August 27, 2014
While August 18th may have been my first official day at the Partnership, my work with the Partnership team and the school principals began last spring in conversations about how we can build on the rich history of urban Catholic schools, learn lessons from our charter school peers, and drive outstanding, life-changing outcomes for the students in our care.
Those early conversations set the stage for the decisions we made this summer, and for the work we will do in the months and years ahead. They gave me so many reasons to be excited about the opportunity we have and to be optimistic about what we can achieve. Here are my top three:
First, I've been humbled by the energy, enthusiasm, and commitment of the Partnership team. It's clear that the Partnership leadership and the school principals are dedicated to charting a new course for urban Catholic education. I'm proud to join them.
Second, I remain as optimistic about the promise of the Common Core as I was when I first reviewed the standards four years ago. I believe that ultimately Common Core will succeed or fail based not on what politicians say, but rather based on what teachers and school leaders do. That’s why I’m energized by the opportunity to implement the Common Core—combined with the power of our newly-selected math and literacy curricula and our rich history of values-driven, Catholic education—in our schools.
Finally, this is in many ways a homecoming for me. Immaculate Conception is my mother's alma mater; one of the schools and communities that helped lift her and her sisters out of poverty. And I am humbled to contribute to a community that has done so much for my own family.
In the broader picture, now more than ever in America, we need schools that work for kids who have a lot of things working against them. We need to create environments that are calm and loving but also set a high bar for both character and content. Then, we need to help our children rise to the challenge. I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with the principals and teachers at these six great Partnership schools in the collective endeavor to provide our students with the amazing education they deserve.
If you want to track our progress, simply follow us on Twitter at @Partnership_NYC. Thank you for this opportunity, and I look forward to working together!