New York City Children First Survey

NYC HOLD Honest Open Logical Debate on Mathematics Education Reform

Call for Responses

Parents, educators, mathematicians and others:

The general public now has an opportunity to provide input to the new NYC DOE administration on our city's public education system, through an online survey developed by Chancellor Joel Klein's new Children First initiative. As part of the work of the Children First initiative, a set of committees, called Working Groups, have been convened; each focusing on a specific area, which include reading, math, children with special needs, and facilities. The working groups are gathering information, perspectives and recommendations from a wide range of education stakeholders, with which to develop a preliminary report and recommendations to inform the Chancellor's plan for comprehensive education reforms.

Please take the time to respond to the online survey. For your convenience in preparing your response off-line and in keeping a record of your response, we reproduce the survey questions at the bottom of this page. There is one version for parents and community members and one version for teachers and principals.

Children First Online Parent Survey

Children First Online Teacher and Principal Survey

The DOE Children First web pages provide more information about the initiative.

"Children First: A New Agenda for Public Education in New York City is a multi-year effort at significantly improving New York City's public schools. The first phase of Children First will produce the blueprint of reforms that the Department will execute in the coming months and years. The Broad Foundation and the Robertson Foundation have committed to fund the initial phase of Children First.

The goal of Children First is to create a system of outstanding schools where effective teaching and learning is a reality for every teacher and child. The Chancellor believes that achieving this goal will require a common determination and effort by the Department and all New Yorkers. Children First includes a far-reaching engagement process to ensure widespread participation in the reinvention of the school system. Children First will involve listening to parents, teachers, principals, superintendents, students, community-based organizations, corporations, foundations, institutions of higher education, faith-based organizations, and public officials. Children First will include many opportunities for your voice to be heard, beginning Nov. 12th with the first of Chancellor Klein's outreach meetings with parents and community."

Children First Overview:

Children First Initiative FAQ:

Children First Parent/Community Engagement Meetings:

The Children First Questionnaires

Three questionnaires are posted on the DOE web site: one for parents and other community members, one for students, and one for teachers. These are on-line forms. Respondents may find it desirable to prepare their replies off-line and retain a record. Some respondents may want to share their replies with NYC HOLD.

For convenience in preparing a response and keeping a record, here are blanks for two of the questionnaires: the one for parents and community members, and the one for principals and teachers.

Questionnaire for parents and other community members


Which school do your children attend?

Rate your level of satisfaction with your children's education:
5: Extremely Satisfied
4: Satisfied
3: Neutral
2: Dissatisfied
1: Extremely Dissatisfied

1. Parent Involvement
How do you think we can best get and keep parents like yourselves
involved in improving schools and supporting your children's

2. School Leadership and Organization
How do we create better ways to manage and operate schools to ensure
that all schools can have strong leaders?

3. Literacy (Reading and Writing)
What ideas do you have for teachers to help your children read better?
What opinions do you have of reading tests? How can we help teachers
with their professional development?

4. English as a Second Language
How are we doing in teaching students who speak English as a second
language and how can we do better?

5. Numeracy (Math)
What ideas do you have for developing effective mathematics
instruction, assessment, and professional development?

6. Special Education
In your opinion, how can we implement effective instruction to meet
the needs of special and alternative education?

7. Strategic Partnerships
What are new ways for the Department of Education to partner with
business and community organizations to strengthen schools?

8. Middle and High Schools
How could middle schools and high schools function better to insure
all students meet and exceed standards?  Do you understand the high
school admissions process? Could it be improved?

9. School Facilities, Learning Environment, and Safety and Youth
How can we create safe schools with adequate facilities to support
teaching and learning? How can we create an environment in every
school to enable all students to learn by ensuring their health and
safety? Would you want expanded learning opportunities in the
non-school hours? Do you feel that your child is protected in school?

10. Parent Choice
Please tell us how you would want to realize "parent choice"
(influencing where my child goes to school) within the public school

Do you have additional comments and concerns?  Please add them here.

Questionnaire for Principals and Teachers


At which school are you a teacher/administrator?

What would make your job as a school leader or teacher more desirable
to potential candidates?

In addition to more resources, what do you need to increase your
effectiveness as a school leader or teacher?

How can the Department become more efficient, save resources and
re-direct funds to support instruction?

If we were to create a list of values that we share as we educate our
students, what values would you include?

What are the most important things the Chancellor can do to improve
the school system?

Elizabeth Carson
Co-Founder, NYC HOLD
Honest Open Logical Debate on Mathematics Education Reform