Bill de Blasio's Schools Chancellor is Leaving: Who will Restore the Joy to Early Ed?

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Not long before New York City’s public schools closed for winter break, Katie Lapham posted to Twitter a drab black-and-white photograph of a testing manual she had found in her mailbox, the imprimatur of Carmen Fariña in the upper left-hand corner. An elementary school teacher and long-time critic of education policy, Lapham felt sick. “We will continue to refuse the tests,” she wrote, with the hashtag #OptOut2018.

Within days of the delivery, Fariña confirmed that she was stepping down from her perch as chancellor—four years after Bill de Blasio had coaxed her out of retirement to . . . Read full article →

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Maya’s Marvelous Walk in the Woods

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In Last Child in the Woods, published in 2005, Richard Louv coined the term “nature-deficit disorder” to describe the human cost of alienation from the natural world. At a time when the virtual is fast becoming our reality, the impact on young children’s development remains an open question. Today’s researchers, on torturously slow academic timelines, are scurrying to find the answers in real time, parents’ and teachers’ anxiety growing.

Meanwhile, in other developed countries, outdoor preschools and kindergartens have taken root in ancient forests and city parks. Those who create the worlds that children inhabit in and away . . . Read full article →

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Jamaal Bowman’s Anthem for the Whole Child

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Under winter’s hard, cold earth lie the fruits of the coming spring. But we needn’t wait until then: the nation’s classrooms are already verdant, filled with the energy and potential of our children.

Jamaal Bowman’s garden grows in the Bronx, where he began his career as an elementary school teacher at P.S. 90. The founding principal of Cornerstone Academy for Social Action Middle School, he was trained by New Leaders for New Schools, after serving as a guidance counselor, teacher, and dean of students at the High School of Art and Technology.

“Mr. Bowman gives every student his . . . Read full article →

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