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Educators must learn a lesson

When a city agency implements a program that affects children, the least it could do is communicate with the children's parents first.

When a city agency implements a program that affects children, the least it could do is communicate with the children’s parents first. At the risk of stating the obvious, here’s another good rule to go by: when a city agency makes a decision that dramatically alters a principal’s school, perhaps it should at least make a show of consulting the principal.

“If done properly, it can be beneficial,” said Jon Drescher, associate director of the Principals Academy at Teachers College at Columbia University and a former principal himself, “If it’s not done properly, it can be extremely harmful, in terms of what it does for the overall student population.”

But what is clear is that good-faith communication can help make everyone’s jobs easier.

“Good communication can go a long way toward rectifying programs that parents have doubts about. … I don’t care if it’s bussing or homework policy or cellphones in schools,” said Drescher. “If people hear what the reasons are, most of them will see that the intentions are probably good ones and say, ‘Let’s give it a chance.’”

This article appeared in the June 16, 2007 edition of the Brooklyn Paper.

http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/30/24/30_24doelesson.html

Published Friday, Jun. 22, 2007

Educators must learn a lesson

When a city agency implements a program that affects children, the least it could do is communicate with the children’s parents first. At the risk of stating the obvious, here’s another good rule to go by: when a city agency makes a decision that dramatically alters a principal’s school, perhaps it should at least make a show of consulting the principal.

“If done properly, it can be beneficial,” said Jon Drescher, associate director of the Principals Academy at Teachers College at Columbia University and a former principal himself, “If it’s not done properly, it can be extremely harmful, in terms of what it does for the overall student population.”

But what is clear is that good-faith communication can help make everyone’s jobs easier.

“Good communication can go a long way toward rectifying programs that parents have doubts about. … I don’t care if it’s bussing or homework policy or cellphones in schools,” said Drescher. “If people hear what the reasons are, most of them will see that the intentions are probably good ones and say, ‘Let’s give it a chance.’”

This article appeared in the June 16, 2007 edition of the Brooklyn Paper.

http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/30/24/30_24doelesson.html

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