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Paper #3 Final

Paper #3 Final

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Published by GothamSchools.org

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Published by: GothamSchools.org on Nov 21, 2013
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12/11/2013

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B
UILDING
B
LOCKS FOR
B
ETTER
S
CHOOLS
:
 
H
OW THE NEXT MAYOR CAN PREPARE NEW YORK 
S STUDENTS FOR COLLEGE AND CAREERS
 
Clara Hemphill, Kim Nauer, Andrew White & Thomas Jacobs The New School
 November 21, 2013
 
2
 
 TABLE OF CONTENTS Section Page
Introduction 3
 The Bloomberg Administration’s Legacy 
 8 Improving Literacy in the Early and Middle Grades 15  The Next Wave of Reform for High Schools 24 System Reform for School Improvement 36  A.
 
 Accountability B.
 
Principal Autonomy and School Support C.
 
Neighborhood Schools Conclusion 48  Appendix: The City Budget and Mayoral Discretion 50
 
3
 
I. INTRODUCTION
 The goal of preparing all students for college and careers represents the apex of a pyramid  with its
building blocks set firmly in a child’s first years and rising all the way through high school. It
requires not one strategy but a series of interlocking strategies to improve instruction in all of the
city’s schools.
 
Despite measurable improvements over the past 12 years, New York City’s public schools
are far from reaching this goal: Less than one-third of the Class of 2012 cohort graduated on time  with the credentials needed to attend the City University of New York without taking remedial courses.
1
  This paper is the third in a series commissioned by Philanthropy New York, an organization of 285 philanthropic foundations in New York City. It offers recommendations for the new mayoral administration that will take office in January 2014 with an eye toward substantially increasing the number of students who graduate prepared for college and careers.  The demands on public education have increased markedly in recent decades. Not long ago, graduation from high school was considered a momentous achievement
 —and those who didn’t
finish could usually still find jobs that would support a family. Now, the schools are expected not only to graduate nearly everyone, but also to prepare students for college and jobs that demand higher education credentials once achieved by only a few. This new focus on college readiness is a revolutionary change in expectations, as Leslie Siskin demonstrated in the first paper in this series. Moreover, the new Common Core State Standards
 — 
guidelines, adopted by 45 states, on what skills all students should have
 — 
are significantly more challenging than previous New York State standards.
2
  The New York City school system is divided by race and class, as Douglas Ready and  Thomas Hatch demonstrated in the second paper in this series. The authors describe a system in  which both whites and Asians tend to score far better than blacks and Hispanics on standardized
1
 New York City Department of Education graduation report, Class of 2012. The figure refers to the full Class of 2012 cohort which consists of all students who entered high school in September 2008.
2
 How much more difficult the new standards will be is a matter of some debate but educational historian Diane Ravitch
 wrote on her blog that the state’s 2013 fifth grade English Language Arts exam, designed to be aligned with the
Common Core standards, was similar in difficulty to that of the eighth grade reading test for NAEP. See http://dianeravitch.net/2013/05/03/ny-daily-news-reveals-top-secret-state-test/. Aaron Pallas, a Teachers College professor, said the fifth grade test was geared at mid-sixth grade level. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/controversial-state-reading-exam-revealed-article-1.1333768. 

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