New School News

Christine Quinn Talks Education Reform


“There’s nothing wrong with New York City schools that can’t be fixed by what’s right with New York City schools.”

It may be a twist on a line from Bill Clinton’s 1993 inaugural speech, but for New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, that doesn’t make it any less applicable. Quinn is serious about bettering the city’s schools, and she has a four-point plan to prove it, which she unveiled while speaking at “Stronger Schools for NYC,” an event presented by the Center for New York City Affairs (CNYCA) and Insideschools.org and held at The New School’s Wollman Hall. From graduation rates to parent involvement and professional development for teachers, Quinn is looking not only to increase the number of high school graduates, but also prepare graduates for college and beyond.  Quinn summed up her plans to improve the city’s education system with one initiative—take the area’s best practices, and apply them across the board.

Hosted by Milano The New School for International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy on Tuesday, January 15, “Stronger Schools for NYC” introduced four new guidelines for public education in the city.

  1. Better practices, better schools: use tactics from the city’s most successful principals, teachers, and best-performing schools, and incorporate them across all schools.
  2. Learning 24/7: extend special learning time while empowering parents in order to ensure that students continue to learn all throughout the day.
  3. Community Schools: provide resources and a strategic plan for schools to become a part of the greater community.
  4. Innovate to Educate: focus on the child as an individual by creating a literacy support system and decreasing efforts spent on test preparation in favor of more time for a holistic education.

Throughout the program, Quinn stressed the importance of good teachers in a student’s education, and suggested a mentoring program wherein newly-hired educators would learn from the city’s best. Envisioned as a one-year support system, this course would standardize professional development across all five boroughs.

Speaker Quinn’s speech was a part of a larger series featuring likely 2013 mayoral candidates, and was followed by a discussion with the founder of Insideschools.org and senior editor for CNYCA, Clara Hemphill. To watch the full presentation, visit our Livestream page.

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