May 1, 2021

Kathleen Cashin: Invest education windfall in smaller classes

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Kathleen Cashin is a former school superintendent who now serves on the New York Board of Regents. In this op-ed from the New York Daily News, she offers a proposal for how the Biden relief funds for education can best be spent.

Most disciplinary problems vanished overnight, even among students who were most prone to act up. Teachers were now keeping their doors open, and welcoming administrators and other teachers to visit, because their classes were running smoothly, and it was evident how much learning was going on. They were no longer fearful that someone would notice chaotic classrooms and blame it on them. They began to enthusiastically collaborate with each other, and this collaboration helped to further sharpen their skills and fostered a strong sense of professionalism.

In 2003, I was appointed Superintendent of Region Five, encompassing Districts 19 and 23 in Brooklyn and District 27 in Queens, including some of the poorest neighborhoods in the city. Aided by a state program that helped fund class size reduction, I lowered class sizes in as many schools as I could. Over the next three years, our elementary and middle schools achieved the greatest test score gains of any region in the city.

It was a revelation. And now for the first time, NYC has the opportunity to transform all our schools and classrooms in a similar fashion.

Read the full op-ed here.

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