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How to Build Community, One Cut at a Time
By Steve Evangelista All my life I’ve been telling people that my father helped shape my work ethic with his example. Today, on the day of his retirement, aside from recalling the thousands of corny jokes he has told, I realize that he also showed me how to create a loving community. My father, Antimo . . .
Word Gap, Play Gap
by Steve Evangelista A recent report, Little to Gain and Much to Lose, calls for a moratorium on kindergarten Common Core reading standards. The report argues that the “many children are not developmentally ready to read in kindergarten.” Therefore, expectations for reading in kindergarten should not be forced on children, who “learn through playful, hands-on . . .
Charter vs. Public: Misconceptions
by Steve Evangelista I’m writing with Margaret Ryan on the eve of a forum about inequities in public education that we are hosting at Bank Street College of Education. We chose specifically to focus this panel discussion and roundtable on public school education, and not just charter school education, even though we have been running . . .
by Steve Evangelista The scene: a community board meeting in New York City, circa 2005. A charismatic executive was speaking to the crowd about a new charter school network that was in the offing. The executive emphasized that the school didn’t need community board approval but felt it was important to have the blessing of . . .
By Steve Evangelista A hidden bias Out of 90 charter schools that administered the New York State standardized tests in both 2011 and 2012, Harlem Link had the 8th highest average increase in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math scores. This score improvement was amazing, fantastic, even inspiring. And misleading—because of a small, relatively unknown . . .
Are There Voices of Reason on State Testing?
by Steve Evangelista The Best System We’ve Got I had the most amazing experience in early April: the chance to sit down with teachers at my school and have an open conversation about the role of standardized testing in education policy today. As always, I started planning for this hour-long seminar by thinking backward from . . .
Steroids and Bubbles
by Steve Evangelista The sky is falling! That’s what some observers would have you believe after the scores students around New York State attained in standardized tests plummeted this year. At Harlem Link we do not want to confuse a sense of urgency with a counterproductive panic. We know that only long-term and comprehensive solutions . . .
by Steve Evangelista Until we decide as a nation that we are going to ask ourselves tough questions about where our bright young pupils wind up five, ten and fifteen years after they pass through our classrooms –- and act courageously to address the shortcomings we will inevitably find –- educators will continue shortchanging the . . .