Miss us over the last, oh, 18 months? We’ve missed you! It’s been a hectic time and a lot fell by the wayside, like this blog and, oh, even basic hygiene procedures beyond tooth brushing. All of the CityPathways founders have been up to BIG stuff.
Is there a word for how you feel upon returning to everyday life after a peak experience? I might need to sponsor a naming competition for one, because it’s certainly how I’m feeling coming off of the literal high of the Aspen Ideas Festival over the past week.
Amidst the glut of coverage of the glitzy opening of the new Whitney Museum in early May, there was less coverage of some very powerful remarks made by Michelle Obama at the dedication: “You see, there are so many kids in this country who look at places like museums and concert halls and other cultural centers and they think to themselves, well, that’s not a place for me, for someone who looks like me, for someone who comes from my neighborhood.
In December, Lucy Friedman, President of TASC, published a blog about a significant survey involving 126 CEOs that examined skills in the U.S. workforce – or lack thereof – specifically in the area of STEM. The findings made a strong case not just for education initiatives in this area, but for the business community’s involvement and support of these initiatives.
As previously discussed in this blog, I have a bit of a crush on New Hampshire. I admire the committed stances they’ve made to competency-based education and to rethinking learning time. Of course change doesn’t come easy in school reform, even with commitment from the top...
The Atlantic has had particularly outstanding ed coverage of late, and last month ran excellent article entitled “Where Kids Learn More Outside their Classrooms Than In Them”. The article contextualizes that amidst various reform initiatives to reinvent our country’s high schools, initiatives that connect students more directly to their individual interests—and tap into their innate motivations—are gaining popularity (hallelujah!)
I often don't see eye to eye ideologically with writers for Education Next but I do find their articles provocative and compelling and tend to agree with elements of them, albeit often for different reasons than the authors or editors espouse. This is the case with Mike Petrilli's “How Can Schools Address the US’ Marriage Crisis” in the Spring 2015 Education Next,
Forbes ran an interesting blog on March 19 by two professors at UVA, Raul O. Chao and Cristina Lopez-Gottardi, entitled “How America's Education Model Kills Creativity and Entrepreneurship” with the predictable lamentations about the shortcomings of schools and the predictable invocations of Ken Robinson and Steve Jobs. What’s striking is their reference to some real data substantiating a decline in all aspects of creativity at the K-12 level over the last few decades.
Yes, a quasi double entendre, since I can never resist a good pun, especially one that conveys some core ideas. This musing was inspired by a mid-March EdWeek blog on minority students’ interest in tech careers and in the importance of hands-on experiences that lead towards them.
Ed Week recently ran an article summarizing a sobering research paper written by Brookings Fellow Mark Dynarski about a federally funded national evaluation of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) program he led for Mathematica Policy Research. Dynarski asserts that CCLC has spent more than $12 billion on after-school programs since 1998 yet failed in its mission to improve student achievement and should be eliminated. I hate “headlines” like this as they tend to be misleading and lead to misperceptions that should be debunked and reframed. Which I'll try to do a bit here.
I’ve only recently discovered DNA Info and the fabulous profiles of schools, principals, and teachers they’ve been running. This is the kind of journalism I’ve been craving for YEARS—real stories of real teachers doing wonderful work with real kids in real schools.
Historically, school funding in California has been rather horrific since Proposition 13 limited local property taxes creating dependency on inadequate and precarious state funding, leading CA to have among the lower per pupil funding rates in the country. Last year Governor Brown revamped the school funding formula in ways that have tremendous potential to really change the equation and promote greater equity and better outcomes over time, and now he's given us even more to be excited about through a significant budgetary boost around career education—specifically including $876 million for career technical education and other job training initiatives at K-12 schools and community colleges in his 2015-16 state budget proposal.
It’s not every day South Bronx middle schoolers appear on TV screens across the nation (though hopefully it will happen with increasing frequency and not just during Black History Month…) Thanks to Verizon, six students from the aptly-named Bronx Academy of Promise are enjoying the spotlight in a three-part series of commercials as winners of Verizon's 2013 Innovative App Challenge.
If you ask most adults to share what they remember most about their K-12 school years, there’s as good a chance as not that you’ll hear about an off site or out of school learning experience. Yet not surprisingly, field trips can be among the first things to go amidst financial and achievement pressures. Hopefully Jay Greene’s recent research on the impact of going to see live theatre, following upon an earlier study on the impact of field trips to art museums, showing the tangible benefits of such trips will serve as a useful corrective and engender deeper commitment and investment to such offsite, experiential learning opportunities.
There have been an efflorescence of interesting articles and reports I’ve been reading over the past months and I’m excited to have an opportunity to do some President's Day posting.
With Community Schools on my mind, and thinking about geographic hubs for learning, I was pleased to read the New America Foundation’s report Putting Learning on the Map: Visualizing Opportunity in 21st Century Communities.
There's a good story in the current Education Week about Pittsburgh Network Eyed as Model for Supporting Digital Learning praising Pittsburgh as a beacon for citywide learning: "From hands-on circuitry projects for kindergartners to 'maker spaces' inside local museums, this former steel town has quietly emerged as a national model for supporting fresh approaches to technology-infused education, especially for young children." The article attributes the energy and innovation as flowing from a close-knit network of philanthropists, educators, technologists, and advocates who prize collaboration over competition.
In late November, the Jobs for New Yorkers Task Force published a major report and affiliated website that I somehow missed, and want to call your attention to in case you did too. The report is called “Career Pathways: One City Working Together,” so right away you know I’m a fan of the orientation.
When I was in high school, we frequently lamented that there were no good places to hang out outside of school. I've often thought about how tough this lack of space is for teens and tweens in NYC,
In mid August, I was given an incredible, if daunting, opportunity: to design an after school program drawing upon CityPathways ideals for a wonderful 5-8 charter school in BedStuy supported by a grant from DYCD's new Schools Out New York City (SONYC) after school expansion.
On Dec 8, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced a Correctional Education Guidance Package aimed at helping states and local agencies strengthen the quality of education services provided to America’s estimated 60,000 young people in confinement every day (yes, 60,000.)