New York City education officials plan to take a stronger hand in what curriculums educators can use in their classrooms, a move that could represent a major shift in how the nation’s largest school system approaches teaching and learning, Chalkbeat has learned.
The education department recently began laying the groundwork for superintendents to choose from three reading programs to use across their districts. It is also launching a standardized algebra program in many high schools. The plans have not been announced publicly, but were confirmed by four education department employees familiar with the city’s literacy efforts and multiple school leaders.
Principals historically have enjoyed enormous leeway to select curriculums. Proponents argue this allows schools to stay nimble and select materials appropriate to their specific student populations. But some experts, and even the city’s own schools chancellors, have argued that the approach can lead to a tangle of instructional practices that can vary widely in quality from classroom to classroom.
“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”
The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”
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“An emphasis on adult employment”
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