June 27, 2024

How E4E Educators Advocated for NYC Solves

After over a year of advocacy from E4E-NY educators, including 1,000 petition signatures, policy recommendations drafted from a cohort of E4E-NY educators, and an event held with Chancellor Banks, city leadership announced the launch of NYC Solves–directly responding to teachers’ continued calls for addressing the City’s persistent math crisis. The announcement means that starting this fall, eight districts will use vetted, high-quality instructional materials supported by intensive teacher coaching, benefiting thousands of New York City students.  

This historic investment in middle school mathematics curriculum and professional learning addresses the city’s previously broken and inconsistent approach to curriculum selection. Students were often negatively impacted by inconsistent instruction that varied in quality from school to school, and educators received uneven support and training to implement the curriculum they were using. The result was inequity: 34.3% of students who are Black and 35.7% who are Latino demonstrated proficiency on their math exams, compared to 70.2% of white students and 77.6% of Asian American students.

This new initiative is encouragingly grounded in research and success from other districts: student outcomes are significantly improved when high-quality instructional materials are combined with aligned professional learning and ongoing educator feedback. Yet, the work is far from over. 

While NYC solves is a positive step in the right direction, we need to get this change right by centering the voices of educators every step of the way. We need constant feedback to ensure city leadership constantly improves the curricular options and the professional learning educators receive.


At the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year, E4E-NY launched a petition calling for New York City leadership to build on the investments made in NYC Reads with similarly bold investments in math. E4E-New York’s Executive Director, Marielys Divanne, also co-wrote an op-ed in the New York Daily News urging city leadership to listen to educators on this critical issue. 

This marked the start of a critical conversation. NYC Reads was a necessary first step, but educators also called on city leadership to make similarly bold investments in mathematics.


In the spring, a teacher action team came together to create and publicly release policy recommendations advocating for substantial investments in math education–similar to those made for literacy. In a CBS-New York story, the Chancellor went on the record and responded to the recommendations put forth by the cohort of educators led by E4E.


Following a year of advocacy and top-tier media coverage, Chancellor Banks took notice and agreed to meet with educators in early June. E4E hosted “In Conversation With Chancellor Banks,” opening up a platform for educators to speak directly with the Chancellor about the ongoing development of NYC Reads, and to share a vision and hope for the expansion of support in high-quality mathematics curricula and aligned professional learning.

During the event, Chancellor Banks outlined his vision for the future of NYC Schools, followed by a panel discussion of New York City educators that included Simone Gordon, Teresa Ranieri, Lisa Watson, and Linneh Quinn. First Deputy Chancellor, Dan Weisberg, and Deputy Chancellor of School Leadership, Dr. Danika Rux, also participated in the conversation. They addressed lessons learned from NYC Reads, plans for supporting educators and students, developing teacher content knowledge, scaling math programs for equitable access, and incorporating culturally responsive curricula.

When educators asked about the role of feedback in curriculum shifts, officials shared that they’re now pushing publishers and professional learning providers to incorporate feedback from educators to determine if contracts are renewed.

The Chancellor also acknowledged that something on math needed to happen, and more could come in the future.


Only two weeks after the event with Chancellor Banks, city leadership took decisive action in response, and acted more quickly than anticipated. The announcement of NYC Solves was included as part of a broader announcement from Mayor Eric Adams on exciting new developments for NYC Schools, and E4E-NY educators received universal recognition for their role in pushing for the change students will see with the implementation of NYC Solves.

  • E4E-NY’s petition for high-quality math instruction is highlighted by the Gothamist
  • E4E-NY’s event with the Chancellor and petition are highlighted by Chalkbeat
  • E4E-NY’s petition for high-quality math instruction is highlighted by CBS New York
  • E4E-NY is quoted in Politico’s coverage of the NYC Solves announcement


It’s encouraging that the Chancellor listened to educators and took action with NYC Solves. But this is just the start of this critical work! 

As educators, we will continue to be loud and clear in spreading this message in the next school year: we need more than just an announcement, we need city leadership to get this change right with high-quality professional learning, enhanced educator feedback mechanisms, and ongoing improvements to curricular materials.Want to stay up to date and see the latest ways you can get involved in moving this work forward? Sign our declaration, sign our petitions, and get involved in a teacher action team. We must work together to ensure that we get curricular shifts in New York City right, with the voices of our city’s educators front and center!