Dear Friends,

I’ve worn a lot of hats in the New York City education scene. As a parent, I felt the highs and lows of finding a public school for my child. As a teacher, I did my best to reach each student even with class sizes approaching three dozen. As an official in the city’s education department, I learned that the responsibility of caring for 1.1 million students came with recurrent bureaucratic obstacles. As a professor, I listened to new teachers extol the power of teaching as well as their frustration when lesson plans didn’t go the way they hoped. And as a school-based coach, I witnessed firsthand the challenges facing students, parents, teachers, and school leaders in some of the city’s most underserved communities—and also their limitless potential.

Earlier this month, I put on a new hat: Editor in Chief of InsideSchools. After over fifteen years in city education, I know that real change is not only possible, but often closer than we think.

Enough about me for the moment. Let’s talk about you.

The InsideSchools team and I are drafting a 1,000 day plan for improving our services to New Yorkers, one that builds upon the success of our school reviews, which millions of readers turn to each year. Between now and Friday, we invite your ideas: How can InsideSchools better serve your needs: as an individual, a family, a community? What kinds of content and services would you like to see? For example, what do you find most useful about our school reviews? Would a free online course that explains school admissions be helpful? Would you welcome more resources (i.e. videos, podcasts, infographics) to support your child’s learning or to better understand education policy?

InsideSchools is committed to refining the ways we support families navigating the public school system. We can do more to inform parents and the public about the nature of learning, teaching, and schooling. We can create new ways to advocate for children’s needs that are rooted in research, driven by dialogue, and guided by empathy for others whose daily lives look quite different from our own.

But we cannot do it alone. We need your input.

Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or on our Facebook Page (don’t forget to “like” it if you haven’t already), where we will be eagerly following along and engaging. Then, in the coming weeks, the team and I will share back with you a plan for where InsideSchools is going next.

Yours in learning,

Tom Liam Lynch, Ed.D.
Editor in Chief, InsideSchools

PS: Have insights that you’d prefer not to share on social media? No problem. Feel free to email me directly at [email protected].