Petition Closed
Petitioning Chancellor of New York City Schools Joel Klein

City school superintendents: Adopt James Comer's strategy to get more effective teachers

In a recent "manifesto," Joel Klein, Michelle Rhee, Ron Huberman, and other city superintendents said that the way to get the best teachers is twofold: Good teaching is not linked to experience, any novice can be a good teacher. And, that the road to better teaching is by using technology better in the classroom. James Comer's idea, which is well-researched and implemented in districts across the county, is to train teachers to address the social-emotional-cognitive skills of their students. This approach not only meets the needs of students, but also has been shown to raise test scores.

Letter to
Chancellor of New York City Schools Joel Klein
You care about improving teaching and so do we. That is why we support James Comer's strategy for teachers to address children’s individual emotional and social needs. By doing that, Comer found, students do challenging work at their own pace, either in groups or individually, and teachers actively monitor and encourage their progress. This kind of approach to teaching can improve academic achievement and narrow the achievement gap.

Comer's plan is a strategy to train teachers in a set of skills that go beyond using technology in the classroom. We believe that his approach is easily adopted since it already exists in many school districts, and would go along way to improving academic achievement in all urban schools.