New York City Education Reform Retrospective:
A Review and Synthesis of the Children First Initiative, 2002 - 2009
The Children First reforms in New York City’s public schools under the administration
of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel Klein are among the most ambitious of
any large urban system in the country.
The NYC Education Reform Retrospective Project, guided by a panel
of distinguished researchers and practitioners, commissioned a set of 11 research-based
papers to document and analyze core components of Children First. The papers bring
multiple disciplinary lenses and independent analyses of both quantitative and
qualitative data to bear on questions of design, implementation, and effects of
this initiative. Together they address key dimensions of urban systemic reform,
including, among others, issues of governance, accountability, instruction, finance,
choice and competition, and student outcomes. This collection is a timely contribution
to the field of urban school reform and will serve as a valuable resource for researchers
and practitioners alike, providing balanced and comprehensive insights into Bloomberg
and Klein’s efforts to improve the largest school system in the country.
Authors of the 11 papers presented their findings at an invitational conference
of diverse stakeholders in November 2010. The conference included commentary and
critique from a wide range of reform participants and stakeholders, as well as
opportunities for participants to dialogue with one another and with system
The collection of papers
-- along with an overview, cross cutting synthesis, and reflections from varying
perspectives -- is now available from Harvard Education Press.
Led by the American Institutes for Research, the NYC Education Reform
Retrospective was made possible through the generous support of the Bill and
Melinda Gates Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Robertson
Foundation, and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation.