Ariel Sacks postulated about the coming reign of Chancellor Carmen Fariña and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio here:
My education policy wish for 2014 is that Farina and De Blasio deliver on their promise of a progressive agenda, greatly reducing the emphasis on testing and punishment and working to create conditions that bring the joy of learning (and teaching) back to NYC schools. It’s way past time, and it CAN be done, and I am so excited to be a teacher in this city right now. I hope that not only are we not disappointed, but that we can set a better example for urban public school districts around the country than we have over the last 12 years.
Of course, I agree, and yet we see people who, even after 12 years of trying, still think we need to “stick with it.” NYC demanded a change, and Bill de Blasio represented that change for us. We preferred someone who was beholden to the people on the lower rungs of society and not “everybody,” which is often a code word for “people with the most financial benefit.”
Thus, Fariña’s appointment as a former teacher, principal, and DOE leader speaks volumes symbolically about the direction he wants to take our education system. It’s important that our school system find a way to keep their heads up high because so many adults are trying their absolute best to educate the kids in front of them. Yet, the tenor in NYC is how teaching as a profession doesn’t have a value if teachers can’t be evaluated and dignified by the numbers they produce.
Progressivism was in order, and we need to see what comes of it in the next four years.