Monday, December 14, 2009

Clara Hemphill

An interview in the Princeton Alumni Weekly with Clara Hemphill got us thinking about all she has done to help families navigate the New York City public schools. Hemphill is the founding editor of the website, which is a project of the New York City based nonprofit Advocates for Children. We've written before about this terrific site, which is an invaluable guide for families whose children attend New York City public schools. She is also the principal author of three books: New York City's Best Public Elementary Schools: A Parent's Guide, New York City's Best Public Middle Schools: A Parents' Guide, and New York City's Best Public High Schools: A Parents' Guide.

Hemphill has applied her experience as a foreign correspondent and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist to the unraveling the enormous complexities of a public school system serving about 1.1 million students in 1600 schools. Her books and the Insideschools website are something we always recommend to parents interested in the New York City Public Schools. Hemphills books, as well as much of the website, are informed by visits to the schools that are profiled. This gives parents a real sense of the kind of school community that exists in each building, and helps clarify the complex process of finding the right school for a child.

As the year winds down and lists of most important or most influential people abound, we want to thank Clara Hemphill for helping families throughout New York City master the nation's largest public school system.

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