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October 23, 2007


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alice, uptown

Feeling aged, but appreciate the mention.

Actually, you live in the high rent district du jour: the P.S. 6 cachment area has nothing on Tribeca. I'm guessing the parental donations sweepstakes there are huge for the single-digit-age set, and the school's got to be newer than most.

My 25th reunion had more than its share of I-bankers and corporate lawyers, not to mention doctors who couldn't find their way out of a mismanaged care box.

If you'd showed up with a tranny street hooker, I'd have been proud -- that would have made for real entertainment. You couldn't have kept me from tagging along to do the photo-op honors.

Up on the hill, maybe things have changed. As I remember, in the mid-1970s, having an X chromosome marked me as being a radically diverse student (30 of 150 of us in my class).

Private, public -- doesn't anyone know private school teachers don't have to have any formal teaching creds? Not that I'm sure what teaching creds have to do with imparting knowledge, but the pay sucks, too. Anywhere the kids drive better cars than the faculty shows that.

If you want the Peanut to meet the kind of people I cross the street to avoid, maybe our alma mater as I knew it is the place to be. "What'd'ya get?" was our class expression in the yearbook. Competitive fools, weren't we? Can't see how that could have improved in the last 30 years.

She could grow up to be governor. His 3 kids have only seen the public school system as a drive-by.

Mrs N

I haven't read the entire comments thread, but I do have several comments to make.

To the person who said it was "easy" to become a teacher. That depends on the state. Massachusetts requires a Masters degree, and a ridiculous number of tests to become certified. The sheer number of hoops I've jumped through is absurd, and expensive considering each test is over $100. I'm lucky in that I've never had to retake an exam-many do.

My husband has an equivalent degree and makes triple to quadruple what I make as a teacher. He puts in around 60-75 hours a week. I do as well, sometimes more when you factor in all the grading, phone calls home, and lesson planning. So I wouldn't argue that he works harder than I do.

As a public school teacher who is moving to NYC in a few months, and a future mom, my husband and I have argued back and forth about the whole public/private thing. Like you, we probably won't go private because we don't want our kids to have the values they'd learn at a typical NYC private school.

However, we are strongly considering homeschooling them until they get into an exam school, or moving to the high end suburbs outside of manhattan before 7th or 8th grade. There are probably charter schools that are acceptable, but I'm just not sure I can put my children into a regular NYC public school.

I've taught in Boston for 4 years, and our game plan was to buy a home in a high test score/wealthy suburb before our kids got into school. City schools, I'm so sorry to say, just plain suck.

I agree that the city schools won't get better until parents get involved, but that doesn't mean that I necessarily want to sacrifice my own kids on that altar. My alternative is to do it, and breathe down the neck of the school. I know the tricks they'll try to pull, and all the counter moves.

At any rate, I don't think things will be any better in 5 years, and I can only hope that by then my husband will have been transferred to London or Tokyo.


My kid is in public school and I'm reasonably happy with it, though conflicted. I'm not really one to throw my kids under the proverbial bus just to make a greater social statement, but I do totally agree with you that parenting is what makes the difference in educational success or lack thereof. And also agree that high quality public education is critically important and worth sacrificing other things for (just maybe not my kids ;)).


MD - What a fantastic post - not sure how I missed this.

Our eldest is 9 and in a NYC Public School G&T program on the UWS and I went through exactly what you discuss here. And we did it again with our second who is now 6. We have been delighted to this point. I do have to say though, we have a very active and engaged parent body. It is interesting to note that in sheer numbers, the G&T parents are far more actively involved.

As the Board of Ed makes changes to right some wrongs, we are watching closely. The intent of the changes is understood and fully supported - but the execution defies belief. One of your commentors brought up catchment. NewsFlash: that was removed for the G&T program (as was sibling preference) to be replaced with what? A system that arguably makes the strong schools stronger . How? By allowing parents to select their top 3 choices and test scores rank the kids. Where you fit in the pecking order, determines which of your 1, 2 or 3 choice you get. So the highest scoring kids go predominantly to the highest rated schools - within reason. The second issue with this, is that by potentially splitting families where 2 kids may test into the G&T program, and 1 gets choice 1 and the other choice 2, how do you drop off and pick up 2 kids at the same time and different places? And what happens when our little 3.5 year old peanut tests in and we potentially have 3 at 3 schools? Choices are not attractive:
1. 3 in private
2. 2 nannies
3. both wife and I stay home (non-starter - need the income)
4. leave the city.

There is a lot wrong with the NY City Public School system - with the administration/Board of Ed often at the center. Some things like the bifurcation of the schools between the G&T and regular programs and the the disparity of PS by neighborhood are not easily fixable.

Many of the parents who "can afford private but choose public" have and are subsidizing the Public School where their kids are . They have actively "invested" in their kids both in money and time. The money often helps provide assistants and books equipment and other items that help teachers do their important jobs. It is important to note that the "help" is pooled in a grade and not kept by class or program. And then the gut check - What about schools where the parent body can't afford to help?

I often wonder how many parents who "chose" Public would have made other choices if their Little Johnny had not tested in to the geographically desirable G&T program. I would expect many.

What a fantastic chain of comments. Well worth reading from start to finish. Great conversation - thanks.


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When the door of happiness closes, another opens, but often times we look so long at the closed door that we don't see the one which has been opened for us.


This is some thing which i dont typically do, but what the hell i loved your post so i desire to say thank you. You might have gotten a loyal reader.


I get excited each time I read RAN, it just ckarcs me up, and gives me a boost of energy. Thank you to Jim for his cunning sense of humour, it makes me giggle like a 10-year old Long live RAN! x x x


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- For every homecoming game we have a dirnffeet theme ( 08 was Disney themed) and the cheerleaders had their cheers centered around dirnffeet songs. For example 『I just can't wait to be king』 from the Lion King- We have the shirtless boys who paint numbers and names on their chests and stand out in the freezing cold- We have blackout games (Everyone wears black)- We embarass teachers and freshman at our Pep Rally every year. One kid always dresses up as our mascot = Rosie the Ram.- A lot of red, white and blue (our school colors)- The list goes on and on


I believe they can. But you would need to get all the reeeirqmunts before you could teach and it also depends if you want to teach at a Catholic/Public/Private school! I'm not sure if you need to take any courses? I would look into it now for next school year!


When you get the requirements to teach you will have to major and minor in a clarifitbee area. Nursing is not an option. You may choose something like biology or health, for example. Whatever areas you major and minor in, you will be able to teach.


It must be somewhat cnrmoftiog to be in that group again, one that was so familiar though it must also make one feel disconnected in a way.I like the crossed arms very you!BG


Cunosc pe cineva aici in Italia care avea leicemue si fiind desul de in varsta nu mai vroiau sa ii faca tratament asa ca facea transfuzii repetate de sange si lua suplimente nutritive (picaturile Beres de exemplu) si o ducea cam greu asa tot prin spitale. A reusit sa faca rost de faimosul tratament Escozul bazat pe otrava de scorpion din Cuba dupa ce a vazut la stiri o prezentare a acestuia si de atunci (din noiembrie ) nu a mai avut nevoie de transfuzii si valorile ii sunt foarte bune. Practic nu mai are nimic. (inainte facea transfuzii in fiecare saptamana) Sa va interesati. Doamne ajuta !


Buna ziua,Ma bucur ca avem vesti proaspete de la Eva la ctavea zile urmaresc jurnalul si de la ultima postarea cea din 14 Iunie nu mai erau vesti ma bucura foarte mult sa aud si ca analizele sunt bune, asta este o veste grozava Ii tinem pumnii si ne rugam in continuare pentru sanatatea Evei.Cu toata sinceritatea si dragostea unui parinte,Razvan.


Which came first, the problem or the soutlion? Luckily it doesn't matter.

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