Enhanced student achievement based upon high standards and expectations must be the driving force behind every activity of New York City public schools. To accomplish this, we must reinvent schools so that decision making is shared by those closest to students, including parents, teachers, administrators and other stakeholders. Layers of bureaucratic impediments must be peeled away so that flexibility, creativity, entrepreneurship, trust and risk-taking become the new reality of our schools. Before the millennium, the factory model schools of the 1900s must make way for the child-centered schools of the next century.
To this end, the Union and the Board mutually agree to join together with other partners in the redesign and improvement of our schools, including closing those that have failed and supporting their restructuring. We must challenge ourselves each day to improve student teaming, based upon academic rigor, newfound flexibility, meaningful assessments and true accountability. Roles and responsibilities of parents, staff and other partners must be defined. The standards to which we hold our students must never be lower than those we hold for our own children. To accomplish this, we must focus on both the depth and breadth of each proposed instructional and operational change, each designed to support the children and their teachers, whom we expect to meet these rigorous standards.
Change must be service-oriented, supportive and sufficiently flexible so that each school's educational vision can become a reality. It must be practical, possible, efficient and timely. Respect for each other and for every student must be unconditional if we are to accomplish what we must.

from the Agreement between the Board of Education of the City School District of the City of New York and the United Federation of Teachers Local 2, AFL-CIO covering Teachers, Oct 16, 1995 - Nov 15, 2000.