tv Eva Moskowitz The Education of Eva CSPAN October 28, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm EDT
woods' recount of the friendship between john adams and thomas jefferson. also great politics and prose book store to hear anne nelson tell the for our a member of the french resistance gave her life to save hundreds of jewish children from being sent to auschwitz. then on thursday, at the hoover institution in washington, dc, lee edwards recall this career in the conserve movement. on saturday and sunday, watch our live coverage of the texas book festival in austin. also on sunday, best selling author michael lewis will discuss his many books, and take your calls, live, on "in depth" end. many of these vaccines are open to the public. look for them to air in the near future on booktv, on c-span2. [inaudible discussion]
>> good evening and welcome to the new york historical society. i'm the president and ceo and this evening i have the great pleasure of interviewing eva moskowitz who i ceo of the largest charter school network in new york, the success academy. tonight's program is a part of our bernard and irene schwartz distinguished speaks series and as always i'd like to think mr. swartz for his great generosity and leadership which has enables to us bring so many prominent speakers to the stage. i'd also just like to mention that our chairman emeritus,
roger hertzog hoped to be here but his travel schedule conflicts with the programming. susan hertzog, who has as advised us is here and thank fer for all she has down on behalf of new york historical. [applause] >> so, tonight's program will last an hour and it will include a question and answer session. questions will be written on note cards. you should have received a note card as you entered the auditorium this evening. if you did not, my colleagues are still going up and down the aisles so you can get a note card from them. the note cards with your questions will be checked later on in the program. there will be a book signing this evening. it will take place right outside the main doors to the
auditorium. in our something i gallery, and copies -- the smith gallery and the copy offered the book will very available for purchase in our ny history store. now then, before i begin my interview, just a few brief introductory notes. on august 21, 2006, veep moskowitz opened a school called success academy harlem one. it served 165 scholars. that's what she calls he students. in kindergarten and first grade. and it started a revolution in public education. 11 years later, the success academy network, which that school belongs to, encompasses 46 schools serving over 14,000 scholars, from kindergarten to high school. now, eva would say being large is important, but it's no cause
for celebration. being large and also excellent is worth celebrating. accomplish so she is celebrating. because her schools rank first in smooth in english among all the public schools in new york. ahead of the schools in scars dale, great neck, and in chappaqua and the rest. and i should add that the average family income of students in success academy schools is $32,000, in scars dale it's $300,000. eva is a graduate of stoddard high school in new york city and has a ba from the universal of pennsylvania and a ph.d from johns hopkins in american history. she is mother of three children and is a longtime harlem resident. eva's new book, the education of eva moskowitz, a memoir, will be the focus of my questions
tonight but full disclosure, visit one of her schools recently, a week before last, so i may occasionally stretch my boundaries a little bit. eva's book has a lot to teach about the complexities of running a school. she notes, and aquote, doing this work feels like you're houdini at the bottom of the ocean in a lead box with you've feet tied together and your hands in cuffs. you have to figure it out. so, let's now find out how eva figure ited out. so we have to get some semantics over with. what is a charter school and how does it differ from traditional public schools? >> sure. a charter school is a public school that is free from the bureaucracy on one hand and the labor contracts on the other
hand, and it allows you to make decisions based on teaching and learning. it is not unregulated. i like to say the district schools are subject to about 20 volumes of regulation, and the charter schools are subject to about ten. if that gives you some barometer so they're regulated with regard to health and safety but on the issues of teaching and learning, you have an awful lot of freedom to innovate. >> okay. so, let's just go back in time a little bit and talk about how you embarked, decided to embark on a political career, and maybe i'll ask that question first, and then we can move on to how you became the chair of the education committee in the city council and eventually end up at the point at which you decided that charter schools were the
future and where you previously thought that public, traditional public schools were. >> was a historian and it's great to be in this great new york institution. when okay came in various people asked me if i have been here before. of course, i've been here, i've brought my children her and i remember the old new york historical society and it is really a terrific institution so it's great to be here. i very much enjoyed studying history. enjoyed teaching at the college level. published rather than perish but even though i enjoyed the life of the mind, i really thought that public education in k-12 education was really the key to
opportunity, and it was -- it nagged me that i thought, and call me chauvinistic in this regard -- that new york city was the greatest city on earth and its nagged me that the public k through 12 education was not the model of the world, and i wanted to do something about that problem. i used to say to my husband, two is here tonight, that when there was an a section of "the new york times --" you look like an audience who remembers an a section and a b section -- when there was a b section i used to say that the problemmed in a section were really, really hard to solve. the problems in the b section seemed solvable to me. i think i now actually have a
little different view that the b section problem are the politics, makes it very, very hard, but i really thought that k to 12 education was in need of very significant reform and i knew that from being a student in the new york city school system, and from reading the b section, where every day there was a story about kids not getting the education that they deserve and are entitled to, and so i decided to run for offers. a little bit of a crazy idea at the time. and i lost my first election in 1997, although it was the closest race in the city of new york that year, and then in 1999, i won, and i benefited from some good timing itch got involved in a speaker's race and then i became chair of the education committee, and it was an incredible honor to be the
chair of the educational committee. i didn't realize it was previously such a sleepy institution. i remember joel cline asking me where did i learn to run a hearing? and i said, well issue grew up on the watergate hearings and i watched the eye ran contraearrings and i thought that's how you were supposed to run a hearing so that's the way i ran the education committee hearings. >> yeah. so, i would say you were a mix of -- i don't know -- fire brand, lightning rod and voice of reason, as that committee tried to work through some of the issues in public education. so maybe just talk about how you came to see the education committee as a place that would reveal all sorts of thing going in school, including contracts, which you talk about in the
book. >> i was maybe one of the few city council members that read the charter, section 29 gaves the committees oversight powers. we actually have the power of subpoena that had not been used or known about, much to joel's chagrin issue think, a little bit. but i started off -- my first hearing was actually on mayoral control, and i thought that was a really, really important public policy issue, and now we're kind of used it to, but at the time it was fairly controversial that education was going to be like the administration for children's services or the environmental protection or consumer department. so i held hearings on mayoral control and then i went through every conceivable topic. went through all the subject matters, i held literacy hearings, math hearings, science
hearings, hearings on art and music and dance, and i tried to effectuate change in all those areas, and it started to become clear to me that this was really hard. the department of education couldn't tell you how many art teachers there were. i thought that was sort of a pretty basic question. do don't you have to pay the art teach center can you work backwards from the payroll? science education, i was told that you can't do science education before you teach kids to read. i thought that's strange. have kids of my own and they're constantly asking scientific questions. why couldn't you teach science from the get-go? and i got more and more narrow. one of my last hearings was on toilet paper i and know that sound kind of ridiculous and i have to say i'm the leading expert still to this day on
toilet paper in the new york city school system, and i spent a month trying to understand how, at the time 15 billion decide operating bug -- now by the way 31 billion -- but at the time it was $15 billion, how come there was no toilet paper in the new york city school system? and did the new york city school system purchase toilet person and what happened at the schools and what i discovered was at affluent district cools, parents purchased the toilet paper and at poor schooled kid went without ask that seemed just terrible and irresponsible and unacceptable. so i kept having hearings on topics and i have to say, even though i worked incredibly hard as a public servant, it was really hard, even with the power
of subpoena, to move this bureaucracy and it's not that there weren't really good people there, talented people who were trying on behalf of kidded, but there was this finger-pointing, there was a sort of constantly trying to cover your tracks, there were a lot of excuses, and the end user, kids in families, didn't get what they needed and deserved, and even then i thought, well, there's got to be a way to fix this. it wasn't until much later that i got very pessimistic about the chance to fundamentally fix this broken system. >> you talk in the book at some charter school pioneers who you knew about, knew about their work. when were you already thinking about charter schools when you
chaired the education committee? >> i came out for charter schools in 1997, in a pamphlet. a really cheap xerox pamphlet when i was running, and the teacher's union cam raining down upon me and that was an indication that things were challenging. but i was supportive of charters, and remember, in 1999, the law had just passed, because the law passed in new york state in 1998. so it was sort of a very new thing at the time. but it seemed to me to make sense to give parents choices. i really thought that i wanted choices for my own kids. why should only the affluent get choices for their kids?
and charter schools were public schools, after all so why wouldn't we give choices to poor parents who couldn't necessarily move to westchester or couldn't move to new jersey or couldn't send their kids even too parochial schools. why not give a poorer family that same choice, and charter schools seemed to do that. so i came out in favor of them in 1999, and then i supported them when i was on the city council, but i had utterly no thoughts of opening my own schools. i was going to help and support the work that other people were doing. >> you bring up the point that you wanted -- you thought that all parents should have choices and all children should have the opportunity to go to a better school if one were available.
and there are lot of misconceptions about how students at that time actually chosen, actually selected for charter schools. so many -- maybe this is a good place to talk about how your scholars are schrecked, what involvement the parents have in their selection, what that whole process looks like. >> sure. so, charter schools admit by random lottery. there's a slight preference for those who live in the district that the charter is in, but it's a random lottery selection. so, we get students who have learning disabilities, we get english language laureners, homeless students, a white range of students. the this year we had 17,000 parents apply for their children, and unfortunately only had 3,000 spots.
so we sent 14,000 parents, really, 28,000 parents, away and those parents of course loved their children just as much as the parents of the 3,000 that got in. so we find this just a remarkably painful experience, which is in part why we keep opening schools as fast as we can, to satisfy this need. i think there's a way in which you can forget, if you're not thinking about daily, the profound inequality that we offer in this city. we really have deeply, deeply segregated schools, where if you live in one neighborhood, you are sent by government to go to a school that not -- that wasn't just failing this year or last year but in all likelihood has been failing for half a century,
and if you can afford to rent or buy an apartment in another neighborhood, you can send your kid to a school where 90% of the kid or more are reading on grade level. it's that profound inequity in opportunity that drives the work that i do and that success academy does day in and day out. >> so, just to rehash this a bit, there's no particular testing that an applicants for charter schools -- >> it's illegal to select. there is no admission other than random lottery. >> in terms of parents, there's no opportunity for parents to pull the usual strings that parents will try to pull? >> nope. just totally -- total lottery with the exception of a slight preference for children who live
in that district. >> correct. okay, so, now on the students are in, the students who have been selected, who won the lottery and are in the school, maybe you can talk -- i had the great opportunity to visit i guess harlem -- the first school. >> flagship. >> and tremendous him pressed. it's a very beautiful, clean, very orderly, the students are very well-behaved. totally alert in the classrooms. and maybe you can talk about how your approach to student learning has been, and let's talk also about standardized tests because you seem to believe in them and there's a lot of debate and discussion these days about teaching to the test in so on and soing for. maybe you can just sort of take us through the evolution of
medaling through testing. >> sure. i was one of the first charter leaders in charter founders who had three kid of my own when i opened the first school. many charter leaders were not in that situation, and i had a sense of what i wanted for my own kids. i wanted them to go to a school that was warm and joyous, that believed in play, but also had rigorous academic expectations for kids. i'm a tremendous believer in science, five days a week, discovery oriented science, so all of our kids do experiments in kindergarten our kid decide 135 experiments by the end of the year. i remember when i started, i was looking at science curriculum and i said i want to do momentum
in kindergarten and science sales people said we don't have that. and we teach momentum in kindergarten, aerodynamics in first great, any scientific topic can be sort of simplified and brought down to its most elemental aspects and so we do that. we're a school that really believes in games. i think games have been underestimated in american education. my kids play a tremendous number of games. i should confess i don't. i watch and facilitate. but we -- for 90 minutes, which by the way the kids complain about all the time because it's hard to finish monopoly in 90 minutes. it's more like four hours. and we have tried saving the games and wrapping them up in ziploc bags bags and very compld win you have 150 second graders
but we play kindergarten we do backgammon, in first grade, my favor his is monopoly, and then settles of katan in third and fourth. up all of the kids take chess and we think the kind of thinking and social and emotional development that occurs over games is as important as the academic learning that can go on. and so while we get these outstanding results, you could come to the conclusion that somehow you're not going to see blocks in kindergarten. we have a block room. we're big on legos, our ped goingy is very progressive and some times people confuse the unofficial with the progressive -- we don't thing thoser contradictory.
we think you can have a uniform and engage in progressive pid oui goh gy. we create magical house offices learning. the elements go k to 4, middle schools 5 to 8 and the high school is 9 to 12 and runs through the k-12 curriculum. we talk about our model being develop around joyful rigor and that for us the fundamental purpose of school is to teach kids to think critically and creatively, and that is the organization of the school design. >> i want to come back to standardized testing and just some of your thoughts on that more generally. you mentioned uniform and the children wear uniform.
maybe you can talk about why the wear uniforms. >> well, there are a few reasons. at first we think it's easier for parents. if you have argued with your kid about what color tights she is going to wear this morning and the color she is wants is in the laundry, you too might wish you dent have to have that discussion. from a schooling perspective it's cheaper because you don't have to buy all these different clothes. from a schooling perspective, we really find that it decreases kind of competition over who has the nicest clothes and it really allows everyone to focus on the learning. the development of moral character and the social and emotional growth, and we want to deemphasize the importance of clothes. >> the students are focusing on learning. the learning is a joyful kind of learning. most people don't associate test
taking with joy. so, the test taking is very important and those skills are well-honed at your schools. i assume. or you wouldn't have such great results. so, maybe you can talk first about -- maybe just answer the question of why people are so distraught over the number of tests that students tend to take these days, and there's been, i would say, over the last decade, more than a decade, that crescendo in the number of assessments students have. certainly in new york state, more generally but probably in new york city, even more so. >> well, i think there's a lot of anxiety around testing and the role of testing. i think there is a sense that filling out bubbles endlessly is
not productive, and i would agree and filling out bubble is no productive but i think just bus a test is multiple choice does not mean it's a nonthinking test. you can have high quality multiple choice tests and you can have really poor multiple choice tests. you can have poor short response tests or have thoughtful and really interesting and engaging problems. i think the problem is not really with the format of the test. it's the quality of the question that kids are asked to ponder, and i actually think the new york state tests are relatively good tests. i think they're better in english language, arts than the mathematics if think the mathematics test is frankly not sufficiently rick. that's the problem. i'm oonly burn in new york state
who beliefs the math tests are not hard enough. but i really think they're not and i think a lot of the testing anxiety is misplaced. we don't do -- don't get these outstanding results through test craft. we get these outstanding results bus our kids are reading a poem a day, because our kids are learning how to write, learning mag mat cal reasoning. you can ace these common core aligned tests unless your instruction every hour of every day is strong. you also can't get these outstanding results -- and as was mentioned where the seventh largest school district in size in the state of new york, and we're number one in terms of student achievement. we took most of the top 25 spots in math in the whole state of
new york. we've outperformed the gifted and talented programs which are highly selective, even though wear random lottery school. you can't get those results if you are not teaching kids well all along, and you also can't get those results if kids have a negative experience with testing. our kids don't. our kids are excited to -- in their minds the test is a day where they can show how smart and creative and how much grit they have, and so our kids approach the tests in this very enthusiastic, self-confident way. they really don't understand all the that grownups are so worried off of self-esteem and the frack fragility of children. we have a pep rally, go to radio
city hall and treat it like at athletic sporting event where kids are doing cheers. they are ready to take those tests. ... >> how you navigate those very carefully and so confidently. our kids are prepared for the world that they are going to inherit. so just here we are very glad to see that new york state is a very small number of states that still requires passing an exam for american history to graduate
from high school. new york is virtually alone in the crowds. it is a test that at least require student to have mastered american history, but also know how to think critically and to rights. our history curriculum as a professional and historian, we do project -based learning k through for which is very exploratory. it generates incredible enthusiasm and by middle school we are organized by discipline. in fifth grade we do world history, and six grade we do the first half of american history, and seventh we go through world war ii, and eighth grade which i love we do a post 1945 american history course. most teachers never get past world war ii, so the kids are
always wondering what happened after world war ii. we do a post 1945 course and in high school we do two years of world history and two years of american. we do a tremendous reading of primary documents starting in second grade their reading primary documents. it's a very rich and robust curriculum. we think our kids love history as a result. we work with you here, but we hope they will become permanent consumers of this great institution. there will be enthusiastic about the discipline. >> we look forward to welcoming them to our current expedition on the vietnam war which takes us up to 1975.
another topic you raise and discuss in your book is your admiration for mayor koch. you underpin that by talking about your respect for quality-of-life issues that he grappled with. when he became mayor in new york it was at a point when there is graffiti all over and loud music on boomboxes wherever you went. maybe you can tell us about the relevance of that to how you've developed your schools. >> i grew up in new york in the 1970s during the height of white flight it was pretty bad it was dangerous not only was at the height of the heroin
epidemic where it social problems and social ills but there is more basic they got annoyed a meme of stepping on doctor but it was everywhere, you had to don't step on a crack a could break your back. it was very challenging is hard to navigate the sidewalk as a six-year-old try not to step on something. it was incredible controversial it was for and against in the scene like a commonsensical law that you clean up after your d dog. it did seem to make new york more livable and better. when i was a councilmember i
took my constituent services very seriously. every issue that constituents brought forth i do not understand your just post to send a letter saying i would look into it, i thought i was supposed to solve every problem. i learned a lot about the cities lack of responsiveness. in my early days i remember an elderly woman said there is a pothole she had fallen into and hurt herself and she sent me a picture of it. i wrote to the department of transportation and they told me it was fixed. i wrote them a thank you letter saying that so great. thank you for fixing it. i happen to be walking by and i
thought that's where the woman said there is a pothole and there was. it had not been fixed. there is no way. i took a picture of it and i learned my skeptical new yorker that when they say it's fixed it's probably not fixed. you have to check on everything. so i ran around my district trying to fix quality-of-life issues. honking, the newspaper boxes there was a lot of issues and i took government service very seriously and i tried to fix whatever i could. i think with bloomberg you got the 311 which i thought was great. were any citizen can call in a problem. i do think is sweating the small stuff is important and we do take that approach at the schools. when the light goes out for the
air-conditioners broken you can have the attitude that that must be the waiters, but if everybody acts as the eyes and ears you can maintain the facility and it can be more comfortable for everyone. we take that attitude at the school. >> i could see that. i would have to say the school was absolutely spotless. as i went through i assumed the shared space between your school and one of the district school, whatever it was, that was not. it's a school that echoe occupio wings of another school so maybe this is a time when you can talk about co- location and what that means there was struggles you have. >> if you watc walk through the
academy and walk through the district school one conclusion you could draws that the charter school must have more money because it looks nicer. you would be wrong. the per-pupil the district gets is thousands of dollars more than what the public charter school gets. the reason ours looks nicer is they have to go through an incredible bureaucracy to fix anything, ordering thing, plan a picnic employees start out talented and well-meaning but things get them down in a nobody fixes anything. he gets run down over time. with the opposite. anything we see is broken we go out and were kinda scrappy and we go to cosco to buyer supplies instead of going through the procurement system of the new york city department of education.
it doesn't take 18 months to get a bulletin board. if you're operating in that way it will be hard to keep the facility the way you want it. : location is a policy that is associated with charter schools even though the vast majority of co- location in new york city where there's multiple schools located in one facility, most of those are district. you probably only heard of it with regard to charter schools because those are circle controversial. there controversy because union have made them controversial. they don't like charter schools and they don't like the idea public charter schools getting underutilized space. i was the author of that policy. i was the first person to promote using underutilized
space. there are many districts in new york that are overcrowded but there are some that are underutilized. literally the utilization rate is somewhere between 70 and 40%. so the seats that the taxpayers have paid for our antique. i proposed and initially bloomberg did not take me up on it but i proposed why not allow the underutilized seats, why not let charter schools use them because we think it facility funding. let them open up and underutilized district buildings and that is now the policy of new york city of our 46 schools.
almost all are located in district schools. what that means is we can open schools much faster. if you had to build a building and raise the money and take the time to build that building it would also take tremendous expertise, where schooling and programming is hard enough, right now you can be a charter school. if you can find a building half-empty and underutilized you can open up in that space and begin to serve children and tackle the inequality i was speaking about earlier really quickly. and sometimes are co- located with seven or eight schools. my most dense co- locations there nine schools in the building. we have to schedule the cafeteria and auditorium. it's complicated but real estate is precious in new york. if you want to educate kids who need a building to do so.
>> let's talk about teachers. you had 165 students, scholars in 2006. in 2017 you have over 14000. where do you get the teachers to teach the scholars so what kind of training to the teachers have? >> funding the teachers, then operational staff and principles is one of the biggest challenges. it is very important that we have the most talented educators in front of our kids. we look under every rock. we have a national recruitment effort and we recruit all over the country. and certainly heavily in the tri-state area. we do a tremendous amount of
teacher training and leader training. this is from the founding of success academy. we do 13 weeks of teacher training every year for new and returning teachers. imagine your science teacher and you come to work in the district school. you might do science two days a week starting in fourth grade. we do science five days a week starting in kindergarten. you may have to learn how do you manage 32 kids doing momentum with balls and ramps. that's a little scary. kindergarten teacher. i may have labs and notebooks that need to be managed.
it's a lot to manage and we have to teach her teachers how do you do physics in kindergarten with 32 kids in the class. there is robust training for teachers and leaders. we have a standard curriculum sought every elementary school in second grade they are doing a unit on the brooklyn bridge. that's our project -based learning unit. so we can train all of our second grade teachers together and our assistant principal on how to manage that unit. because shore principals and teachers that is high quality student work look like for this part of the brooklyn bridge unit? having a standardize curriculum and design allows you to train people and invest in training that would be difficult if every
second grade teacher were doing her own thing. if every elementary school had a different design. >> you been in the news as a spokesperson for charter schools. and now they have the ability to do their own teacher certification. so sandra been reading about this today and its resolution" many times over. what that actually mean for your schools and charter schools were generally? >> there's a teacher shortage that only in the state of new york, but nationally, fewer teach people are going into teaching, particularly in stem in special education. there is a teacher shortage of crawl.
overall. there is a training to train teachers phenomenally well and it is something that has happened on as well it as it needs to. see math teachers not trained on conceptual math and english teachers have not mastered that art. so very recently, october 11, a set of regulations was voted on that allows high-performing charters to train officially their own teachers and this will contribute, incredibly chart ability to do this work. often the teachers who are best
trained and up in the most affluent neighborhood. and the teachers were poorly trained go into the least affluent areas. we are teaching our kids physics in ninth grade and world history, they do 65000 years of human history in two years using primary documents. you need highly qualified personnel to do that. this will allow us to train our own teachers. it's a huge victory for poor kids in new york state. >> there's some great questions here. i like to get too many of them. the first one, our daughter began her first year teaching in a charter high school in new orleans. if you could give her one piece of advice for her first year, what would you tell her?
>> i will try to limit myself to one. first year teacher, it can be unbelievably stressful and difficult. you have to remember everyday why you wanted to teach in the first place. presumably it is love of kids and it should be, love of ideas. there are many important techniques to becoming a great teacher. at the end of the day if you love your contents and you love your kids, you can be a phenomenal teacher. >> so you should feel the joy of teaching is your scholars feel the joy of learning. one thing that impressed me was how much effort is put into sharing best practices and how much support comes out of that for the teachers.
what about this question of the regular public schools. are you sharing your findings with them, your techniques and gains and materials? your empirical research? what kind of sharing to do outside of your own networks? >> a tremendous amount. but something called the ed institute. k - for curriculum online for any one anywhere the world to use. there are publishing companies who make hundreds of millions of dollars on their intellectual property. we put it out there for all kids and all educators to use. it's our intention over time to put all of our curriculum out there for any educator to use.
in addition, a month ago for the first physical manifestation of our and institute which is a school for schoolers, as we affectionately call it. we have a k - 8 lab school and to training center. we have been training educators in new york city and around the country for most of our existence. this will allow us to take it to an entirely new level where we can train superintendents and principals in our training and then they can go from the last school seem first grade teaching and action and then they can go to the training center and look at scholars work and look at videos and really understand how
to teacher and leader practice. >> you have been in higher education and now you are focused on k-12. this question asked how you feel about higher education in the u.s. and if you think it should be something all young americans do, for your degrees? to think there should be more emphasis on vocation schools or apprenticeships? >> i come from the world of higher education. i have a slightly different perspective having spent this time in k-12 and i played the college admissions game as a mother and i'm now playing it --
we have aspirations to try to get to hundred schools in which case we'd be educating 50000 kids here and graduating 3000 seniors from high school every year. what has most stress me is the funding available for poor kids. there's very few places that fully fund kids. they were going to this incredible effort and trouble to make sure kids are college ready. the number of places that fully fund kids is a very small number of the most highly selective schools. all of the schools combine cannot take all of our kids. we have got to find a way to democratize higher education as well.
we are doing higher education on the training side through the ed institute. that's a problem that consumes a lot of my time and energy. how will we make sure kids have access to resources so they can afford to go to college now that we think we have a path forward to get them ready. >> is there a whole school system anywhere in the country that you admire? that you think is particularly exemplary and why, and the questions are there other countries from the world that have a way of instructing young people that you admire? >> i haven't spent as much time as i would like to seen the
schools internationally. i spent four days in china visiting schools and i was not by any means impressed by the teaching there. i was impressed by the level of hard work when parents in the u.s. talk about how heavy the backpack is i want to roll my eyes a little bit. these kids are working hours upon hours and there is no whining about hard work in china. the kids expect to have to work really hard. in the teaching and learning was not about critical thinking in any way shape or form. i haven't had enough time to
travel to see internationally. i know the international data fairly well. our best kids are not competitive with many places around the world. i think this is a pretty serious crisis that this country is facing in terms of the quality of the education k-12 that we are offering kids. in terms of the rest, has really been to many schools around the country and district education suffers from many of the same problems. new york is better than many urban areas, as bad as it is. you still have some pockets of learning going on. it's pretty grim, meaning in new
york city i would say 90% of the schools do not work at the most basic levels. we are spending $31 billion a year, 91% of our schools are not teaching kids to reading count. the 10% are, are mainly in affluent neighborhoods. that's the educational segregation i was talking about earlier which is a profound problem that we have to morally grapple with. none of us wants a permanent underclass. will have one if we can't turn schools into centers of opportunity. right now too many are the upset of that. >> in the book you talk about encounters with parents. some highly positive and some
not so positive. what this questions asked, can you can parents be doing to instill in their children a love of learning? >> most important thing we can do as a parent is read to one's children. if you cannot read because of literacy or language, there are audiobooks. bonding with your children over books is the most important. as a school we think the most important thing we do no matter the age level is instill a love of reading. we go tell enormous links to have classroom libraries. no matter what the child interests, we have books that match that interest. we make a huge deliberate shopping several days a week. we read a tremendous amount in
school as well as at home. very safe there is only one thing we could do in school we couldn't play monopoly or have project -based learning which will break our hearts but if there's only one thing we could do it would be to teach our kids to be great readers. the kids love reading and can read well they can teach themselves anything. >> let me just ask myself one more question. people have talked about you running for mayor, becoming mayor of new york city, you have considered it yourself. you thinking of your next step in what you should do, is that more education?
is it powering yourself in another way? running for mayor? what is it? >> i care deeply about the city and public service and elective office, i think it's incredibly important that we have strong public servants. i might do that at some point. right now i'm focused on reimagining public education, k-12 and providing a proof point of what is possible. i think we settled for a diminished educational reality when so much more is possible for our kids. i'm hoping to inspire all of you and people in all five boroughs to be engaged in this issue. we must have a world-class school system. we must have it for the economic health of our city, state, and country. i'm truly focused on reimagining
what k-12 could be. i think we would do a tremendous service for kids and they will be better prepared to enter this very complex world that we live in. >> a few more words about the book which is available for purchase on a new york history bookstore. beautifully -- book, you learn a lot in it. you learn about her own evolution and education. it's truly wonderful to learn about it very wonderful family that you benefited from the parents, grandparents, husband and children. a very warm book but it also underscores passion about