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Public school or private?


This elementary school or that one?


Arts or science focus, charter or not?


When did the process of getting into school become as tough as the subjects taught inside it?


While this education guide isn't big enough to answer all those questions -- we'd need an encyclopedia for that -- we hope that it can at least get the process started.


By culling city and other data and talking to people in the neighborhood, we've listed the best public elementary and high schools in the area, and looked at how the local private schools pitch themselves. There's also a list of continuing education options, for things to do while the kids are away, and a first-person column by a teacher listing the things parents should be doing to help their little ones learn.


In a way, deciding where to send your kid to school in New York -- probably one of the most important decisions you'll make -- has never been more complex or contentious. But we've also never had such choice -- or such a deluge of information available to help make the choice a smart one.


We're here to help as you begin the process of navigating it all. So pull this section out and set it aside somewhere, as you go out and enjoy the one week of summer left.


-- Kyle Pope, Editor in Chief


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