AND animal science, and quite frankly, I just don't like them. A: Being on a waitlist…
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  • Insideschools helped Ruby become the teacher she wanted to be

    Written by Lydie Raschka
    Eight years ago, as a brand-new bilingual special education teacher, Ruby had some clear ideas about the kind of school that would match her skills—and her passion for her students. "I wanted a small English-and-Spanish dual language school with a positive culture," she said. Using Insideschools profiles and our parent comments on schools, she found the right fit: PS/IS 89 in Cypress Hills. Now she spreads the word to new teachers and urges them to…
 

How to apply to middle school

  • What to look for on a school tour.

    Most schools offer tours in the fall. Some districts offer middle school choice fairs in the evening or on a weekend where you can meet the principals and students of a number of schools. Here’s what to look for: Quality of teaching Try to look… Read more and watch video
  • Zoned schools and middle school choice

    In some of the city’s 32 school districts, children are assigned to a middle school according to their home address. In others, children must apply to middle school (although they are guaranteed a seat somewhere in the district.) To find out whether your child has… Read more and watch video