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New York City's Best Public Elementary Schools: A Parents' Guide 3rd Edition

2.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0807746134
ISBN-10: 0807746134
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The New York Times columnist Robert Lipsyte said: "It is part consumer guide, part urban plan. Without public schools, Hemphill maintains, the dream of multiethnic democracy will live on only through jury duty and subway travel." New York Daily News said "Clara Hemphill's school guides wrestle the complexities of New York's schools into brisk, thoughtful profiles of topnotch, intriguing schools." Big Apple Parent declared "Hemphill has done for schools what Zagat's did for restaurants. At last, that first day of school should be much easier for everyone!" New York Magazine's Barbara Ensor called her work "thoughtful, well-researched...required reading. --.

About the Author

Clara Hemphill is director of Insideschools.org at Advocates for Children of New York and author of New York City’s Best Public Middle Schools and New York City’s Best Public High Schools. Her two children attend public school in Manhattan.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Teachers College Press; 3 edition (July 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807746134
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807746134
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #897,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a NYC K-12 educational consultant, I frequently listen to parents' worries about entrusting their children to the New York City public schools. This is unfortunate, because some local public schools are excellent.
Hemphill's book is extremely valuable because she identifies top schools and demystifies the admissions process for zoned and out-of-zone students. She also explains admissions to gifted and other special programs...
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I agree with both previous reviewers. I am so glad this book exists because there are many wonderful public elementary schools in NYC. (My son's at one!) But this book does not always contain the very latest information, such as a change in principals. (Principals are very important.) Use this book as a starting point and then talk with as many parents, teachers as you can for the latest developments in the schools you're considering.
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It's 2012. I bought this book in 2009 and then was disappointed to realize how out of date it was, but thought it would soon be updated. What's going on? Perhaps you are just expected to use the website. I would prefer to have the book version as well.

This kind of book is nothing when it's out of date. To take just one example, PS 161 is reviewed here as a successful school. It declined dramatically in the last 3 years and would never make the cut now - in fact, it's now under threat of closure.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Woefully woefully outdated. I only blame myself for not paying attention to the reviewers who several yrs ago said it was outdated. Somehow I thought I was buying a newer edition, but as far as I can tell, it doesn't exist. Now its nearly 10 yrs out of date and filled with quite a bit of misinformation about application processes to G&T programs, for example. At least I didn't pay much for my kindle version but I really wonder what the author is waiting for to create an updated edition.
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This is the first review I have ever written on Amazon. I wish I hadn't wasted my $15 on this book! It is 7 years out of date. If you stepped off the plane in NYC, this book might offer some interesting tidbits about the NYC public elementary schools. If you've been in NYC for 1 month, as I have, this book offers no useful information.
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This book has helped me to make up my mind to move back to NY--helped me understand the byzantine system, and highlights specific schools that I would never have heard or read about otherwise.

Hemphill is an argument for how one must look at specific schools under particular leadership in a finite time period, instead of generalizing. And instead of unproductive nostalgizing, "schools were better in earlier days..." Really, some schools can go downhill, but others have gone uphil, and there is a need to constantly reassess.

My only gripe is that the author didn't (couldn't?) review all schools, or more schools. If a school isn't mentioned, then is it totally hopeless? Or were there page number constraints?

There is no other book like this. Every city should have a Hemphill book.
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