John believes universal access to high-quality public education is essential to producing both an engaged citizenry and a skilled workforce. As a product of K-8 public education, he recognizes the role of the neighborhood school as the center of the community. As council member, John’s guiding principles on education will include the following:
- Focusing on more learning and less testing in the classroom. John believes Common Core’s emphasis on standardized testing is misguided.
- Reducing class size. John agrees with research that asserts smaller classes of students leads to improved academic outcomes.
- Building new schools to accommodate the Bronx’s growing population. John knows breaking up existing large institutions does not address the simple fact that many school buildings are dangerously overcrowded, particularly in School District 11.
- Supporting wraparound services. John recognizes that if schools are to be centers of the community, they need to address the needs of the whole child, including primary health, mental health, dental care, family engagement, and expanded enrichment programming.
- Promoting equity between charter schools and traditional public schools. John believes charter schools must admit the same ratio of English Language Learners and students with special needs as traditional public schools. He supports charters being open to auditing like any other publicly funded institution.
- Harnessing the wealth of educational knowledge and expertise right here in the Bronx. John will prioritize assembling an educational advisory committee constituted of experts, educators, parents, and other stakeholders to identify best practices in successful schools and promote them throughout the borough.