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Driving Equity and Access in Education

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A Successful College Access Experiment Reaches Citywide Scale

A reflection on the College Now program. College now started at Kingsborough Community College in 1986 with a few participating Brooklyn high schools. Today, the program offers dual enrollment in high school and college as well as college-readiness programs in almost 500 New York City high schools, enrolling over 23,000 students annually. 

University Instruction in the Time of COVID-19 (Part 4):

the final installment of the four-part series exploring university instruction in the time of COVID-19 focuses on re-envisioning examinations to foster, rather than challenge, equity.

University Instruction in the Time of COVID-19 (Part 3):

Instructor-Student Relationships. This piece describes attempts to accommodate students' needs and offers ways that student-teacher relationships can help to co-construct an equitable online learning environment.

University Instruction in the Time of COVID-19 (Part 2):

Reconceptualizing Participation. Long before COVID-19, university instruction has often defaulted on equitable understandings of student participation. We provide ideas for how to rethink narrow and normative ideas of participation in the shift to online teaching and in our response to COVID-19.

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University Instruction in the Time of COVID-19 (Part 1):

Equitable Online Teaching. This four-part blog series aims to review ways in which online learning platforms may be wielded more equitably within tertiary settings.

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The Revolution is in the Hands of the Young: Youth Organizing and Leadership Spaces

Youth leaders and organizers regularly and intelligently unpack the implications of racial profiling and other structural inequities as they proactively address the consistent criminalization of the people in their communities. Researchers at NYU Metro Center in partnership with the University of Michigan have followed the work of some of these young people.

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#UpliftBlackScholarship

As academia took a much-needed break from “business as usual” during #ShutDownAcademia, I found myself revisiting the “OG” Black female scholars who pushed and persisted in academic spaces to humanize how Black people live.

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Depolicing Schools

During this moment of nation-wide opposition to police killings of Black men and women, we should consider ending two longstanding NYC public school security policies–the NYPD’s control of the city’s School Security Agents, and the imposition of metal detectors in selected city schools.

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New York City’s Affinity District (Part 3): Decentralization and the governance context of NYC schools

From the 1970s to 2002, all the city’s schools including the alternative high schools operated within a partially decentralized citywide education governance structure.  

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New York City’s Affinity District (Part 2): The Origins

The roots of the Affinity District lie in the 1960’s, a period of fierce ferment in U.S. public education.

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New York City’s Affinity District (Part 1): What is it?

A late February (2020) posting highlighted the school system’s Affinity District, in which six education non-profits collaborate with the Dept of Education to support 160 high schools.

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The Spoils of Whiteness

In 1973, the Vincent Astor Foundation-funded New York City to initiate programs for gifted students in 40 Manhattan and Brooklyn schools. In 1983, after I was elected to the Community School Board in Brooklyn’s District 15...

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How Participatory Research Can Undo the “Single Story” | 2019

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Ted Talk “The Danger of a Single Story” turned 10 years old this summer, yet her message still resonates.

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Metro's MLC Publishes New Teacher Resources

Metro Center's Metro Learning Communities (MLC) has launched new teacher resources

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NYU Metro Center Affirms Anti-Bias Education

Biases continue to outline the contours of American schooling, targeting intersectional identities while lingering in school policies and practices and hardening in the minds and imaginations of many educators.

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For Judith

I met Regent Judith Johnson shortly after I became executive director of NYU Metro Center. She requested to meet with me, personally extending an invitation “to talk” via email.

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The Roots of Equity and Transformation | 2019

Following a two-year process, the team at NYU Metro Center revised its mission and vision and solidified five core values to guide its work. The revisions were made by engaging the entire NYU Metro Center family.

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Staying the Course

For folk who are committed to disrupting and dismantling inequity and racial injustice, there is nothing unfamiliar about the ways the work can be dermined, de-legitimized, and sabotaged.

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Roots That Never Die

In 1981, NYU Metro Center established the Desegregation Assistance Center (known today in USDOE as the Equity Assistance Centers) to support the important mission outlined by the historic 1954 Supreme Court Decision Brown...

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A Better System for Our Children

On Friday, September 20, 2019, the New York Daily News published an op-ed I wrote supporting the recommendations of the NYC School Diversity Advisory Group—of which I am a member—to rethink gifted education.

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Expanding College Access

When Robert Smith made headlines promising to repay the student loan debt of 400 graduates of Atlanta’s Morehouse College, he brought the issue of rising college costs back to the forefront of the national conversation.

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Misplaced: Mistreating Developmental Difference

New York City’s Independent Budget Office study shows that the late calendar year birth dates of some of the city’s public school students are correlated with those students’ placements in special education programs.

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Unlovely Student Distributions | 2019

In late November in the Fordham Institute’s Flypaper, Chester Finn disparaged New York City’s Community School District 15’s effort to reduce segregation and improve integration across the district’s eleven middle schools.

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Remembering Courtney Everts Myktykyn

At 5 pm on New Year's Eve, I learned of the passing of Courtney Everts Mykytn. I was stunned. My original plan was to have a relaxing night home and out of the cold, but after receiving the news, I could not be alone...

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Reblog: Linking Equity to Practice | 2019

In a blog post originally published on the Students at the Center HUB, NYU Metro Center researchers share an essential research tool that can be adapted for school research use, empowering those most implicated by research...

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Racism's Hold on My Newborn Child | 2019

At the end of last year, I gave birth to my first baby. V is smart, happy, and beautiful. The future for V is beaming with possibilities and will most definitely be filled with the love of near and dear ones.

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My Voice, Youth Voice, in the Movement for REAL Integration | 2019

Last fall, while sitting next to New York Times reporter and MacArthur Genius, Nikole Hannah-Jones, in an auditorium at Boys and Girls High School in Brooklyn, New York, I made the following statement:

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An Opportunity to Be a Changemaker | 2019

The Center for Policy Research and Evaluation (PRE) at NYU Metro Center, in partnership with the New York City Department of Education and CORO New York, is conducting the Exploring Youth Leadership Councils Study.

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Understanding Disproportionality Part 4: TAC-D’s Culturally Responsive Education (CRE) Framework and Equity Teams | 2019

This is the final installment of our 4-part blog series on disproportionality. We encourage you to view our previous posts on disproportionality so you can get a full picture of what it is and what the Technical Assistance Center on Disproportionality (TAC-D) at NYU Metro Center is doing to eliminate it.

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Understanding Disproportionality Part 3: TAC-D’s Root Cause Analysis Approach | 2019

Part 1 and Part 2 of this series on dis-proportionality covered what the problem of dis-proportionality is and how it presents itself throughout the education system.

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Understanding Disproportionality Part 2: Measuring Disproportionality | 2019

In this part, we take a closer look at New York City Public School discipline data (2017-2018) to help us illustrate the glaring inequities for the sub-groups which have been marginalized by a system infested with policies...

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Understanding Disproportionality Part 1: What Disproportionality Is and Why It Matters | 2019

NYU Metro Center recently released the blog, “Disproportionality and Punishment: A CRE Approach to School Discipline” that problematized continued disproportionate suspensions of Black & Latinx NYC Public School students.

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Human-Centered Design in Action: Learning Lab | 2019

What are the needs, challenges, and best practices for building capacity with under-resourced nonprofit organizations that promote equity?

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The Mastery Collaborative Approach: Student Centered, Culturally Responsive, and Competency-Based | 2019

NYU Metro Center is working with the Mastery Collaborative to conduct the Culturally Responsive Mastery-Based Education Research Project.

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The Renewal Schools Program Wasn’t a Failure, It Was a Lesson | 2019

Earlier this week, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the much expected news that the city will evolve its efforts to improve its troubled schools.

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What the Crisis in Venezuela Teaches Us about Education | 2019

On October 28, 2017, NYU Metro Center brought together a panel of experts to discuss ways that educators can help resolve one of the world’s most pressing problems: the global suffering of hurting people.

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Moving Beyond the Match: Future Directions for Research and Policies Promoting Diversity Within the K-12 Educator Workforce | 2019

Diversity matters for student learning. Representation matters. It is a difficult task to identify anyone working within the education ecosystem—whether they be a teacher, school leader, policymaker, researcher, or advocate—without a strong stance on these claims.

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Real Integration and Equity in New York City Schools | 2019

Today, NYC DoE took another small step toward equity and one giant leap toward integration, with the release of the initial recommendations by the School Diversity Advisory Group, of which NYU Metro Center is a member.

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Is New York City’s Plan to Diversify Specialized High Schools Racist toward Asian Americans? | 2019

As a biracial Black and Chinese American, I’ve always been aware of the polarizing histories and experiences that I carry in my body. At times it was confusing.

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Disproportionality and Punishment: A CRE Approach to School Discipline | 2019

The New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) recently released its annual data report on school discipline for the 2017-2018 school year.

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Introducing the Culturally Responsive Curriculum Scorecard: A Tool to Evaluate Curriculum | 2019

With the release of the Culturally Responsive Curriculum Scorecard, parents, community members, educators, and organizers can find out whether curriculum in their schools is culturally responsive or culturally destructive.

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Journey Forward: The New York State’s Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework | 2019

Journey Forward: The New York State’s Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework

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Why Is Public School Curriculum Still Whites Only? | 2018

Do an internet search for children’s books by or about people of color, and you will find dozens of lists with hundreds of books, including the 1,000 Black Girl Books compiled by 13-year old Marley Dias.

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A Framework For Integration Rooted In Racial Justice | 2018

Dr. King’s remarks remain deeply relevant in today’s integration debate. His words represent real concerns advocates for and against integration have had for years.

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Articulating a Strength-Based Agenda of Advocacy for Young Immigrant Children and Families | 2018

What would it mean to view young immigrant children and their families through lenses of strength, courage, promise, and possibility, instead of deficit, need, risk, and remediation? What if we, as educators, administrator...

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Reform elite high schools, but the real equity fight is much broader | 2018

At long last, the big policy issues related to race, educational equity and access in New York’s public schools are finally on the front burner. However, many of the most important issues remain obscured.

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The Costs of Equity, The Bill We Refuse to Pay: Why Integrating NYC’s Specialized High Schools Is the Right Thing to Do? | 2018

On Saturday, June 2nd, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his plan to “fix” the “diversity problem” plaguing the city’s specialized high schools.

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Civic Education for a Civil Society | 2018

Martin Luther King, Jr. famously wrote about the critical linkage between intellectual rigor and personal character in an essay titled, “The Purpose of Education.”

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Teacher Leadership and Advocacy for Policy, Equity & Justice | 2018

“We’re fired up! Can’t take it no more!” This, one of the energizing rally cries for many of us who have taken to the streets to demand change, is what comes to mind when we think about the wave of recent teacher strikes...

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Fighting Our Fear With Valor: A Powerful Lesson From A High School Student on How to Transform Schools | 2018

Fear is a dangerous thing. It is the source of everyone's problems. Many people in society are afraid of being at the bottom of the hierarchy.

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Advancing Equity Within and Across a System | 2018

Much of the work of NYU Metro Center includes providing technical assistance and professional development to schools and districts around the country. This work is grounded in advancing equity and racial justice.

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A Unique Opportunity for Integration, Inclusion, and Equity | 2018

The gentrification of urban neighborhoods across the country has attracted notice since at least the 1970s. However, in the most recent decade in the “return to the cities,” gentrification has become much more common.

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Until the Bright Day of Justice Emerges: Reclaiming Dr. King and the Imagination that Gave Birth to a Dream | 2018

Each year on the Monday of (or immediately following) Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, many in our nation and, undeniably, throughout the globe gather to commemorate the story of freedom for which Dr. King lived and...

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Marching Closer to Our North Stars: Notes on Education for Liberation | 2017

Too many of us educators have been given a pass in relation to our obligation to help end the suffering of hurting women, men, and children languishing across the globe.

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Puerto Rico Uprooted: The story of mi gente y la suya | 2017

Today marks 75 days since Hurricane Maria hit my home island of Puerto Rico. I just returned last night from visiting and much of the island looks as if the storm hit yesterday, while other parts appear relatively untouched.

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Data for Black Lives talks Education Justice | 2017

The inaugural Data for Black Lives convening brought together community organizers, researchers, and community members to discuss issues, strategize, and build plans to create and present data to serve organizing efforts...

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Unmasking the Linguistic Policing of Black and Brown Children in Today’s Schools

Make no mistake: Black and Brown students are “stopped and frisked” relentlessly in schools for their linguistic and cultural identities.1 It is not hyperbole to assert that they are under linguistic surveillance.

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Prototype: Colin Kaepernick, Exclusionary Discipline, and the Treatment of Black Boys and Men | 2017

On Friday, September 22, 2017, in a last-ditch effort to support Republican Senator Robert Strange, the U.S. president asked a crowd of Alabama on-lookers if they would “love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody...

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#BlackLivesMatter, Schooling, and The Miseducation of White People | 2017

Many of us laughed and cringed while watching Jordan Peele’s social thriller Get Out. This fictional horror movie depicts a young Black man who goes with his White girlfriend to her family home for a weekend.

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Floodwaters that Linger: Examining the Inequitable Impact of Natural Disasters on Vulnerable Children | 2017

As I write this, Hurricane Irma is battering Caribbean islands and is taking aim at South Florida. Two weeks ago, Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas Gulf Coast, crippling coastal communities and creating unprecedented flooding...

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From Fruitvale to Dallas, from Trayvon Martin to Mother Emanuel, from Kent State to Unversity of Virginia (Charlottesville) | 2017

When news of the terrorist attack in Charlottesville began to take center stage in our national conversation, I think I had just become numb and at the same time retroactive sensitive to all 135 instances of police abuses and bigotry.

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Why the goal cannot be school integration? | 2017

On June 6, 2017, New York City released its plan to make its schools, which are among the most racially segregated in the country, more “diverse.”

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Misuse of Data in Educational Policy | 2017

Often in education, the policy directions of school districts, state education systems, and the federal Department of Education call for and rely on the effective use of data.

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Catch ’em Being Good | 2017

Most people are wired to notice things that don’t match our expectations.  We notice the person facing the wrong way in line or the person speaking loudly when everyone else is whispering.

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Without Sanctuary: Diego Ismael Puma Macancela and the State’s War on Vulnerable Students | 2017

Ossining High School senior Diego Ismael Puma Macancela was arrested in his home and taken to a deportation center on Thursday, June 8th—just days after his mother was arrested and taken to a deportation center.

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School Vouchers: What are they, and what does the research say? | 2017

The recent appointment of Betsy DeVos as the United States Secretary of Education has brought the issue of school choice - and particularly school vouchers - into the forefront of American education policy. 

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City is Trying to Build a Seamless System for Autistic Kids | 2017

Back in the early 2000s, autistic children age 5-21 in New York City and elsewhere who were capable of grade level academic work were educated almost exclusively in segregated classrooms with other autistic children.

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Trump's Education Budget Pushes Forward Education Industrialization | 2017

Recently a short clip of a young Black child naming a supposed Donald Trump,“a disgrace to the world”, has gone viral. Trump has of course branded it as “fake news” because the Trump in the video was actually an impersonator.

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The Most Important Three-Word Phrase | 2017

First, on behalf of the faculty I would like to congratulate each of you for your accomplishments that we mark today. We celebrate your achievements, we welcome and thank your families and friends for their support.

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Common Application Changes: Tips to ensure success for students, staff and parents | 2017

During an era in which educators, parents, and adults alike are working tirelessly to decrease the amount of free time teenagers dedicate to the Web, The Common Application organization intends to utilize this zest for...

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Learn them; they are why you teach | 2017

After the cooing phase, babies begin to babble, the first beautiful expression of the languages they hear around them. This is so remarkably a sign that babies are ready to communicate through language that even if babies...

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Retention, Responsiveness, and Parent-Teacher Communication | 2017

Many parents will receive unhappy news about their children’s academic, emotional, and social development from teachers and other school professionals at some point in their children’s school lives.

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Success Academy Charter Network Suspension Factory | 2017

In response to the Success Academy charter network suspension debacle, I am choosing to speak to all educators in America since the Success Academy experience mirrors the educational public school system in the United States.

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Leadership Instability and Divisions within a School District Cited for Disproportionality

Although it was only an hour train ride from New York City to Parktown, New York, this suburban city seemed like a different world. From train station to the elementary school where the professional development was held...

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Culturally Responsive Field Research in Program Evaluations and Monitoring | 2017

When social science researchers engage in fieldwork projects, there is usually a set of prescribed of protocols that guide the parameters of their research.

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"Are my students at risk?" Measuring Disciplinary Disproportionality | 2017

It is a well-established fact that Black students in the United States are more likely than other students to receive disciplinary referrals, and be suspended or expelled from school.

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Trans Women are Their Stories To Tell: My Facebook Post about Chimamanda Adichie | 2017

In response to Chimamanda Adichie’s remarks about trans women being a type of woman, I made a decision and posted a sensationalist newspaper article (that was limited in scope) and made a uni-dimensional comment that...

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Fragile and afraid | 2017

It is quite common during our work exploring issues of race, power, and privilege with schools around the country for white participants to suggest we should shy away from inflammatory terms like “white privilege.”

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Parent Workshops for the College and Career Process | 2017

At the College Prep Academy, we know how important and valuable our parents are in the process of career and college planning. This past year-through a grant from the Voya Pinkerton and Meringoff Foundations- we have been...

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Engaging the Power of Interests | 2017

NYC, Subways, Bearded dragons, King Tut, Shrubbery, 18th century architecture, Power lines, Ukuleles, Zip codes- Just a few of the topics I now know a great deal about thanks to individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

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College Applications and the Essay | 2017

Now is the time most high school juniors begin their college planning process. As the March and April tests bear down upon us, everyone at home or at school seems to be debating whether to take the ACT or the SAT (or both).

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College Application Smart Apps and Digital Resources for Students and Parents | 2017

The college application process can be complex and overwhelming for both parents and students.

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Head Versus Heart in Educator Professional Development | 2017

In my work evaluating teacher professional development, I’ve seen a lot of variation in the ways my trainer colleagues envision the processes by which schools are transformed.

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Why We’re Marching in the People’s March for Education | 2017

Existing as a human, yet using every tool in your capacity to consistently fight back narratives, practices, and systems that fail to recognize your humanity is exhausting.

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New York State is Robbing Our Children of an Adequate Education: See How Much They’re Trying to Deny Your Local School | 2017

State Education Department officials released information stating that New York State owed its students $4.3 billion in educational funding. Four-point-three-BILLION.

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Transgender Students Facing Erasure from Schools Under Trump | 2017

BREAKING NEWS: On February 10, just two days after Jeff Sessions was sworn in as Attorney General, the Department of Justice took a first step toward dropping their defense of the transgender student guidance in court.

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Collateral Youth: The Impact of Anti-Immigrant Policy on Children | 2017

There are approximately 5.3 million children and youth in the United States with at least one undocumented parent. Election day was a disaster for these children – over 4 million of whom are U.S. citizens.

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What was the idea behind the ASD Nest Program, and what are its key elements? | 2017

Before the advent of the ASD Nest program parents of autistic children in New York City had two choices: a District 75 school for children with severe disabilities, where basic curriculum took a back seat to therapeutic...

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Reflections on a film: I Am Not Your Negro | 2017

Watching this film
Was like a rainy day
But one when you are inside
Looking at the drops hitting your window.

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Making Black Lives Matter in Classrooms: The Power of Teachers to Change the World | 2017

On Saturday, May 16, 2015, NYU Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity & the Transformation of Schools held a conference titled, Race, Rights & Responsibility: What Educators Can Do to Help Our Students Think Critically..

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What’s Up? | 2017

“What’s Up?” In 1992, The 4 Non Blondes sang these lyrics “what’s going on” which were once prophetic but now, timely. Drawing from this song, I'm reminded that our country has always been at war just in different ways &...

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Getting Smart About Apps | 2017

These days, we use our smartphones for everything: alarm clock, calculator, food delivery service, FaceTime with friends and family, TV, information source, payment source and sometimes a tutor.

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My Solutions For You: An Open Letter To My Comrades In #BlackLivesMatters | 2017

Don’t lose hope. We can’t lose hope. If we lose hope, we lose. Period. And if we lose, what reason is there for us to be here?

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Help Us Stand Up to Racism in New York in the People’s March for Education Justice | 2017

New York State has continuously decided to neglect the educational opportunities it provides to students in Black, Brown, and low-income neighborhoods. With tyrant Trump around, we need a state government that will decide...

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Community Roots: An Approach to School Integration That Lives in A Name | 2017

Community Roots is a charter school in the Fort Greene neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY. The school is uniquely diverse; 39 percent of its students is White, 33% is Black, 20% is a combined Latino and Asian, and 8% is other.

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“Is Special Education Racist?” No, But People Are | 2017

For over a year now, I’ve been torn over an opinion piece publish in the NYTimes on June 24, 2015.  The authors asked: "Is special education racist?" My response at the time was: Of course, it is!

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Organizing to Integrate | 2017

New York City, not unlike other major metropolitan regions in the U.S., faces a stubborn & layered system of segregation, which separate students by socio-economic status, ability, language background, race/ethnicity & so on.

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The Four Issues That Are Not Coming Up Post-Trump That Should Be | 2017

Everyone is talking about the war on public education, and they should be. However, the war on public education is tied to an another struggle in education: the war on teacher education and the marketization of it.

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Dear white folks, how will we march on? | 2017

On Saturday, January 28th, 2017, Shaun King, writer and civil rights activist, wrote this on Facebook, “Today has been, without a doubt, one of the most despicably inhumane days in my lifetime as an American citizen.

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Gender DJ's: Youth Remixing Gender | 2017

Recently I was watching my daily dose of Ellen and on came Katie Couric. Remember her? She’s the comeback kid who lost her husband prematurely to color cancer in at the age of 42.

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‘Born with Dreams’: A Need for Conversation on Immigration and Education in New York City | 2016

We are born with dreams in our hearts,
looking for better days ahead.
At the gates we are given new papers,
our old clothes are taken
and we are given overalls like mechanics wear.

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Not Just Us? Using Classrooms To Get (White) People To Talk About Race | 2016

On November 17, 1999, a Michigan jury found, then-13 year-old Nathaniel Abraham guilty of second-degree murder for a killing committed when Abraham was 11.

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Perspectives 2019

Blogs from 2019: Read the blog posts from our thought-leaders: educators, students, and community members connected to NYU Metro Center.

Perspectives 2018

Blogs from 2018: Read the blog posts from our thought-leaders: educators, students, and community members connected to NYU Metro Center.

Perspectives 2017

Blogs from 2017: Read the blog posts from our thought-leaders: educators, students, and community members connected to NYU Metro Center.

Perspectives 2016

Blogs from 2018: Read the blog posts from our thought-leaders: educators, students, and community members connected to NYU Metro Center.