David Gamberg’s Vision: Recess for the Body, Mind, and Soul

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Long Island’s North Fork is an idyllic place for children. David Gamberg, superintendent of the neighboring Southold and Greenport school districts, is trying his best to keep it that way.

In a time when education leaders across the nation are collapsing under the weight of standards-based accountability, narrowing curriculum, and banishing play, recess, and time in the natural world, Gamberg is holding steady.

He derides our intense focus on the Common Core and the high-stakes tests that accompany it. He argues for a reconceptualization of education, one that attends to the needs of the whole child, a diet . . . Read full article →

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Enough Already with the Word Gap, Says Amy Rothschild

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I’ve been worried about the “word gap.” The 30-million vocabulary “deficit” discovered in low-income children by psychologists Betty Hart and Todd Risley in 1995. I’m concerned about the hidden curriculum.

“Deficit’ is the operative term. In an article published in the Teachers College Record a few years ago, researchers Sylvia Martinez and John Rury take us on a tour of the terms “culturally deprived” and “disadvantaged,” from 1960 through 1985, noting how they engendered controversy as frustration with educational change grew. They report on a group of sociologists at the University of Chicago, who convened a meeting to . . . Read full article →

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Kenya Dilday’s Choice: Her Black Child Matters at Central Park East 1

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Another S.O.S. from Harlem’s Central Park East 1 elementary school floated amid the deluge of my inbox yesterday. “Save CPE1” was the subject line.

This April, before the annual round of high-stakes testing, a petition began circulating in support of this home of progressive, child-centered practice. Here, the opt-out rate in 2015 was 81 percent. CPE 1 was founded in 1974 by Deborah Meier, writer, teacher, principal, and education activist—one of several created in East Harlem under the guidance of Anthony Alvarado, a forward-thinking superintendent of District 4, in the nation’s largest school system.

The . . . Read full article →

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Ana Menéndez Mourns Her Four-Year-Old’s Childhood

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It’s come to this. Four-year-olds in our assessment-crazed land are waking up in the middle of the night whispering sums. They’re facing the rigor of the Common Core State Standards, squirming in little chairs, deprived of gold stars—the littlest victims of educational goals and grownup folly.

Ana Menéndez, the daughter of Cuban exiles, is a journalist who has covered conflict across the globe. The author of four books of fiction, including The Last War and Adios, Happy Homeland!, earlier this year, she took to the pages of the Miami Herald unwittingly entering a . . . Read full article →

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