June 21, 2023

New Report Cards Show NYC Reads Is A Positive First Step, But Rapid Action Is Needed Before Upcoming School Year

Educators for Excellence’s end-of-year report cards highlight the urgent need for embedding professional development, assessments and data in the city’s new reading initiative this summer.

NEW YORK (June 21, 2023) – Following the release of the 6th annual Voices from the Classroom national teacher survey, and advocacy by educators that led to high quality reading instruction for New York City’s students, Educators for Excellence-New York (E4E-NY) published a series of report cards today that grade New York City’s programs and policies, notably related to the city’s new NYC Reads program. The report card shows that while NYC Reads is a positive first step, immediate work needs to be done this summer to ensure it is implemented successfully, before time runs out and the new school year approaches.

NYC Reads grades positively for providing educators with a vetted list of high-quality ELA materials, to all elementary schools in the city over the next two years. High quality and coherent instruction has been proven to improve student learning and educator working conditions

However, the report cards also demonstrate that teacher training and development needs to be a top priority for NYC Schools this summer, to ensure success. Many educators will be transitioning to materials that they have never taught, and even prior to the major policy shift, only 33 percent of New York City educators said they had received training to implement their curriculum effectively last school year.

“We know that New York City is committed to investing $35 million dollars in development and training, to ensure NYC Reads becomes the gold standard for other large cities to follow,” said Marielys Divanne, Executive Director of Educators for Excellence-New York. “It’s critical that the money is spent with care, but also a sense of urgency this summer, because the new school year will be here before we know it.”

The report cards also highlight the importance of embedding assessments in the instructional materials. As it currently stands, New York City does not require any curriculum-aligned assessments, nor does it use assessment data to inform strategic planning. Educators say embedding assessments in instruction is critical, in order to continuously improve NYC Reads and identify lessons learned from the rollout.

“These report cards confirm what we’ve been saying for years – we need assessments embedded in our curriculum, because too many of our assessments aren’t related to our instructional content,” said Simone Gordon, an elementary school teacher at K361. “The new rollout of NYC Reads is an opportunity to reset our instruction, and receive on-time data that informs our teaching and how additional supports are directed.”

In 2023, across the country, only 36% of teachers reported that they had the curricular materials needed for effective instruction, only 30% had received the training to effectively implement their materials, and only 29% received aligned formative assessments. 

“NYC Reads is a bold and progressive first step because it aims to address the nation-wide crisis in instructional coherence,” said Fran Gachett, a literacy coach at P009Q. “Now is the time to make sure it’s successful by working this summer to give educators the training they need, and aligned assessments that inform how we make improvements.”


About Voices from the Classroom Regional Report Cards

Voices from the Classroom is a national teacher survey conducted annually by Educators for Excellence to understand teachers’ beliefs and opinions about the current state of education in America. The 2023 survey asked 1,000 teachers from across the nation, plus an oversample of 300 teachers of color, their opinions on key classroom issues, including curricula, assessments, teacher workloads, teacher salaries, and more. 

This year, E4E created Report Cards for each of the organization’s six chapters that tie the survey results to the local landscape. These regional Report Cards provide in-depth insights into the policies and programs that states and cities have adopted, or are lacking, to support their local teachers, including: instructional materials and curricula, time and teaching, and more. 

About Educators for Excellence (E4E)

Founded by public school teachers, Educators for Excellence is a growing movement of more than 35,000 educators, united around a common set of values and principles for improving student learning and elevating the teaching profession. We work together to identify issues that impact our schools, create solutions to these challenges, and advocate for policies and programs that give all students access to a quality education. 

Currently Reading

New Report Cards Show NYC Reads Is A Positive First Step, But Rapid Action Is Needed Before Upcoming School Year