Sending an S.O.S from a Small School in Harlem

As the season of high-stakes testing got underway, winter’s chill unabated, a petition began to circulate, a flower of democracy.   “Save Central Park East 1 Elementary School!” it read.

The school, founded in 1974, is the brainchild of Deborah Meier, beloved writer, teacher, principal, and education activist—one of several created in East Harlem, with the blessing of Anthony Alvarado, a forward-thinking superintendent of District 4 in New York City. A guiding light of the small-schools movement, she snagged a MacArthur “genius” award for her vision.

For parents in New York City, Central Park East . . . Read full article →

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We Need to Talk about the Test, Bill and Carmen

There’s nothing like a megadose of civic action to boost my serotonin–especially in these dark times.  Several days ago, Parent Voices NY posted to their website an eloquent, diplomatic request of New York City’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, and schools chancellor, Carmen Fariña, for a “free and open dialogue about high-stakes testing in city schools.”

You should note that while the letter was drafted by parents, they are deeply concerned about teachers, “conscientious professionals,” whom they describe as working in a “climate of suppression.” Earlier this fall, Fariña indicated that Read full article →

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