News and views

  • Specialized schools take center stage at hearing on diversity

    Written by Gail Robinson
    The New York City Council took up the issue of racial segregation in the city's public schools today, but concern about the lack of diversity at eight schools—the academically elite specialized high schools that admit students solely on the basis of one exam—all but drowned out discussion about 1,700 other schools. Most of the debate at the education committee hearing centered around a nonbinding resolution, offered by City Councilwoman Inez Barron, calling for the state government…
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  • Parents, advocates call for guidelines for city's new community schools

    Written by Chalkbeat
    (Originally posted on Chalkbeat by Patrick Wall on December 10, 2014)   The same advocates who helped convince the de Blasio administration to saturate dozens of needy schools with support services now want to make sure the city pulls off its plan. Even as they applauded Mayor Bill de Blasio for promising to convert 128 schools into service-rich “community schools,” they urged the city on Wednesday to adopt formal guidelines to make sure the schools…
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  • Students say segregated schools 'root of problem'

    Written by DNAinfo
    (This article is excerpted from DNAinfo.com.) When Samantha Ramos walks the hallways of her South Bronx high school, nearly all the faces she sees are Latino or black. Samantha, 15, is a student at the Bronx Academy of Letters on Morris Avenue, where last year just 2 percent of the 584 students were white or Asian. She has recently been thinking a lot about diversity in the wake of the Ferguson, Mo., shooting of an…
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  • Keep exam, say specialized high school alums

    Written by Gail Robinson
    Offer more test prep. Give all 7th-graders a practice exam and allow 8th- and 9th-grade test-takers more time to complete the competitive specialized high school exam known as the SHSAT. Those are among the proposals that a coalition of graduates of the city's eight specialized high schools that use the SHSAT sent this week to City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. With the City Council slated to take up the issue of the future of the exam…
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  • Applying to middle school? Our advice & our picks

    Written by Laura Zingmond
    Busy is the family that has a 5th- and 8th-grader: middle school and high school applications are both due on the same day, Dec. 2! If you are a parent of a 5th-grader, this may be your first experence with school choice.  Options and selection methods vary greatly from district to district. Some districts have mostly zoned schools, others have none and some have a combination. It can be hard for families to figure out.…
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  • High school applications due Dec. 2! Our tips on how to apply

    Written by Pamela Wheaton
    High school applications are due on Tuesday, Dec. 2. Have you made your list yet? If you are still undecided where to apply, or how to rank your 12 choices, we've got last minute tips for you.  We have been visiting high schools all fall, updating our reviews and adding new slideshows. Read our school profiles and check the comments section too. Wondering what other students and parents, and even teachers, think of the school?…
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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