An Update from TC's President
Published in Messages
Many good wishes from all of us here at Teachers College. We are well into 2010 and the impact and influence of our work is evident every day: faculty members devising innovative solutions to urgent problems; timely events that convene prominent national and global experts; and talented students determined to make a difference in the world—and doing just that.
With our largest number of students in the last 30 years, I am proud to see that many have come to TC after successful careers in other fields. They include executives in international equities, marketing and advertising, as well as a corporate attorney opting for a new career in counseling, to name just a few. I may be biased, but I think Teachers College is the perfect place for them, with our range of disciplines, our emphasis on the cross-pollination of ideas, and our seamless integration of theory and practice.
There are many fine examples of how Teachers College addresses the needs of our complex society. I am especially excited about the teacher residency program we’re creating, which offers a new model in urban teaching and university-public school partnership. The Teaching Residents at Teachers College program (TR@TC), which received a $9.75 million dollar federal grant, calls for students to work as apprentices with experienced teachers in New York City’s high-needs classrooms for one year while earning master’s degrees.
A quick look at our spring calendar and you will see that Teachers College is—quite literally— the premier address for advancing the national conversation on subjects essential to learning, health and well-being. A few weeks ago, we held the first major national forum to analyze in depth the impact of stimulus money on education reform. We were delighted that the ideas generated by our Campaign for Educational Equity conference reached a wide audience, thanks to prominent coverage in The New York Times and on NPR.
In March, TC will host the National Conference of State Legislature’s annual education seminar, where a number of our faculty members will speak about their research findings to elected representatives from around the country. Again, the fit is a natural one, with our longstanding role as one of the most experienced and influential institutions of its kind in shaping informed policy choices.
And, on an equally vital and timely subject—with the national debt exceeding $12 trillion and a new federal budget before Congress—a TC team led by Assistant Professor Anand Marri is developing a comprehensive math and social studies curriculum on the federal budget, national debt and budget deficit. To be developed with the help of a $2.45 million grant from the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, the curriculum will be distributed free of charge to every high school in the country.
Of course, I can go on describing TC and the wonderful work we do in glowing terms. But, as Dewey taught us, all genuine education comes about through experience. So, please accept my personal invitation to come home again to Teachers College.
Visit campus in March to hear Charles Basch, TC’s Richard March Hoe Professor of Health and Education, and other experts discuss closing the education achievement gap by using public schools to tackle six major health risks—aggression and violence, teen pregnancy, poor vision, asthma, inadequate breakfast and insufficient physical activity—that disproportionately affect low-income students and students of color.
And come join me on April 24, as we celebrate the collective impact of our faculty, students and graduates with the Second Annual Teachers College Academic Festival, organized around the theme of leaders and leadership. Among those we plan to honor for especially compelling contributions to society are two alumni whose work has forever improved the lives of tens of thousands of underserved children: Nahas Angula (Ed.M. ’79, M.A.’78), Prime Minister of Namibia, who built a racially integrated school system that has brought education to all of Namibia’s children; and Ulysses Byas (M.A. ’52), who as a black principal in the segregated American South fought to improve black schools nationwide. For the complete list of honorees, more information and updates on the Academic Festival, as well as for an RSVP site, please visit www.tc.edu in the upcoming weeks.
As you can see, Teachers College is continuing to lead the way on so many important fronts: scholarship that helps us better understand the world, committed practice informed by theory, powerful policy recommendations that improve society. I hope you share my alumni pride in an institution that truly matters.
Susan H. Fuhrman