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  • Press Statement
  • Statement in Response to NYC Literacy Instruction Announcement

    Kim Sweet, Executive Director of Advocates for Children of New York, issued the following statement in response to the Chancellor’s announced changes to literacy instruction in New York City Public Schools.

    May 9, 2023

    Alphabet poster above the chalkboard in a classroom. (Photo by RDNE Stock project via Pexels)
    Photo by RDNE Stock project via Pexels

    Parents count on schools to teach their children how to read, but New York City’s approach to literacy instruction and curriculum selection hasn’t been working for students or for educators. While no elementary English Language Arts curriculum is perfect—and any curriculum is only as good as its implementation—the City has a responsibility to ensure that schools are using research-based programs, that the curriculum reflects the rich diversity of the student population, and that teachers have the materials and training they need to be successful in the classroom. Establishing consistency within schools and within districts won’t solve all the problems, but it is an important step in the right direction. The choice of reading curriculum is a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to strengthening core instruction and scaling change system wide. The plans announced today will help ensure schools abandon ineffective practices, enable districts to provide more robust support to schools and teachers around implementation, and help move us towards a system in which every child gets the quality instruction they need to become a strong reader.

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