The National Parents Union NY enthusiastically commends NYC Mayor Eric Adams and NYC Public Schools Chancellor David C. Banks for the groundbreaking launch of their “NYC Solves” initiative.

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Visionary approach highlights the importance of providing every student with access to high-quality, research-based curricula through the collaborative efforts of superintendents and principals.

NEW YORK (Monday, June 24, 2024) – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Public Schools Chancellor David C. Banks today unveiled their visionary blueprint for the city’s public schools with the launch of “NYC Solves,” a transformative citywide initiative aimed at dramatically raising math achievement so all students graduate with robust math skills.

Building on the early success of “NYC Reads,” this initiative revolutionizes and standardizes math education with high-quality, research-based curricula implemented across districts, backed by intensive educator training and coaching. Through NYC Solves, schools will adopt a collaborative problem-solving approach that encourages students to explore multiple strategies and connect past and present solutions, fostering deeper understanding and independence in learning to conquer the persistent issue of math anxiety. This fall, 93 middle schools in eight districts and 420 high schools across the city will implement the Illustrative Math curriculum, supported by intensive teacher coaching.

This crucial investment addresses the longstanding learning gap for NYC students and paves the way for their future economic mobility. While this is a remarkable advancement for students in the NYC area, our concern intensifies for the rest of the state. Students in Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo desperately need similar initiatives. The NYC Department of Education 2023 Assessment reporting shows that across the state most students need improvements to how we teach math in schools. In Albany, only 33% of 4th grade students are proficient in math; in Syracuse only 16% of students are proficient; in Rochester only 13% are proficient; and in Buffalo only 23% are proficient. Statewide, New York 8th grade students lag two years behind their Massachusetts peers in math achievement. Nationally, New York ranks 46th out of 50 states for student achievement. This is unacceptable.

“We are encouraged that Chancellor Banks has listened to parents and families who have been calling on his administration to make bold investments in our students to ensure they develop the critical skills necessary for their growth and success in Math during their middle and high school years,” said NPU NY State Director Ashara Baker. “NYC Solves has the potential to be a game-changer in addressing the educational disparities that have long hindered students in NYC and across our state. However, we must not rest on our laurels. Now, more than ever, we must aggressively push forward to ensure these efforts truly make a significant impact on behalf of New York’s kids. Every child, no matter their zip code, deserves access to high-quality, research-based Math education. We owe it to our children to act swiftly and decisively to close the learning gap and secure their future success.”

We have witnessed other states adopt policies rooted in research-based strategies for high-quality Math instruction, yielding impressive gains. It is time for the entire state of New York to follow suit. The NPU NY Math Coalition, composed of educators, parents leaders, and policy makers, launched in the fall of 2023, is unwavering in its mission to tackle this challenge head-on – and has identified solutions that can seamlessly be adopted statewide.

Now it is time for state leaders, educators, and policymakers to extend the “NYC Solves” initiative across New York. It is non-negotiable that all New York students, irrespective of their district, receive access to exceptional Math education. We call on the Governor and the New York State Education Department to act with urgency and implement research-based Math curricula statewide. Together, we can eradicate the learning gap and secure a prosperous future for all our students.


With nearly 1,500 affiliated parent organizations in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, the National Parents Union is the united, independent voice of modern American families. We channel the power of parents into powerful policies that improve the lives of children, families and communities across the United States.