Recruit the best and the brightest: Increase starting salaries for teachers, so we can attract the most talented people possible to the profession. Eliminate outmoded certification requirements that serve as high-cost, quality-blind barriers to entry to the teaching profession, and which have no impact on student achievement.
Retain high-quality teachers: Districts should increase the salaries of highly effective teachers – particularly in high-needs schools – to keep our best teachers in the classroom. And the State should provide matching funds to districts that do.
Provide real development and accountability for teachers: Ensure that all teachers have access to constructive feedback, and that students are not stuck in classrooms where little learning goes on.
Reform tenure: Eliminate the law that grants tenure automatically to all “persons who have been found competent, efficient and satisfactory” after just three years.
Keep great teachers when budget cuts hit: Eliminate the law that requires all teacher layoffs to be based solely on seniority. Highly effective teachers should be retained regardless of seniority.
Zero tolerance for sexual misconduct: Give the leaders of school districts the authority to remove teachers who engage in sexual misconduct.
Give principals the tools they need to succeed: Give principals control over school budgets and staffing decisions – and hold them accountable for success.
Expand opportunities for families: Eliminate obstacles to the creation of new, high-performing schools, and dramatically increase school options and access for all students.
Equity in funding: Funding-per-student should be equitable, regardless of whether a student is in a public district school or a public charter school.
Ensure that the work of creating great schools – and transforming failing ones – is not impeded by politics: Make it easier for new schools to find building space and for failing schools to be transformed.
Empower parents to transform their schools: Enable a majority of parents in a failing school to take charge and transform it, through “parent trigger” laws and regulations.
Expand high-quality school options for special needs students: Eliminate barriers for high-quality charter schools to serve special needs students by allowing charter schools to pool resources and contract with appropriate providers (at no additional costs to taxpayers).
Improve school governance in low-performing districts: Reform the governance structures of the State's most troubled school districts, and protect New York City’s system of mayoral accountability from special interests looking to reclaim power and turn back the clock.
Get the most out of taxpayer dollars spent on education by eliminating redundant bureaucracies. Put more money into the classroom and spend less on bureaucracy by merging redundant school districts and shining a spotlight on waste, unfunded mandates and programs that don’t serve the goal of stronger student achievement.
Empower teachers through retirement choice. As professionals, teachers should be empowered to choose between a properly funded portable defined contribution plan and a properly funded defined benefit plan for their retirement.