New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Education (DOE) Chancellor David C. Banks have launched “New York City Reads.”
A campaign that focuses on literacy and reading instruction as the core focus and overriding priority of New York City’s public schools. This multi-pronged, long-range campaign aims to renew the commitment of public schools to the primary responsibility of ensuring the city’s students become confident readers and are able to learn basic algebra. The city currently has more than half of its public school students reading below grade level, and Mayor Adams and Chancellor Banks have declared that now is the time for the city and nation to act.
The “New York City Reads” campaign, which is a historic curriculum shift in the largest school district in the nation, will bring proven science-of-reading and phonics-based methods to all of the city’s public school students, starting with early childhood programs and elementary schools. With a focus on classroom instruction, the campaign will utilize proven, research-based curricula that is supported by intensive coaching and professional learning for educators. The initiative will streamline and enhance curricular resources in early childhood and elementary classrooms, as well as in high school algebra courses.
The program will also provide approximately $35 million next year for training and coaching to help teachers and leaders effectively implement the classroom materials and address their students’ needs. In a change from past efforts, every educator responsible for teaching the curricula will receive intensive, high-quality training prior to the start of the year, so they will be well-prepared for the start of the school year, and they will receive continuing coaching two to three times a month during the course of the school year.
Starting in the 2023-2024 school year, all New York City public school early childhood programs will adopt and implement “The Creative Curriculum,” a nationally used, research-based program. Alongside this curriculum, early childhood programs will use “Teaching Strategies GOLD,” an authentic child assessment system, and “Ages & Stages,” a developmental screener to inform the planning of rich learning experiences tailored to each child’s strengths, interests, and needs.
Phase one of the plan will begin next school year with superintendents in 15 community school districts selecting a single research-backed curriculum for use in all elementary school English Language Arts (ELA) classrooms. Educators will receive intensive training from a curriculum-aligned professional development partner organization this spring to prepare for full implementation in the fall. In phase two, the remaining 17 districts will purchase new curriculum materials in the fall of 2023 and spend the year preparing for full implementation in the 2024-2025 school year.
In addition, beginning in the 2023-2024 school year, 178 high schools across seven superintendents’ districts will implement a consistent, research-based Algebra 1 curriculum. Mastery of Algebra early is critical for students to reach calculus by 12th grade and is linked to increased chances of earning a bachelor’s degree, particularly for low-income students. Algebra is often considered the “gatekeeper” to higher-level math and science courses that can lead to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers.
The city also recognizes that more core subject areas will benefit from consistent, research-based materials, and DOE will assess and work with stakeholders to identify additional subject areas and grade bands for expansion in the coming years. The “New York City Reads” campaign puts students with disabilities and multilingual learners at the center, recognizing that they were the most impacted by instructional loss during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is our collective responsibility to ensure every child has the tools, resources, and support needed to unlock their full potential and open every door of opportunity.
Photo credit: Source.
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