California and New York and Common Core

California and New York Couldn’t Have Diverged More When It Comes to Common Core Education Standards

California and New York have quite a bit in common.

Both are liberal leaning states with a serious focus on education. Both have large and diverse school populations, and both have progressive leaning governors as well as giant and incredibly influential teacher’s unions looking to push education further into the chair for the benefit of generations to come.

But it turns out that California and New York have wildly different experiences when it comes to implementing the Common Core standards, resulting in totally different educational landscapes in these states that share so many goals with one another.

Last year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York put out a major news release just two weeks before Christmas highlighting just how badly New York had failed their students while making dozens and dozens of mistakes when it came to the implementation of Common Core standards.

Gov. Cuomo went as far to assign a brand-new task force that would overhaul the Department of Education for the state of New York, establishing a comprehensive review of the 1500 different Common Core standards that had been established for English and Math.

He also committed to modifying, eliminating, or creating new standards to supplement the already existing Common Core “on the books”, finding ways to elevate the educational opportunities available to young students throughout New York.

California has not had to contend with this kind of public soul-searching.

Instead of moving at lightning speed, some would say like a bull in a china shop at times, to implement Common Core standards with no real focus or cohesion the way they did in New York, California has instead move forward much more deliberately, much more strategically.

Where Andrew Cuomo went toe to toe against the powerful teacher’s unions in the state of New York, California Gov. Jerry Brown instead brought these organizations together in a spirit of collaboration to find ways to implement new Common Core standards and strategies together.

Cuomo made more than a handful of enemies in the field of education when he tied to the success or failure of Common Core tests to evaluations of teachers, valuations that had an impact on their careers directly. New York was only the second US state to make this kind of mood, and when students began to take Common Core examinations before teachers had an opportunity to implement these standards – and low test scores resulted – the teachers were punished unfairly.

Gov. Jerry Brown pushed back on the Obama administration that wanted to link Common Core test scores to teacher evaluations. He went so far as to resist pressure directly from the administration to “climb on board”, even when it was made evident that doing so was the only way to apply for federal funding and waivers from some of the No Child Left Behind laws and regulations, argues San Mateo Car Accident Lawyer.

Today, the strategies that both of these governors chose to move forward with have painted a completely different educational landscape in each of these states. Teacher unions in New York are 100% opposed to Common Core standards, whereas the leadership of all California teacher associations are 100% supportive.

A Look at Private School Lawsuits

A Look at Private School Lawsuits

According to a recent lawsuit between two Boston schools, a name is a highly valuable property. This particular lawsuit, strikes some as an example of class warfare. Critics of the lawsuit contend that it is a battle being waged by one institution that has resources, against an institution that does not have the same resources.

Both institutions endeavor to teach our children. However, both institutions have considerably different means and approaches. Both institutions are located in Massachusetts. Keeping in mind all of the similar things these institutions share is important. In doing so, we are going to be able to develop a better idea of the differences that arguably created this lawsuit in the first place.

Boston School Lawsuit

This event occurred just a couple of weeks ago. The story began when a highly-respected private school decided to file a lawsuit in Federal Court. This two-million-dollar suit was leveled against an independent school in Springfield, which is approximately ninety miles from Boston. Just to give you an idea of the differences between these schools, let’s take a look at tuition. The yearly tuition and fees at the Commonwealth School, which can be found in the Back Bay portion of Boston, is somewhere in the neighborhood of forty thousand dollars. By comparison, the tuition and other expenses associated with the Commonwealth Academy is approximately twelve hundred dollars.

Just in terms of tuition alone, you can imagine striking differences between the two. Yet in spite of the vast wealth gap between the two schools, and in spite of the fact that the Commonwealth Academy is roughly ninety miles away from Boston’s Commonwealth School, it is the wealthier school that feels as though an injustice has been done.

Founded in 1957, the Commonwealth School feels as though the Commonwealth Academy has intentionally tried to cause confusion, particularly in terms of its use of the word “commonwealth.” It is the belief of the Commonwealth School that this confusion has caused the school great harm. In addition to the money that is being demanded in the lawsuit, the Commonwealth School is also making the argument that the Commonwealth Academy should be made to change their name.

It is worth noting that the Commonwealth Academy is considerably newer than the Commonwealth School. Whereas the Commonwealth School was founded in 1957, as was mentioned before, the Commonwealth Academy was founded in 2011. The school is designed to particularly appeal to students who come from low-income families. The Commonwealth Academy is currently standing by their initial refusal to change the name. They do not believe that they have caused any harm to the Commonwealth School. They believe that the school is engaging in a campaign that they have described as “knowingly false and malicious campaign.”

Where The Trial Goes Next

For the time being, it is difficult to say where this lawsuit is ultimately going to go, according to San Francisco Personal Injury Attorneys. On one hand, both schools do use the word “commonwealth” in their titles. While the schools are quite far from one another, they are both in the same state. Furthermore, the Commonwealth School has been around for several decades longer than that of the Commonwealth Academy. Some people do believe that seniority in a matter such as this should count for something. The lawsuit will juggle all of these particulars, and it remains to be seen what the outcome is going to be.

It is also difficult to say what will what happen to the Commonwealth Academy, in the event that they are forced to change their name. The two-million-dollar price tag will hurt, as well, but it’s hard to say if either/both of these things will damage the school to any particular degree. The school continues to work towards offering major educational opportunities to minority students and low-income students. Their prestige is not that of the Commonwealth School, but it is clear that the Commonwealth Academy wants to do a great deal for the community. No one can really say if the school intentionally sought to profit from the Commonwealth School, particularly since these institutions are roughly ninety miles apart from one another.

The word “commonwealth” is not an uncommon sight with private and other types of schools. This is just one element to this story that should be kept in mind, as the suit continues.  Hopefully a fair resolution is reached by all parties.

The Presence of Police Officers in our Public Schools

The Presence of Police Officers in our Public Schools

More and more public schools across the country are implementing the inclusion of uniformed police officers – usually referred to as “school resource officers” – into the day to day operations of their educational facilities.

Not everyone is comfortable with this trend.

On each side of the fence, you have two incredibly passionate parties that disagree with the fundamental differences of whether or not police officers should be in US public schools.


On the “pro-police officer” side of things, you have concerned parents that (understandably so) want to keep police officers in school facilities to prevent shootings like the recent attack on Sandy Hook Elementary.

On the “pro-children” side of things, you have concerned parents that point to the recent rough shake down attack and arrest of an uncooperative 16-year-old girl near Columbia, South Carolina that points to the overaggressive tendencies that some police officers have in carrying out their duties.

To better understand the impact that the presence of police officers in US schools have, and whether or not this trend has any real hope of stemming the tide of violence, crime, and even visit activities in schools throughout the United States, we’ve included some inside information in this short guide that you’ll want to refer to.

Shall we jump right in?

Thousands of schools across the country are implementing “school resource officers”

The practice of implementing school resource officers, uniformed police officers that patrol school grounds during school hours, started in the early 1990s in urban areas and major metropolitan cities.

New York City, Detroit, Los Angeles, Chicago, and a handful of other major cities were the first to begin adopting the implementation of the school resource officers, and its original intention was to curb the illicit activities of the students themselves.

All of these cities were dealing with significant crime and gang issues, and recruitment of new gang members straight out of high school were at all time high levels.

There has been a marked decline since the implementation of those school resource officers in crime and gang activity in the areas that implemented these solutions, though it’s impossible to know whether or not all of that can be tracked back to school resource officers.

Since their early 1990s, however, school systems all over the country have put more and more resource officers into play. Suburban areas, rural areas, and miniature school districts across the country now have armed and uniformed policeman patrolling their halls with a “zero tolerance” policy for misconduct.

The dual effect of school resource officers

This has increased the amount of arrests (especially for minor crimes and offenses) in schools, which some parents aren’t exactly overjoyed with.

After all, who wants to find out that their teenager now has a mark on their permanent record because of some teenage foolishness? Even more concerning is that similar foolishness in a wealthy private school would be handled in house.

In San Diego alone, arrests for minor crimes (property crimes like vandalism and graffiti, drug and alcohol related offenses, etc.) are sky high – with more than 2500 and arrest rates across all major San Diego unified school districts between the years 2008 in 2013. Many parents believe that minor offenses would be better served being handled by the school, since that is the way it would be handled in a private school. The disparity of how rich and non-rich kids are treated is one of the main criticisms of the policy.

On the flip side, of course, uniformed school resource officers in San Diego have also made more than 1300 arrests for weapon offenses, have stopped upwards of 50 bomb threats, and have made more than 1000 of arrests in relation to sexual offenses and assault with a deadly weapon.

Not all officers are rotten apples – but many believe changes are necessary

Though there are more and more instances of police aggression being captured by the public today than ever before (which may have less to do with a more overly aggressive police force and more to do with everyone having a video camera in their pocket), it isn’t reasonable to lump all police officers in with those bad apples.


The overwhelming majority of school resource officers are there to protect and serve the student body, the administration, and the faculty – and for the most part, they are doing a fantastic job. Obviously, we are living in as uncertain a world as we’ve ever lived in before, and it’s important that we are protecting our young ones as best we can.

Changes to the nationwide programs of putting armed uniformed police officers into school obviously need to be made to adjust and improve the system, but it certainly doesn’t look like a system that is going to disappear anytime soon.

Top Prep Schools in New York City and Nationwide

Top Prep Schools in New York City and Nationwide

More and more parents are looking to take advantage of private prep schools throughout the United States than ever before.

Preparatory schools used to be incredibly popular throughout the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, but things started to taper off throughout the 1970s and 80s – culminating in a tremendous drop in the early 90s through 2000s.

However, private and preparatory schools are making a tremendous comeback recently because of the acknowledgement and recognition of the breakdown in the “traditional” model of education. In the opinion of many, public schools just aren’t preparing students for the world ahead of them as well as private schools. This cannot necessarily be blamed on the public schools themselves, more due to the lack of resources the public schools have to deal with and the shift in focus to standardized testing.


In fact, confidence in public schools are at an all-time low, and it shouldn’t be all that long until this 100+ year old model of education goes the way of the dodo bird. Some industry insiders expect the privatization of school will rapidly expand in the coming decade, to the point where public school simply can’t compete academically – or otherwise – with private entities.

If you as a parent want to make sure that your child is attending the very best preparatory schools in New York City (or across the country, for that matter), you’re going to want to make sure that you are sending them to some of these schools:

The Trinity School (New York City, New York)
When it comes to private prep schools, you aren’t going to find any that are much more highly regarded than the Trinity School in New York City.

Originally founded in 1709, this independent educational entity consistently ranks as the best private school in the country – and one of the best private schools in the world. More than 80% of their faculty holds advanced degrees, and graduates of this prep school routinely find themselves welcomed with open arms into the best colleges and universities across the nation.

If you’d love nothing more than to send your student to an Ivy League school and prepare them with the best possible education all along the way, the Trinity School in New York City is the place to send them.

The Roxbury Latin School (Boston, Massachusetts)

It should come as no surprise to anyone that most of the best preparatory schools in the country are located in the northeast, as that’s where the overwhelming majority of top universities and colleges are located as well.

This amazing prep school in Boston is men only, but it’s known for churning out National Merit Scholars, Ivy League bound students, and those that are destined to win advanced degrees and lead successful lives, as doctors, politicians, accountants, or personal injury attorneys Santa Cruz.

Established in 1645, this is one of the oldest private schools in the country, but it’s also one of the smallest. Getting into this preparatory school is a significant challenge, as they are maybe the most selective during the application process. Your student will have to go through a rigorous application process, multiple interviews, and score well on their application test to even have an opportunity to attend.

Should they have the opportunity to take advantage of the education here, however, this private school has the highest matriculation rate to all eight of the Ivy League schools, as well as Stanford and MIT.

Brearley School (New York City, New York)

Bouncing back to New York City, this is the perfect counter to the Roxbury Latin School in Boston as it is open only to women.

One of the most diverse of all the very top schools in the country (ranked number one as far as all women schools are concerned by Forbes magazine), this preparatory school places 37% of their graduates in Ivy League schools or at Stanford and MIT – just like Roxbury.

Students here will have the opportunity to leverage study abroad programs that are incredibly diverse, the school has an amazing arts program, and some of the more famous alumni include Sigourney Weaver, Carolyn Kennedy, and Mary Catherine Bateson.

Trinity School 139 - 145 W. 91st Street, Manhattan, NY on Friday, May 21, 2010. PICTURED:
This is as prestigious a prep school as it gets in the United States, and is one of the best opportunities for minority students. They have a 44% representation in the student body of this amazing private school.

At the end of the day, you’ll always have a variety of different opportunities for your student to take advantage of when it comes time to head off to a private school facility. Hopefully you’ll find the inside information listed above to be useful moving forward!