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Elissa Stein
Elissa Stein’s bookshelf includes an educational and eclectic mix of projects she’s written and art directed. Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation, with Susan Kim, is now on sale. Recently she’s put together NYC adventures with kids, interactive thank you notes, and visual histories of iconic pop culture –– two of which were featured in Entertainment Weekly’s Must Have list. In addition to writing, she runs her own graphic design business. To balance all of the above, she practices yoga, knits with enthusiasm, and shops for vintage coats on eBay. She lives in New York City with her husband and their two children.

Entries by Elissa Stein

The Problem With Sweeping Reform

(0) Comments | Posted September 18, 2014 | 1:06 PM

It was just announced that New York City is creating a new and "improved" version of the SHSAT, the sole admissions test to NYC's esteemed specialized high schools. A Request for Proposals was just posted on the Department of Educations's (DOE) website giving interested companies just over a...

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Fixing What Wasn't Broken

(0) Comments | Posted September 4, 2014 | 3:50 PM

NYC students headed back to school this morning for a year full of new challenges -- some to new schools, to new teachers, new subjects, new experiences. Unfortunately, one of those experiences will be learning without extra academic support.

When NYC and the UFT ratified a new contract last...

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Laughing at Periods

(0) Comments | Posted July 9, 2014 | 4:55 PM

I, like millions of others, laughed out loud at Hello Flo's latest ad that went viral. It was sassy, funny and well-written with moments of brilliance. I was amused.

I was also uncomfortable.

Snappy and engaging as the commercial was, in the end it reeked of...

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Messing with Success

(9) Comments | Posted June 16, 2014 | 12:18 PM

For many within the system, as well as to those looking in from the outside, New York City's specialized high schools represent the very best of what the city has to offer students and families. These schools are academically rigorous with opportunities not found elsewhere. Admission to these eight schools...

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Not Whispering About Breastfeeding

(5) Comments | Posted October 10, 2013 | 5:21 PM

Yesterday I found myself in the middle of a conversation about breast feeding. It's been a long time since I was an active participant. Ten-plus years since the last time my younger one, with great disinterest, turned away from my left breast. He'd given up the right a month before...

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Failing is the New Passing

(23) Comments | Posted August 9, 2013 | 11:00 AM

New York State test scores were released this week. It was reported that 26 percent of 3rd-8th graders in NYC passed the English test while 30 percent passed math.

Flipping that around, 74 percent failed English and 70 failed math.

Fingers are being pointed, excuses made, and silver...

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The New Normal

(0) Comments | Posted December 21, 2012 | 9:02 AM

Yesterday afternoon I got the following text from my daughter:

Hey there is a lockdown at my school could you find out what is happening

The lack of punctuation and capitalization flew through my mind as I processed what I was reading.

Hey there is a lockdown...

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We're All in This Together

(2) Comments | Posted November 6, 2012 | 12:20 PM

I've had that line, a lyric from a High School Musical song, stuck in my head for days (apologies if it's now stuck in yours). Watching the Sandy relief effort unfold, both from far away -- we left our powerless, waterless, heatless downtown NYC apartment after the storm -- to...

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Testing, Testing, 1 ... 2 ... 3

(6) Comments | Posted April 18, 2012 | 10:38 AM

Yesterday, all across New York, students from 3rd through 8th grade sat for the first day of the state mandated ELA (English Language Arts) test. While I don't know how important these tests are in other parts of the state, in New York City their significance has taken on epic,...

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Calling It a Choice Doesn't Make It One

(41) Comments | Posted March 4, 2012 | 3:51 PM

Last week tens of thousands of New York City public school students received high school offer letters. For almost half of them, dreams came true. But too many others were disappointed, not to mention devastated by the results. Yes, that statement sounds extreme. But as the parent of one of...

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How Much Is that Kidney in the Window?

(5) Comments | Posted August 5, 2011 | 10:20 PM

In this week's British Medical Journal, an opinion piece called for a reversal on the ban of selling human organs for money. As there is such a discrepancy between those in need of organs and those willing to donate, the author suggested standard monetary incentives for potential donors could potentially...

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The Kidney and Goliath

(12) Comments | Posted February 28, 2011 | 10:40 AM

My brother called yesterday -- he was in the middle of a bad dialysis session. There were issues with his chest catheter, things like too much bleeding after days of discomfort, the usual five minute hookup took 45 instead. He knew it was going to be a long night.


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A Different Kind of Giving

(3) Comments | Posted February 3, 2011 | 6:04 PM

I went to my brother's for Christmas Eve, a family tradition that goes back for years and years. It was the first time we'd seen each other since we got the good-to-go donation news, and we celebrated in our usual, laid-back style: a high five. We're not demonstrative or overtly...

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Kids Are Not French Fries

(7) Comments | Posted November 15, 2010 | 1:58 PM

This week, Mayor Bloomberg abruptly announced that NYC School Chancellor Joel Klein was being replaced with Cathie Black, the former CEO of Hearst publications. Amazingly, to many, neither Mr. Klein nor Ms. Black came to the job with any educational experience.

While I too am no expert in education and...

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The Trouble With Grassroots Cyber Sex-Ed

(0) Comments | Posted September 26, 2010 | 8:04 PM

During a recent interview with a woman's health writer (having co-written "FLOW," I'm always good for a sound bite or two) the reporter asked if I'd seen the instructional tampon videos popping up on YouTube. Not the ones recently developed by manufacturers, not retro films we'd seen in...

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Victoria's Secret for Preteens

(1) Comments | Posted August 11, 2010 | 3:53 PM

No, the bra emporium isn't launching a line for the under 10 set, but that reality might not be too far off. According to an article in the New York Times the onset of puberty is apparent in even younger girls than ever before--noticeable breast development in...

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The Lebron James "Decision"

(2) Comments | Posted July 9, 2010 | 12:47 PM

Last night, heading down Seventh Avenue in a cab, there was a slew of news vans lining the street, hundreds of people gathered outside the entrance of Madison Square Garden, all staring up at tremendous TV screens. My first thought -- there had been some sort of tragedy. And then...

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Who's Writing About the Writers?

(10) Comments | Posted May 27, 2010 | 11:25 AM

The fate of publishing is a hot topic of conversation. Are books dead? Will the iPad revitalize the industry? Will ebooks make bookstores obsolete? There have been pricing battles at Amazon, content wars at Google, countless articles discussing what will, might, could happen to traditional and e-book publishers regarding bottom...

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Betty White's Dusty Muffin

(6) Comments | Posted May 13, 2010 | 11:45 AM

"I can't wait to taste your muffin."

Last night, Betty White chattered away with Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon, the faux NPR hosts of Saturday Night Live's The Delicious Dish about muffins. Eating muffins. Warm, moist muffins. Velvety, yummy muffins. Sometimes finding them salty. Others that are yeasty. Muffins that...

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Happy Birthday Pill!

(2) Comments | Posted May 10, 2010 | 12:30 PM

It's almost impossible to comprehend that less than 100 years ago sending information about birth control through the mail was considered not only illicit and obscene, but was illegal as per the Comstock Act of 1873. It wasn't until the 1930s that doctors were allowed to distribute information and contraceptives...

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