Kathleen Cashin for New York City Schools Chancellor!

Dear Commons Community,

Jessica Siegel, a colleague of ours at Brooklyn College, has an op-ed in today’s New York Daily  News suggesting that mayor-elect Bill de Blasio seriously consider Kathleen Cashin for New York City Schools Chancellor.  Siegel comments;

“Cashin, currently a New York State regent, is a 35-year veteran teacher, principal and district superintendent in the city schools. She has shown the ability to turn around struggling schools, a commitment to bucking the current test obsession — and a refreshing talent for engaging parents.

After an impressive educational career teaching and serving as a principal in middle-class areas of Brooklyn, in 1998 Cashin took charge of Community School District 23 in Ocean Hill-Brownsville. Despite initial resistance from the local school board because she was white, she won over the community.

She dismissed incompetent principals, established a consistent, rigorous curriculum and got down into the classroom level, observing teachers. Test scores rose; failure factories showed hope.

“We were successful in Brownsville because it was the parents, the teachers and the principals who were all pushing the same agenda,” she told a CUNY Graduate Center forum that I attended earlier this year. “If we taught a writing program in the schools, the parents were taught it at a retreat.”

I would second Siegel’s recommendation.  While at Hunter College, colleagues and I worked with Dr. Cashin on several projects involving the professional development of aspiring principals.  She was the consummate partner in our work:  smart, passionate, and committed to the students and teachers in District 23.



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