Andrew is the proud parent of a New York City public school student, and he knows the incredible job that our public school teachers do every day. New York City has been a national leader in education since the establishment of the New York City Board of Education in 1842. Our schools count as alumni Nobel Prize recipients, Supreme Court Justices, Oscar winners, and leaders in every professional field from almost any imaginable background.
Our K-12 education system outperforms others in large, diverse cities, but we can make it even stronger. We’ve seen some recent success in our increased high school graduation rate, especially among students of color: a 7.5 percentage point increase in graduation rate since 2014, with 8.6 for Black and 8.3 for Hispanic students. We’ve expanded our education system to provide universal pre-K. We’re moving in the right direction, but we still have a long way to go.
First, we need to safely reopen schools. We must take what we’ve learned in the pandemic - especially with respect to the inequities in the system - and create a truly modern education system that can serve as an example to the rest of the world. We also need to find a way to make sure that all children with unique needs can have them met by our public education system. Andrew is fortunate that his family can afford to navigate the system for his older son with autism, but we must ensure that all children receive a free and appropriate education.
We have the best teachers in the world, and we need to support them in teaching their students and generating materials that can be used to enrich our curriculum. We can expand our curriculum to teach more life skills and critical thinking, while also bringing in viewpoints and stories that are traditionally left out. And we can expand the ways that we evaluate students to take into account the varied strengths of these children.
We have one of the largest and most well-respected public university systems in the world. We can also create more tracks for people to invest in vocational training, identifying key needs in the City that require such specialized training, especially in the green energy space.
Andrew is grateful every day for the educators who have provided a world-class education for his sons. He’s excited for the opportunity to support all of New York City’s teachers with resources and the freedom to innovate in the classroom, while also increasing access and equity for our children.
Plans for K-12 education, the CUNY system and higher education, and vocational training will be released in the coming weeks