Newly-appointed Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott is calling for cooperation in order to solve problems that are plaguing city schools.
During a lecture Saturday at Columbia University, Walcott stressed the importance of accountability in the school system. He mentioned the closure of failing schools and the removal of ineffective teachers as examples.
He also said while poverty is a serious issue for many students, it is not the excuse for poor performance among some.
Walcott said he's not afraid to make the tough decisions needed to create better schools.
"You look at the faces of the students, you see the parents in there, you see the principal or the AP's moving around, you see the artwork on the wall, you listen to the tone of the individuals who are talking, and you know that is a great school. I want to see those types of schools throughout the five boroughs in every ZIP code, in every neighborhood on behalf of our children," Walcott said.
Walcott also supports ending the controversial "Last In, First Out" policy for teachers facing layoffs.
The chancellor also says he plans to keep an open line of communication with the teachers' and principals' unions.