Children, Guns, and the Bear of Toxic Stress

Within days of Donald Trump’s victory, I issued the following call to action:

As we go forward, holding our children close, we must be vigilant, and relentless. We must be creative and steadfast in our resistance.  We must harness the energy in our communities for social progress and educational equity—and for a society that is kind, and caring to all.

Kind and caring?   I was hallucinating, a symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder.

The zeitgeist continues to challenge.  Just keeping informed is torturous.  I lurk in the media jungle, an addict looking for an angry fix.  Then I cloister . . . Read full article →

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Bill de Blasio's Schools Chancellor is Leaving: Who will Restore the Joy to Early Ed?

Not long before New York City’s public schools closed for winter break, Katie Lapham posted to Twitter a drab black-and-white photograph of a testing manual she had found in her mailbox, the imprimatur of Carmen Fariña in the upper left-hand corner. An elementary school teacher and long-time critic of education policy, Lapham  felt sick.  “We will continue to refuse the tests,” she wrote, with the hashtag #OptOut2018.

Within days of the delivery, Fariña confirmed that she was stepping down from her perch as chancellor—four years after Bill de Blasio had coaxed her out of . . . Read full article →

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New York’s Young Children are Thrown under the Bus

On September 11th, the education committee of the New York Board of Regents approved  the “Next Generation” standards for English Language Arts and mathematics.

Our youngest children have been thrown under the bus.

We are violating everything that is known, which is considerable, about how children develop and learn best.  We are stealing their childhood, robbing them of play, the primary engine of human development.

We have empirical evidence that kindergarten has become the new first grade, and preschool the new kindergarten.  Across the country, and in New York, we have relegated play to an hour a day . . . Read full article →

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Harriett Krein-Hart: A Bright Light on the Hudson

When my firstborn was a toddler, his father and I began the search for child care. The project was daunting, the price tag exorbitant. To whom could we entrust our child? What were we looking for? Would we know the right program when we saw it? Would he be loved and treasured? The questions nagged at us as we moved through this agonizing rite of passage for the American parent.

We found Purple Circle, a parent cooperative established in 1972 on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Soon, we were part of the village it takes to raise a child. . . . Read full article →

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