What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
Giving Compass' Take:
• Chalkbeat profiles New York City's new chief academic officer Linda Chen, who wants to make sure teachers have the resources that work for every single student.
• What can the rest of the country learn from the challenges NYC faces in its school system? How are educators across all districts working toward reducing bureaucracy and eliminating silos?
• This new study suggests New York schools should spend more on students.
Two very different teaching experiences inside the same Manhattan school shaped Linda Chen’s career.
When she joined P.S. 163 as a teacher in the city’s sought-after gifted and talented program, Chen found training opportunities that challenged her to improve her craft and the materials she needed to engage her students.
Things changed after she transferred to a general education classroom in the same Upper West Side school, only to find much larger class sizes and fewer resources.
“I saw equity challenges under one roof that I knew needed to change,” Chen said in an interview with Chalkbeat. “I knew I wanted to do something about that.”
After rising to become a principal here, Chen spent the next decade crisscrossing the country, filling top education roles in urban districts including Baltimore and Boston. When school starts Wednesday, Chen will return to New York City to serve as the new chief academic officer.
In Chen, schools Chancellor Richard Carranza has likely found an ally in his push for more diverse schools. Her approach may feel familiar in other ways, too. Colleagues say Chen cares deeply about helping teachers become better at their jobs — something former Chancellor Carmen Fariña put at the center of school improvement.
Carranza created the chief academic officer position shortly into his five-month tenure here, saying the massive bureaucracy he inherited has struggled to collaborate in ways that make sense inside schools. The role brings together overlapping departments that touch the classroom in vital ways under the same leadership.
Read the full article about New York City's chief academic officer by Christina Veiga at Chalkbeat.