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The Basic School National Center Established

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has selected TC to become the Basic School National Center and to carry on the final project of its late president, Ernest L. Boyer.

In April 1995, Boyer announced that officials at 13 schools had agreed to adopt a new educational framework. They pledged to create a supportive community for children, to design a coherent and connected curriculum, to enrich the learning environment, and to encourage the development of character in their students.

Eight months later, Boyer died. The foundation decided to continue his work and chose the National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools and Teaching at the College to do so.

Kay Boyer, the late president's widow, said: "This model of elementary education was very dear to his heart and I'm sure he would be pleased that it is in such capable hands."

The task is multifaceted. NCREST must evaluate the effectiveness of current Basic School programs, coordinate the national expansion of the project, serve as a clearinghouse for material on the Basic School, develop curriculum and assessment materials for the Basic School, and provide technical assistance to teachers, schools, districts and states interested in the Basic School.

The total number of schools in the project has grown to 21. Several of those schools are now gearing up to become regional centers that will help other schools develop Basic School programs as well.

Beverly Falk, associate director of NCREST and coordinator of the Basic School National Center, said that the schools and the center here will work together to ensure that "a national presence for these ideas is established."

The Basic School curriculum is designed to challenge and excite children. But Linda Languilli, principal of the Cross Street School in Long Island's Mineola school district, said students are not the only ones excited about the Basic School approach to learning.

"It gives teachers a real sense of renewal," she said. "You're really taking what we're teaching already and you're presenting it through a lens that students find stimulating."

The Basic School approach works whether the school is in an urban setting or a suburban one, she said. Languilli was principal of Public School 207 when she first became involved in the Basic School project in 1995. "It takes no money," she said. The cost is the time it takes to plan and execute activities.

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