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Henry Levin Presents the Sachs Lectures

Julius Sachs, a Professor Emeritus of Secondary Education at TC, came up with an unusual way to commemorate his 50th wedding anniversary in 1924. He created an endowment supporting progress in education.

Now, 74 years later, his gift lives on through the appointment of Henry Levin, Visiting Professor, as the Julius and Rosa Sachs Lecturer. Levin, who came to Teachers College in August 1997 from Stanford University, is well-known for his work in school reform and the development of the Accelerated Schools Program.

On April 9, Levin will present "A Dream for all Children: Accelerated Schools" at 3:00 p.m. in the Milbank Chapel. The Accelerated Schools project, which has successfully provided models for school reform since 1988, began with two pilot elementary schools in the San Francisco Bay area. The project now includes more than 1,000 elementary and middle schools in 41 states across the country. TC has been selected as the site of the New York center, which will help administrators in the northeast develop accelerated schools.

"Change in schools," Levin says, "is driven more by philosophy and commitment to a dream about children than the kind of technological insights we normally look for to get change." He continues that, "If you cannot create a compelling dream around the future of children, no amount of organization, technology, or curriculum change will have profound effects."

Levin also studies the cost-effectiveness of school choice and school voucher plans. His second lecture on April 28, "Educational Vouchers--Are They for Real?", will address the voucher debate.

"The voucher debate is usually about effectiveness," Levin notes. "I am going to argue that there are four salient dimensions, and effectiveness is only one dimension." The four aspects Levin will discuss are equity, social cohesion, freedom to choose, and the effectiveness of an individual school or school system.

In a recent study by Levin which will be published in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, he analyzes achievement differences between public and private schools.

His study indicates that although there is little or no difference in student achievement for a given student in private versus public schools, there is evidence of higher rates of graduation, college attendance and college graduation for Catholic high school students. He also shows that educational choice leads to greater socioeconomic and racial segregation of students.

The second lecture is also scheduled for 3:00 p.m. in Milbank Chapel. A reception in the Student Lounge will follow each lecture.

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