2011 TC Pressroom
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Edmund W. Gordon (second from right)

Edmund W. Gordon (second from right)

A. Lin Goodwin

A. Lin Goodwin (file photo)

The October debate at Teachers College

The October debate at Teachers College (file photo)

TC Turstee William Dodge Rueckert

TC Board Co-Chair William Ruechert (file photo)

WHAT IT TAKES TO LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD

RAISING ACADEMIC STANDARDS AND ELIMINATING achievement gaps between advantaged and underprivileged students are America’s preeminent goals. Current federal and state policies, however, largely ignore the fact that the childhood poverty rate in the United States, at 22 percent, is the highest in the industrialized world, and that poverty substantially impedes children’s ability to succeed in school.”

Thus reads the opening salvo of “Achievable and Affordable: Providing Comprehensive Educational Opportunity to Low-Income Students,” a new report by TC’s Campaign for Educational Equity that establishes a legal framework for providing the country’s neediest children with both improved educational resources and other “wrap-around services”–including health care and after-school programs. The report details the cost of providing those services and projects the long-term return on such an investment.

In “Achievable and Affordable,” Michael Rebell, Executive Director of the Campaign for Educational Equity, argues that the current federal No Child Left Behind legislation “implicitly establishes a statutory right to comprehensive educational opportunity through its stated goal of providing fair, equal and substantial educational opportunities to all children and its mandate that all children be proficient in meeting challenging state standards by 2014.”

The annual cost per child of public policies to narrow the achievement gap through comprehensive educational opportunity is estimated at $11,800 per child in New York City and $10,400 per child in New York State by co-authors Richard Rothstein, who is affiliated with both the Economic Policy Institute and the University of California (Berkeley) Law School, TC alumna Tamara Wilder Linkow, Senior Analyst with the public policy consulting firm Abt Associates, and Whitney Allgood, Chief of Staff for the News Literacy Project. They assume a full program of 18-and-a-half years, offered to children currently eligible for federally subsidized free and reduced-price lunches.

Based on estimates by co-authors Clive Belfield, Associate Professor of Economics at Queens College (CUNY) and Emma Garcia, Teaching Assistant in TC’s Department of International and Transcultural Studies, those costs would total approximately $4,750 more per child (in New York City) than what is now being spent for supports provided to underprivileged children.

Belfield, Henry Levin (TC’s William Heard Kilpatrick Professor of Economics and Education) and Fiona Hollands (TC Adjunct Professor of Education) calculate significant long-term return on this investment through increased high school graduate rates. For example, the authors find that New York City and State combined spend $82,000 on each high school dropout on healthcare, criminal justice, welfare and education, while receiving only $45,000 in tax revenues. In contrast, for students earning a BA or high school degree, the city and state expenditures total $55,000, while tax revenues are $143,000.

To mark the release of “Achievable and Affordable,” Rebell convened a group of leading policymakers at TC in early October to debate the report’s recommendations. Moderated by TC President Susan Fuhrman, the group included TC alumnus John King, New York State Commissioner of Education and President of the University of the State of New York; Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers; Mary Anne Schmitt-Carey, President of Say Yes to Education, an organization that has provided comprehensive support to children in several major U.S. cities throughout their K-12 education and then funded their college tuition; and David Wakelyn, New York State Deputy Secretary for Education.

To watch a stream of the October debate at Teachers College, visit http://bit.ly/vCFY2a
Read the full “Achievable and Affordable” report online at http://bit.ly/tyelLe


Fuhrman to Lead TC for a Second Term
SUSAN H. FUHRMAN HAS AGREED to stay on as President of Teachers College for a second term.
“We know that we picked a winner when we offered Susan the presidency five-and-a-half years ago, and we are very happy to stay with a winner,” said William Rueckert, Co-Chair, with Jack Hyland, of the Teachers College Board of Trustees, in making the announcement.

Fuhrman, a TC alumna and the College’s first female president, assumed her post in 2006. Under her leadership, TC has grown its enrollment to a modern-era high; nearly doubled financial aid dollars to students; opened a new public school in Harlem that anchors a larger consortium of Teachers College Partnership Schools; created partnerships around the world; and launched several new academic initiatives, including a new policy department, the nation’s first master’s degree program in Diabetes Education and Management, and the revitalization of TC’s Institute for Urban and Minority Education.
      
 
Goodwin Named Vice Dean
IN NOVEMBER, A. LIN GOODWIN assumed the newly created position of Vice Dean of Teachers College.
The appointment to that post of Goodwin—who has served for the several years as the College’s Associate Dean of Teacher Education—is intended to “give leadership to a major renewal in teacher education,” said TC President Susan Fuhrman.

Goodwin is also Professor of Education at TC. As Associate Dean of Teacher Education, in 2009, she secured a $9.75 million grant to fund the College’s new TR@TC urban teacher residency program.
   

Writing the Book on School Health
THE JOURNAL OF SCHOOL Health devoted its October 2011 special issue to how and why specific health problems adversely affect academic achievement among the nation’s urban minority youth.  All nine articles in the issue—which was funded by a grant from the MetLife Foundation—were authored by Charles Basch, TC’s Richard March Hoe Professor of Health and Education. Collectively titled “Healthier Students Are Better Learners,” the articles document seven health issues—vision, asthma, teen pregnancy, aggression and violence, physical activity, breakfast and inattention/hyperactivity—that disproportionately affect low-income, minority youth; detail how these problems contribute to the nation’s school achievement gap; and outline a strategy for school health programs coordinated by an extensive cast of national, regional and local players.
     

A Leader for TC’s New School
“I BELIEVE IN DISTRIBUTIVE leadership–I want everyone to have a voice in building their school community,” says JeaneneWorrell-Breeden, Founding Principal of the new pre-K-8 Teachers College Community School, which opened this past September. Worrell-Breeden, a Penn State graduate who worked on Wall Street before switching careers to become a licensed K-12 reading specialist, is a Harlem resident and a 20-year veteran of the New York City school system. During her first two years as assistant principal in the South Bronx at PS 18 (the John Peter Zenger School), an institution where nearly 90 percent of the students are eligible for free and reduced lunch, and 25 percent live in homeless shelters, the percentage of students at the school who met state standards in reading rose by 11 percent, and in math by 22 percent—gains for which the principal publicly accorded Worrell-Breeden much of the credit.
   

Getting Inclusive
NEW YORK HAS LAGGED behind other states in meeting the needs of students with disabilities.  But since February 2010, New York City’s Department of Education has been collaborating with Teachers College’s Inclusive Classrooms Project (TCICP), which supports research, teaching and service to create organizational structures and curricular opportunities for students of all abilities. Under the co-direction of faculty members Celia Oyler and Britt Hamre, TCICP has brought together teams of city teachers—often facilitated by TC faculty members—to create professional development for their colleagues across a range of areas. This past June, over 500 teachers, principals and paraprofessionals from city schools gathered at the College for a full-day of professional development workshops led by the teams.
   

Liz Willen Directs Hechinger Institute
LIZ WILLEN HAS BEEN promoted to Director, TC’s Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media. She remains Editor of the Hechinger Report, the Institute’s independent, nonprofit education news service.
Willen served as Associate Director of the Institute and Associate Editor of the Hechinger Report beginning in 2006. She was named Interim Director last April, succeeding Richard Lee Colvin.
At Bloomberg Markets magazine in 2005, Willen and colleagues shared the George Polk Award for health reporting.
   

Still Going Strong
The College celebrated the life and work of emeritus professor Edmund W. Gordon (second from right), who turned 90 this past spring, and also established the Edmund W. Gordon Fellowship Fund for students working with the Institute for Urban and Minority Education, which Gordon founded. To learn  about the Fund, email egan@tc.edu or call (212) 678-3089.
   

TC Wins a $1.25 Million Grant to Prepare Dually-Certified Teachers
As state and local school districts struggle to finance pre-K-12 budgets, very young children are in danger of being deprived of early education experiences.  This is especially the case for young children with disabilities and English language learners from immigrant or low-income families. A new federal grant positions Teachers College to help address this problem, while also providing much-needed scholarship money to pre-service initial certification students who will be recruited from diverse backgrounds.

The five-year, $1.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services will help TC prepare dually-certified teachers in both early childhood education and early childhood special education. Teachers will work with immigrant children and their families, said Mariana Souto-Manning, the grant’s lead Principal Investigator. The co-principal investigators are Celia Genishi, Professor of Education in the Curriculum and Teaching Department; and Susan Recchia, Associate Professor in the Curriculum and Teaching Department.

The interdisciplinary TC program—called the Quality Universally Inclusive Early Responsive Education, or QUIERE Project—will expand an existing master’s degree program leading to initial dual certification in early childhood education and early childhood special education.

The TC grant is funded through the U.S. Education Department’s $11.5 million Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities Program. 

More than 65 percent of the TC grant money will fund scholarships for 40 pre-service students. The grant is expected to benefit at least 40 additional students through improvements in placements and curriculum. The program will include collaboration with the New York City Department of Education and the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Early Intervention.


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