As New York City's mayoral hopefuls take to the podium, there has been much discussion surrounding education reform in the City's schools. Mayoral candidates' plans for reform have largely remained unclear, and we can look to recent events in other cities to get an idea of what the future could hold - both good and bad.
According to StudentsFirstNY's Micah Lasher, in a recent New York Post op-ed, we can look to cities like Newark where teachers recently approved a progressive collective-bargaining agreement that will recognize and reward teachers' effectiveness in the classroom:
It’s the first contract in New Jersey to reward highly effective teachers — particularly those teaching hard-to-staff subjects or serving in high-needs schools.
Such progressive reform has not been seen in other cities, such as Chicago where school officials recently made the decision to stop the closure of failing schools on the grounds that it is disruptive to students, parents, and teachers.
Lasher also outlined the great progress that has been made in New York City over the last decade as a result of progressive reform:
Achievement and graduation rates are up after decades of stagnation. And for the first time, we’re having a serious conversation about what it takes to ensure that our graduates are ready for college or a career — an area where there’s still enormous work to do.
Although the exact future of New York City's schools is unclear at this time, it is clear that the City needs a leader who will build on the progress that has been made for schools, teachers, and students.