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The Price of Public Education

Caleb’s school is having a fundraising drive. The PTA wants to get 85% of families to donate to its General Fund, which is used for everything you can imagine, short of paying teachers’ salaries. When I was PTA President at Liam’s school a few years back, fundraising was the hardest part of the job (second-hardest part of the job? Not screaming back at people who were–by screaming at me–screaming at …

Why I’m Not the New Chancellor of NYC Schools

I know why Mayor Bloomberg didn’t tap me to take over from Joel Klein. I’m overqualified. I taught public high school for four years, have a doctorate in literature and have been teaching college students for longer than I care to remember.  Both of my kids go to public schools; I went to public schools until I got to college.  But apparently the best qualification to run the NYC schools …

Snow Day

Everyone and their mother will be posting pictures of The Great Snowstorm tonight and who am I to buck the trend? Here are the boys on their vintage flexible flyer (by vintage, we mean “it belonged to daddy” who is himself approaching vintage age). This not-so-great photo was taken by the puller of the sled, at about 10 oclock this morning. On 4th Avenue. Doesn’t look that snowy, does it? Moi the mommy mule …

Seriously, He Banned Bake Sales. No, Really, He Did.

The other day on the playground, a mommy friend said, “did you hear? Bloomberg banned bake sales in the schools.”  I thought she was kidding–we’d beeen the PTA Co-Presidents last year, and bake sales had been an ongoing aggravation: when to schedule them, how to staff them, how to scan every donation for potentially lethal ingredients (nuts! sesame seeds! wheat!), how to make sure that all the kids got a …