Strengthening Education, the Most Important Government Service
A proud graduate of Fort Hamilton High School and CUNY Hunter College, I know that a world-class public education for our kids is essential to our community's success. It's the most important service that government can offer and has made the American dream possible for millions of citizens. Each and every student in New York City deserves a shot at that dream, and we should not be satisfied until we can deliver it.
We can't control every factor that affects student performance, but there are ways we can make sure our students are getting the best education possible.
Reducing Class Size
Study after study shows that one of the most significant improvements in education that we can make is to reduce the size of our classrooms. Yet over the past decade the average class size in New York City has increased, and the schools in our neighborhood are some of the most overcrowded in the entire city. While there is no easy fix, I'll aggressively seek out unused public facilities and land to create additional classroom space in our communities.
Putting a Great Teacher in Every Classroom
Teachers have the most important job in our society -- they are responsible for educating the next generation. We need to make sure that every teacher is well trained and equipped to stand at the front of the classroom, and once they are there, that we give them the resources they need to do their job right. Like everyone, teachers deserve a salary that recognizes their vital role in our communities.
Teaching Topics, Not Tests
After a decade of confusing school reforms that focused on testing and data, student performance has only marginally increased. The singular focus on "teaching the test" has led us to undermine the purpose of state exams. I believe that we should focus on teaching students real topics, not just how to take a single standardized test. By doing that, we can begin to raise the bar across performance metrics. We also need to quit pitting our students, teachers, and schools against each other. Instead, we should settle for no less than 100% achievement from each student, each teacher, and each school.