Monday, November 22, 2010

A to-do list for N.Y.C. Schools Chancellor Cathie Black: Eva Moskowitz lays out her priorities

Eva Moskowitz with her list of five priorities:


Times have changed since Joel Klein took the reins of the Department of Education back in 2002, but the overarching challenge remains the same: spur drastic reform within a system that stubbornly resists change.


When Klein took office, he was faced with a public school system in major disarray - the state of education in Harlem, where I grew up, at the time could be described only as profoundly subpar. Citywide, less than half of students were graduating, corruption was rampant at the community school board level, and before Mayor Bloomberg took control of the schools, the buck stopped with no one. Frankly, the city was guilty of gross educational negligence.


Fast-forward eight years. Failing schools have been closed, new high-performing public charter schools and small schools have been opened, the graduation rate is on the rise, and, under Klein's leadership, the city has become the epicenter of a national education reform movement. It hasn't come easy, and there is still much, much work to be done, but progress has been made.


Cathie Black, (above) reportedly a no-nonsense manager and bold leader in her four decades of work in the private sector, has the potential to spark the type of improvements our schools need today. Black's challenge as the next chancellor will be to keep reform moving forward as her opponents - most likely, these will include the city's powerful and well-connected United Federation of Teachers - marshal a last stand at protecting their own interests.


Progress must continue on several fronts.


First, we must continue to expand parent choice. Every parent in this city should have access to high-performing public schools, whether traditional or charter. No child should have a failing zoned school as his or her only option.


A to-do list for N.Y.C. Schools Chancellor Cathie Black: Eva Moskowitz lays out her priorities


By Eva Moskowitz


Monday, November 15th 2010, 4:00 AM

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