Having spent my formative years in a small town of 16,000 neighbors in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, I still awaken every morning surprised and delighted that I live in a gigantic metropolis of 8 million city-mates. Just yesterday, I spoke with people from Tibet, Jamaica, the Deep South and Hungary, all of them representing a global slice of good cheer.
In my 17 years of Gotham living, I have taught and mentored teachers in a preschool, 13 public schools and a private school with tuition now topping $45,000 per year. My students have been in every grade but first and twelfth, including toddler classes and adults.
I have taught those in rags and those in riches.
This broad experience informs my continuing education and shapes my ideas about my sole aim, to make New York City schools the best in the world. As one of the greatest cities, New York City should also be the birthplace of the world’s greatest school system.
At the moment, we are not even close to achieving this goal. I work in one school where only 8% of the students pass the New York State exams in English and math. A UCLA report stated that New York City is the most segregated school system in the nation.
In response to this bleak reality, I am actively initiating conversations with teachers, principals, students, parents and others in the educational community to catapult New York City schools into a realm of active, stimulating, culturally relevant and enriching spaces for students to become adult leaders.
Along the way, I will be blogging about what I am learning. I welcome your thoughts.