Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dennis Walcott Takes Reigns of New York City School System

NYC to add $1.75 billion to school capital plan (Associated Press, Wall Street Journal) Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent, chose Walcott to succeed publishing company executive Cathie Black, who resigned last week after a rocky three months as schools chancellor. Walcott was in Albany on Tuesday thanking state legislators for restoring the funds.

The Urgent Need to Reframe National Education Policy (By Elizabeth Demarest, Education Week SUBSCRIPTION) Test scores in the United States have not significantly improved in recent years, the achievement gap has not closed, and other developed nations have continued to build their educational capacity and surpass U.S. performance on international assessments. Political rhetoric exhorts Americans to catch up, but the national policies that are driving education reform do not provide the means.

Solving the Education Crisis in America: A Special Report, LET’S PRETEND (by Fred Newman, Ph.D. and Lenora Fulani, Ph.D.) While there is much to say about good teaching, highly motivated administrators, strong discipline and auxiliary support (mentors, tutors, longer school days, parent engagement, etc.), we believe that projects like the Harlem Children’s Zone, the KIPP schools and many other charter schools succeed where much else fails because the teams running those projects are collectively pretending that the kids can become learners. In the process of that jointly performed “pretending” activity, the kids develop. And their development is a critical step on the road to becoming learners.

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