On Friday August 25, 2017, the Center for New York City Law at New York Law School hosted the 144th CityLaw Breakfast. The event speaker was New York City Department of Education Chancellor Carmen Farina. Commissioner Farina was welcomed by Anthony Crowell, President and Dean of New York Law School and introduced by Ross Sandler, Professor of Law and Director of the Center for New York City Law.
Chancellor Farina began by noting that comprehensive education can truly change a person’s life. Farina focused her discussion on the efforts the NYC Department of Education has taken beyond academics to ensure current and future success of students. She remarked that the goal of public education is to have students grow up to be good citizens of the world. Farina spoke of many City programs that have supported this goal of creating good citizens– Universal Pre-K, a Back to High School Mentorship program between college and high school students, more funding for arts programs, mental health services, collaboration between schools, and communication with Student Governments.
Farina discussed how partnerships between schools, parents and other City agencies have been key to improving public education. Instead of schools competing for rankings, Farina encourages schools to steal ideas and spread knowledge. Farina thanked other actors within the City, specifically the hospitals and the NYPD, for assisting in mental health support and restorative justice efforts. Chancellor Farina stressed the importance of adult involvement in public education, through mentorship programs and training parents to assist with academics.
During a question and answer period, the Chancellor spoke about expanding career opportunities. By expanding Arts programs, students have more career options and are busier after school. Through training for non-academic career skills, more students have opportunities to work and become good citizens of the world. Chancellor Farina concluded her statements by encouraging everyone to help students in whatever capacity they can.