NYC mayoral candidate Eric Adams: Universal dyslexia screening in NYC could curb school-to-prison pipeline

NYC Democratic Mayoral Forum

NEW YORK — As a former NYPD captain, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has built his mayoral campaign as the law-and-order candidate, but he also has proposals on how to eliminate disparities in the city’s public education system.

In an exclusive forum with PIX11’s Ayana Harry and Henry Rosoff, Adams outlined several concrete steps he would take to reform the city Department of Education if he is elected. 

“No. 1 is student funding … we fund schools based on what happens inside a classroom. That’s wrong,” Adams said. “We need to base it on what happens in that community.”

Schools in areas with larger numbers of homeless families, high crime rates and health care disparities need funding that’s holistically inclusive to address those issues, Adams said.

“The barriers to education are not only what happens in the classroom. The barriers to education are everything that happens to that child en route,” he added. 

Adams criticized “high stakes” testing, though he did not say he would eliminate it, and said he wants a curriculum that’s sensitive to the cultures of the students.

He also called for universal dyslexia screening, citing an unnamed report that said 30% of the city’s inmate population is dyslexic.

“We need to do mandatory universal dyslexia screening so we don’t continue to feed the criminal justice problem in our city,” Adams said.

A study conducted in a Texas prison found 47.8% of the inmates were deficient in skills associated with dyslexia.

Adams also answered tough questions on reports on dealing with real estate developers, his stance on stop-and-frisk policy, and who he would select as the first woman NYPD commissioner. Watch the full interview to find out these answers and more.

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