The Governor's 2014-15 Budget “proposes all school districts currently in the Contracts for Excellence program remain in the program unless all of the school buildings in the school district are reported as “In Good Standing” for purposes of the State accountability system. School districts that remain will be required to maintain funding for Contracts for Excellence programs at the same level required for the 2013-14 school year.”
The program initiatives targeted by the C4E funds are finely attuned to the focal points of Chancellor Fariña’s vision for the DOE. Chancellor Fariña has set forth four pillars on which she has based her education principles and ones which she believes should be at the heart of the department’s goals. The pillars, which will be instrumental to achieving overall academic success for the students, are as follows:
Pillar 1: Bring dignity and respect to the craft of teaching and school leadership
Principals and teachers should be respected and commended for their daily work in the classroom. They should also receive greater administrative and professional support in the classroom to improve their leadership and teaching methods so that they can be more effective leaders and educators.
Pillar 2: Improve student achievement by aligning to Common Core strategies
In order for children to succeed and master the rigors of the Common Core, it is important that the education process begins at the earliest stage possible for a child and is strengthened throughout their years at middle school. Implementing universal pre-K and supplementing the existing middle school curriculum with technology and art classes are integral to setting the stage for success and ensuring that students are better prepared for higher levels of learning. Students will also succeed if there are greater levels of support through Guidance Counselors that will deter grade repetition or graduation.
Pillar 3: Engage parents in every aspect of school life
Parental involvement is key to a child’s academic success and if parents are given frequent updates concerning their child’s progress, encouraged to participate in school meetings, and are knowledgeable themselves about their children’s subject matter, they will be able to guide their children to success.
Pillar 4: Create new collaborative and innovative models
Schools cannot succeed on their own as an educational unit. It is important to involve the community and other stakeholders that would provide invaluable assistance to the school and the students.
C4E funding would play a crucial part in realizing most of these goals, specifically, in the areas of providing quality initiatives for principals and teachers to improve their professional development and most importantly, aiding in the implementation of full day pre-K programs which will be vital to future academic success. Also, targeting middle schools to facilitate academic and structural changes will ensure that students will be better prepared for the challenges in high school and result in better grades.
For a description of how discretionary dollars were allocated to schools,
please see the FY15 Contracts for Excellence School Allocation Memorandum (SAM)
Proposed Citywide Plan
Public Comment and Borough Meetings