Speech Highlights

Computer Science for All: Fundamentals for Our Future

Computer Science

Computer Science For All will deliver computer science education to every student in New York City public schools – from the 9-year-old learning to program Scratch in the Bronx to the 15-year-old building web applications in Brooklyn – over the next 10 years. This will make New York City the largest school district in the country to provide computer science education to all students, in all public schools.

Learn more about Computer Science for All.

Universal 2nd Grade Literacy


What is it? Every elementary school will receive support from a dedicated reading specialist, who will ensure all students are reading on grade level by the end of 2nd grade. Our English Language Learners and students with disabilities will receive additional supports to ensure they are on track with their peers.

Why does it matter? We know how high the stakes are by 3rd grade: Students who are not reading proficiently by the end of 3rd grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school than proficient readers. Students above grade level for reading in third grade, however, graduate and enroll in college at higher rates than students at or below grade level. We will start earlier to ensure our students are on track for success.

What happens next? Schools with students that need the most support will be will be prioritized with hiring beginning this spring, with approximately 700 reading specialists in place across all elementary schools by Fall 2018. Schools will also ensure every family knows what their child's reading level is, and has an understanding of how to partner with their child's school to support the development of critical reading skills.

We will release a detailed implementation plan this fall.

Algebra for All


What is it? Every student will complete Algebra no later than 9th grade, enabling them to reach more advanced math courses in high school which will better prepare them for college and careers. Today, nearly 60% of our middle schools offer some Algebra coursework. By Fall 2021, all students will have access to Algebra in 8th grade, and we will put academic supports in place earlier in middle school to build greater Algebra readiness by 8th grade.

Why does it matter? Students who successfully pass Algebra no later than 9th grade are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, and graduate from college. These students are more likely to take more math classes and receive higher grades in those upper-level math courses than their peers. Without successful completion of Algebra in 8th or 9th grade, students are unable to access advanced college-preparatory coursework, like Calculus, while in high school.

What happens next? We will release a full strategic plan this fall, detailing our plans for course development, professional learning, and field support for schools. Schools will begin to add new and expanded Algebra courses in the fall of 2016-17.

AP for All

AP Exam

What is it? Every high school student will have access to a range of Advanced Placement courses by 2022. This builds on the success of our AP Expansion program, which has brought new AP courses to 70+ schools since 2013. We will focus on growing the equity of AP course enrollment, and will provide necessary supports to make courses available to English Language Learners and students with disabilities.

Why does it matter? Studies show that students who take AP classes are more likely to graduate college on time and the gains are greatest for low-income students and students of color, who have long been underserved by AP courses. Simple exposure to the material can have a lasting impact; students who sit for an AP exam and do not pass it still graduate college at a higher rate than their peers who did not take AP exams at all.

What happens next? We will release a full strategic plan this fall, detailing our plans for course development, professional learning, and field support for schools. Schools will begin to add new and expanded AP courses in the fall of 2016-17

College Access for All


What is it? Every student will have the resources and individually tailored supports at their high school to pursue a path to college. This could include schools providing students with opportunities to visit a college campus, help completing applications, and guidance on how to fill out a financial aid application.

Additionally, every middle school student will have the opportunity to visit a college campus, enabling earlier exposure to college for all our students. School planning will begin this spring, and the first new college access programs will launch in Fall 2016.

Why does it matter? Multiple studies have found that the greatest predictor of whether a student goes on to college is whether students and teachers say their school creates a "college-going culture." Activities like exposing students to college through visits and meetings with admissions officers, educating families about what it will take to pay for college, and supporting completion of the SAT and other admissions requirements all improve the odds that a student will successfully enroll in college.

What happens next? We will release a full strategic plan this fall. School-level planning will begin in spring 2016, and new college access programs will launch in full in school year 2016-17.

Single Shepherd

Single Shepherd

What is it? Every student in grade 6-12 in Districts 7 and 23 will be paired with a dedicated counselor, who will support them through graduation and college enrollment. This initiative is targeted at two districts with among the lowest high school graduation and college attainment rates in the city, and with evidence of success, will grow to support more of our students and communities.

Why does it matter? Pairing students with dedicated adults beginning in 6th grade who will see them through high school graduation and into college will improve outcomes, especially for the most at-risk students. Students will be connected to a consistent source of academic, social, and emotional supports they need to succeed.

What happens next? Students in Districts 7 and 23 will be paired with their dedicated counselor beginning in the fall of 2016. Alongside the launch of this program, we will launch a detailed evaluation to track the impact and progress made in these two districts.

District-Charter Learning Partnerships


What is it? We will fund formal partnerships between district and charter schools. Schools will apply and be matched in pairs based on their individual strengths, and the opportunity to learn from each other. Initial pairings will include focus areas such as instruction for English Language Learners or math instruction, with a goal of 50 district and charter schools addressing a range of instructional topics by 2017.

Why does it matter? All schools improve when teachers and school leaders have an opportunity to learn from each other's best practices. This will be similar to the Learning Partners Program which pairs a host school with partner schools. Creating a formal partnership – with real resources to support schools in working together – will allow schools to help each other improve.

What happens next? We will launch a competitive grant application later this year for district and charter schools to apply to participate.