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the magazine of the harvard graduate School of education winter 2012


schools and data | homework dilemma | a Tintin fan

the appian way

the big picture

December 2011
This Ed School space looks familiar, yet it doesnt. A working fireplace? Fancy couches? Is this really the first floor of Gutman Library? The answers would be yes, yes, and seriously yes. For the past few months, the schools library space has been under renovation. Most of what was on the first floor, including the circulation desk, was moved to the redesigned second floor, along with many of the offices, books, and magazines. The new first floor, as seen in this artists rendering, is slated to become a much-needed community center with lounges, flexible meeting spaces, comfy couches, fireplaces, a cafe with a pizza oven, and an outdoor terrace. The space is scheduled to be ready by the end of February.


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check out additional images.

Harvard GraduatE ScHool of Education

Baker design group, inc.

Statistical Significance
Data has been playing a bigger and bigger role in the U.S. education system. Some schools have figured out how to use these numbers to make important changes. Others, however, are left inundated and paralyzed by the overwhelming amount of information now available.



Not What You Expected?

Principals, superintendents, teachers, education entrepreneurs, policymakers. The Ed School has produced thousands of graduates who go on to great careers in education fields. But a comedian? An NPR talk show host? A meteorologist? Yup, we have those, too.

Are You Down With or Done With Homework?

Assigning homework to students is a given in most American public schools. But is too much homework, especially for younger kids, leaving students overloaded, underplayed, and missing out on valuable family time?


a click away

stories and links found only online

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SENIor WrITEr/EDITor Lory Hough proDucTIoN MANAGEr/EDITor Marin Jorgensen DESIGNEr paula Telch cooney DIrEcTor oF coMMuNIcATIoNS Michael rodman coMMuNIcATIoNS INTErN rachael Apfel coNTrIbuTING WrITErS Jill Anderson rachael Apfel Kevin boehm, Ed.M.07 David McKay Wilson Mark robertson, Ed.M.08 Mary Tamer Amy Magin Wong copYEDITor Abigail Mieko Vargus pHoToGrApHErS Jill Anderson Kathleen Dooher Elena Gormley Michael rodman Martha Stewart


If you want to know when and how students use support systems offered by schools and in the community, why not ask students themselves to do the research? This is what doctoral student Gretchen Brion-Meisels, Ed.M.11, did last summer as part of her dissertation fieldwork. In a story about her project, she talks about giving young people a voice. Hes been on CNN, The Early Show, and Charlie Rose. And, in October, Sal Khan was on the Harvard EdCast talking about his popular website that provides easy-tounderstand video lessons, primarily in math and science subjects. Asked about his relaxed style and now-recognizable voice, Khan said, I try to talk in a voice that wouldnt annoy me if I were a student.

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ILLuSTrATorS Jessica Esch otto Steininger Daniel Vasconcellos 2012 by the president and Fellows of Harvard college. Ed. magazine is published three times a year. Third-class postage paid at Holliston, Mass. and additional offices. poSTMASTEr: Send address changes to: Harvard Graduate School of Education office of communications 44r brattle Street cambridge, MA 02138

To read Ed. online, go to

As a fellow graduate who has made a similar journey from the backwoods of southeast Arkansas (The Road Taken, fall 2011), I am deeply encouraged by David Wilsons dazzling insight and yeomans vision for the next generation of millennium pioneers.
M.A. Fitchue, Ed.M.74

inspiring others
David Wilson, Ed.M.84, Ed.D.87, the Morgan family appreciates your hard work and dedication to excellence. Your life story reflects the very best in the African American slavery-to-freedom tradition. Roderick Ford I am so delighted to read the story of David Wilson. This story is, of course, similar to my fathers story. I am proud of the struggle they had; that is why it became so much easier for our generation. Shiva Ram Neupane It is incredible that God choose David for this mission and a miracle David is still hungry and humble enough to continue on the mission! He set the bar so high in our family that many of us just want to make him feel proud of us because we are so proud of him. Terry Walker President Wilson, it was very interesting to read about your experiences in Alabama. I would have never guessed that you had experienced such an interesting yet humble beginning. God truly had his hands on you to bring you this far. Your parents are smiling at the 4
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baby from heaven. I especially liked the part about your father giving you five dollars. What a wonderful man. I know hes very proud of you. Thank you for being open. I enjoyed seeing how down to earth you are when I saw [the photograph of] you with your shoes in your hand. Yvette Brown

ing of what it is and is not. An increase in the accuracy of its articles should not play a role; the fact remains, as Jimmy Wales said, that no one should fully rely on it, ever. As Chris Kyle said, if you dont know who wrote something, you cannot properly evaluate it. Mark Moran Love this! As I blogged last year, Wikipedia is not wicked, and with truthiness and the belief in the power of crowdsourcing, we get more: more information, more resources, more good smarty stuffs. What librarian (or teacher, or student, or informed human) doesnt like that? Gwyneth Jones

good Smarty Stuff

Well said (Truce Be Told, fall 2011)! I think the improved understanding of Wikipedias potential role in the research process among educators has come about because educators have developed a more informed understand-



Space constraints
The article No Dragons Behind the Moat (fall 2011) deals with only part of the interior space problem created by the design of Larsen Hall. The idea of movable inner walls vanished quickly if anyone ever believed in it. The guiding concept was one proposed by John Whiting, a social anthropologist and director of the Human Development Program. Whiting ran one of the most intellectually lively programs, built around daily brown bag lunches at which faculty, students, and visiting speakers discussed their work. He called these gatherings the water hole anthropological jargon for a central place where community talk is exchanged. He further thought that this idea should be built into the design of Larsen Hall, with each program having its own water hole. But the effect was to construct a building that turned each program in on itself and walled off from the others. The building simply reinforced the separation of programs that had previously existed in the separate locations of the small dwellings. Robert Dreeben, M.A.T.54

Son Shine
Chris, you continue to make us proud to say that you are our son (A to B Chris Buttimer Found That Greed Isnt Good, fall 2011)! We know how hard you are working to make a difference to improve public education for all future students. Keep up your good works! Mom and Dad Buttimer
daniel Vasconcellos

Sound Structure
This (alumni profile, Rena Upitis, Ed.D.85, fall 2011) is so inspiring! Its really important to consider the structure of school buildings. Space is needed to provide good teaching services to students. If its time to reconstruct and renovate, then it should be done right away. Wilmer Geraci

Submitting letters
Humorist Josh Billings once said, Theres a great power in words, if you dont hitch too many of them together. So be powerful tell us what you think about something youve read in Ed. but also humor us and keep it under 150 words.
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BrigeT ganske

elena gormley

elena gormley BrigeT ganske

the appian way

lecturehall Assistant professor Felipe barrera-osorio

elipe Barrera-osorio says his upbringing in colombia wasnt typical. his father graduated from mit with a Ph.d. in engineering, and his college-educated mother helped spark in her children a long-lasting love for learning. through them, Barrera-osorio also learned about public service and the importance of investing talent and energy for the greater good, as his father had done by returning to colombia after cambridge to help the country tackle various problems. in September, Barrera-osorio spoke to Ed. about I try to apply how his parents influenced his thinking, his recent move from the world Bank in washington, economic d.c., and his love for a comic book character with a dog named Snowy. what drives better test scores? This is the new area of my research. Results show that schools at risk of losing benefits react in a fast and quite effective way, improving performance from one academic period to the next. In other words, stick incentives work. However, it is unclear what type of actions the schools are taking to improve. They havent changed the composition or type of teachers, increased inputs, or selected better students. It seems that, with the same resources, they are able to increase efficiency. You have another project in uganda? Uganda is facing another type of problem. Thanks to the free education policy, classrooms in public schools are overcrowded and the quality of education is low. The government is exploring several policy options, including the creation of double shifts. The double shift is a polemic measure. On one hand, on average, systems with longer school hours have higher test scores on international tests like PISA. On the other hand, very large class sizes are correlated with low performance. I am working on a randomized experiment to assess what happens when schools go from one to two shifts. Youve had your own shift. how is life at harvard different than the world Bank? Managing my time. Last week was my first week here and I said to myself, I need to be a lot more disciplined. Here there is a lot of freedom. You decide how to use your time. Your dad was a y big influence, but anal ze your mom also education shaped you. how? Two months after problems. my father died, when I was nine, my mother received her college degree in psychology at the age of 36. While working full time, she raised her three sons, alone, yet she was also very present in our lives. And she made the ordinary special. Shed cook our favorite meals. She made sure she ate with us every day. She didnt do extraordinary deeds, but these everyday actions made very extraordinary statements. I am a father of two, in a household with two adults, and I barely can cope. My mother built a household that teemed with security. Nowadays, when I think about her, I think about being secure. About being loved. Your facebook profile picture is from Tintin. Youre a fan? When my mother entered the university, I was in kindergarten. She would pick me up at daycare at noon. We came home, ate lunch, and then read. All sorts of books. Among my favorites was Tintin. We read it over and over. And my father used to read to us articles from the Britannica, probably way above my understanding. Now that I have my two sons, three and five, I read even more diverse books with them: Verne, Rowling, Tolkien, Feynman, you name it. And, of course, Tintin.
Lory Hough
Harvard GraduatE ScHool of Education

Youre an economist. why education? I try to apply economic tools to analyze education problems. I believe education is one of the most powerful institutions to level the field for so many people. Your research in places like Pakistan is, in some ways, your public service. For the last four years, I have been doing research on the effects of a program in Punjab, Pakistan. The government is creating a partnership with the private sector to provide good, quality education to low-income individuals. The government provides financial resources for each kid enrolled in the private partner school, but schools have to show continuous student performance improvements, measured by a standardized test. There are also bonuses for teachers and schools. what is your research looking at? Three fundamental questions: First, can this program increase the enrollment rate, especially for low-income individuals? Second, are the schools in the program delivering higher performance, measured by individual test results, vis--vis similar schools that do not belong to the program? Third, when there are financial incentives attached to performance, do we see certain actions in the schools, such as teaching to the test or selecting only the best students? Our results, so far, have been quite impressive. These schools are receiving more students than similar schools, and there is evidence of real gains in student test performance.

tools to

the appian way

The ball Is in Their court

Richard Polsky, M.A.T.56, has long known that keeping the attention of kids isnt always easy. He first saw it as a middle school teacher in Long Island, just after he graduated from the Ed School, then again as a staff member at the Childrens Television Workshop, where he used a machine called the Distracter to monitor whether preschoolers watching test versions of what would become Sesame Street were focused. These days, he sees it with the students he tutors twice a week at the Harlem-based nonprofit that his son, George, started a dozen years ago. StreetSquash high school But this time, Polsky students take a break at the Sl green StreetSquash has something on his side: community center. squash. Not the vegetable, but the high-speed racquet game played with a hollow rubber ball. His sons nonprofit, StreetSquash, not only helps students with schoolwork, but it also teaches them a game that allows them to channel all of their teenage energy. And its intense. The students join the program in the sixth grade and commit for the entire academic year, for three days a week after school (academic tutoring and squash practice) and for a few hours every Saturday (more squash or community service and tutoring, if needed). Most of the 160 students stay with the program until they graduate seven years later. StreetSquash also helps students get into college, starting with paid tutors and volunteers like Polsky, who help students with homework every week. Volunteers are also assigned a 12th-grader to closely mentor for the year. I tell him or her, If Im working with you, were going to be successful, says Polsky of his mentee. You have to let them know what excellence is. At StreetSquash, every kid who wants to go to college goes. So far, every student who has completed the program has graduated from high school and has gone on to college. Starting in ninth grade, students also get help figuring out which colleges are the best fit, and then learn how to apply, meet deadlines, and write the all-important essay. They practice for the PSAT and SAT. By senior year, in addition to being assigned a mentor, students get targeted college help from the staff.
Ben collier

We help them go on interviews, prepare for open houses, and fill out financial aid paperwork. Everything from start to finish, says Sareen Pearl, Ed.M.07, director of StreetSquashs College Prep Program. And finish doesnt mean help ends after the students graduate from the program. Staff from our Alumni Outreach Program make regular calls to students once theyre in college, visit them on campus, help them find jobs at school, and help them navigate the schools resources, says Pearl. Early on, we found that so many students were underprepared and struggled once they got to college. We asked, Why are we doing all of this helping them get to college if theyre not able to complete their education? To date, about 85 percent of StreetSquash alumni are still in college or have graduated. And its this education that really matters, says George Polsky, who modeled StreetSquash on SquashBusters, a similar program started a few years earlier in Boston by another Harvard alum, Gregory Zaff, whom he met in 1997 when the two were involved with the U.S. squash team at the Maccabiah Games. Whether or not a student can hit a great forehand isnt important. Whether or not a kid ends up being a great squash player doesnt really matter, he says. What matters is getting a great education. Lory Hough


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Kevin boehm Is back

When I was younger, my dream was to be a professional baseball player, either for my hometown Red Sox, or the team that my parents had grown up loving, the New York Mets. Unfortunately, at the age of 14, I was cut from my high school baseball team and realized I might have to consider an alternate career plan. But what? My mother was, and still is, an elementary school teacher. Every day, she would come home from work with stories about fun activities, curious questions, and adorable observations the kids had made. One of my favorites was a student mispronouncing our last name, referring to her as Mrs. Bones. I began to consider becoming an elementary teacher so that I could one day come home with stories of my own. As I applied to colleges, I looked for those that had reputable teaching programs. I began at Hofstra University in the fall of 2001 as a dual major in mathematics and elementary education. After a semester of early morning classes where we discussed things such as imaginary numbers, I decided that math was not actually the route for me. I made a similar decision about elementary education after my first elementary ed class; we were asked to pretend that we were inside a cave where the lights flickered on for just a few moments, and then to use the crayons, markers, and colored pencils that were strewn about the tables to draw what we had seen in those few moments. This was not what I was looking for. I started thinking about the time I worked at a local summer camp and how much I enjoyed being with upper middle school students. They were at the perfect age where they understood what it meant to follow rules, but also had a bit of fun while doing so. I signed on to become a secondary education major. My senior year of college, I was placed into a seventh-grade classroom to do my student teaching. The kids were great, but I had a major problem: I found some of their bad behaviors to be funny! I easily pictured myself sitting at their desks 10 years earlier doing the exact same things. Now I was supposed to be the person saying, Dont shout out answers in the middle of class, or dont try to make your friend laugh when he is reading something aloud, or no, you may not go to the bathroom again. I struggled with the need to discipline and was unsure that this was the path I wanted to go down. I graduated as a 22-year-old with a degree and no idea where to go. I decided to return to the metalworking factory not far from where I grew up, where I had been employed during

daniel Vasconcellos

summers in college. Resizing bolts, bending metal safety shields, and drilling holes into pieces of metal that would be put together to create hoists was how I spent my weekdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. And then something happened. While working there, many of my coworkers told me that they had ended up in the factory because they had dropped out of school. This really began to open my eyes to the power of education. I decided to go back to school and see where I could make a difference. I entered the masters program at the Ed School. During the spring semester, I participated in an internship in the Office of Student Affairs. Through this work I was able to discover my true passion: working with college and graduate students and assisting them in becoming wellrounded individuals with a wide range of experiences, both in and out of the classroom. I may not be in a classroom myself, but working at the Ed School, I am interacting with a broad range of people to hopefully make their educational experience here positive, knowing that these people are graduating and going out to shape education on many different levels. Now that I am fully immersed in the world of education, I cannot picture myself being anywhere else. Kevin Boehm, Ed.M.07, is the assistant director of the Ed Schools Office of Student Affairs. Going back to school had an added bonus for him: He met his wife, Laura Potenski, Ed.M.07, when she was also getting her masters. She is an eighth-grade special education teacher. And Mrs. Bones is happypart of Jewell-Shermans collection students. her son is once again working with
Harvard GraduatE ScHool of Education

the appian way

The American Teacher

A new documentary looks at pervasive views on teacher pay and perception

american Teacher

American Teacher

A new documentary looks at teacher pay and perception

For teacher Rhena Jasey, having a starring role in a nationally released documentary is one thing, but having actor Matt Damon say your name is completely another. Its been really exciting, says Jasey, one of the educators profiled in Nnive Calegaris new documentary, American Teacher, which premiered in New York City on September 25. Matt Damon said my name twice in the film. My aunt said maybe I could make that the greeting on my phone. But for Jasey, this film is about much more than excitement: Its about validation. Its rewarding that someone is recognizing all of the hard work it takes to be a teacher, and it was fun to go to my Harvard reunion and say, Im going to be in a movie. Im not married and I dont have any babies, but Im going to be in a movie, she says. Its also great to see my doctor and lawyer friends excited, finally, about me being a teacher. Why did that excitement, mostly from Jaseys Harvard College peers, take so long? It is one of the questions that former teacher Calegari, Ed.M.95, tried to address as coproducer of the film. We really want to change American culture, Calegari says. More specifically, she wants to change the perception, prestige, and pay scale of teachers, which is not an easy task in a postWaiting for Superman world. Narrated by Damon, directed by Academy Award winning director Vanessa Roth, and produced by Calegari and author Dave Eggers, American Teacher delves significantly deeper into some of the questions raised, but not answered, in last years Superman. Among them? How the United States 10

will address the retirement of more than half the nations teaching force in the next decade and attract new talent to a field that pays far below the private sector. (Jasey, for example, earned about $50,000 annually after six years teaching in the South Orange/Maplewood School District in New Jersey, which is in accord with the national average.) Based on the book Teachers Have It Easy: The Big Sacrifices and Small Salaries of Americas Teachers by Calegari, Eggers, and Daniel Moulthrop, the film is one part of the Teacher Salary Project, which aims to shine a light on the undervaluation of the nations 3.2 million teachers. To illustrate this point, four educators, including Jasey, share their universal stories of success, challenge, and, in two instances, departures from jobs they love. When I was teaching, I thought no one was happier than me. I could not believe how rewarding it was, but I felt the outside community didnt realize how sophisticated the job was, says Calegari, who taught for nearly a decade before cofounding 826 Valencia, a nonprofit organization that supports both teachers and students in writing skills. I felt the burn of Americas ambivalent feelings about it. Some people had a sense it was important work, while others didnt. Meanwhile, I married someone who graduated from an M.B.A. program right at the start of the dotcom boom, and he and his peers were all being offered these six-figure salaries. I love innovation and I think technology is important, but the fact that I couldnt even go to a friends wedding because I couldnt afford it on my teachers salary Something seemed very wrong to me.

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Calegari was not alone in her pursuit of this project, and found support among fellow Ed School graduates including board members Louise Grotenhuis, Ed.M.95, and Ellen Gordon Reeves, Ed.M.86; Mark Kushner, Ed.M.95, who helped Calegari find one of the teachers profiled; and 2005 National Teacher of the Year Jason Kamras, Ed.M.00, who holds the distinction of appearing in both American Teacher and Superman. Kamras, who currently serves as the chief of human capital for the District of Columbia Public Schools, has a varied perspective echoed today by many inside and outside education: While great teachers may be underpaid, new evaluation criteria are critical to determine appropriate salary levels. Sometimes folks in education do ourselves damage when we say everyone should be getting more money regardless of what is happening in the classroom, says Kamras. As for the perception problem? The reality is the top third of college graduates do not go into teaching, it is usually the bottom third, he says. It is still not perceived as professional or as respected or as important as going into medicine or law or science so it is not, on average, attracting the top. But the caveat is there are great people going into the profession every day and doing great things for kids. Rhena shows us that. Going forward, one of the ways to address this and to change the perception is to be honest about the profession and to be concrete, says Kamras. We have to be able to stand up and say, Those who are not doing a great job have got to go. What attracts great people is other great people.

The way we can create that cycle in schools is to make sure we have the best and not tolerate anything less. If we do that, Ill be at the front of the line saying we have to pay people more. That is what we have tried to do here in D.C. Not only do we give out annual bonuses of up to $25,000, but we also move people up the salary scale their base salaries in some cases by more than $20,000. When you attach the dollars and it shows what you value, it does show prestige, and it goes hand-in-hand with saying, We are not going to tolerate mediocrity. As for Jasey, who left her public school job in New Jersey for a $125,000-per-year teaching post at a charter school in New York, she is hopeful that American Teacher will promote dialogue and impart a new appreciation for how complicated and how difficult the job is, as well as the broad range of talent required to do it well. Im lucky because I use so many of my strengths throughout the day and I want people to come away with that understanding that this is more than babysitting. Someone is showing the world what we do and the impact we have, says Jasey, who holds two masters degrees. Teaching is a real profession that requires an intense amount of expertise. Mary Tamer is a Boston-based freelance writer and a frequent contributor to Ed. Go to to watch a clip of this film.
Harvard GraduatE ScHool of Education


the appian way

studybreak Maung Ting Nyeu, Ed.M. candidate

Human Develop ment and Psychology the poor
Tool for cha n ge: A program:

school for

Indigenous com munities of Hill Tracts, B angladesh




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marTha sTeWarT

e remembers waking up on a hillside in the remote mountainous area of bangladesh known as the chittagong Hill Tracts with mosquitos buzzing in his ear and wondering what was going to happen to him and his family. The day before, they had heard gunshots followed by the village headman, as he was known, yelling for everyone to run. So Maung Ting Nyeu ran into the jungle with his mother, brother, and baby sister. When darkness fell, they moved to the hillside. The next morning, they saw smoke rising. Their village and a nearby temple had been burned. He was six years old. by the time he was a teenager, the violence that marred that area of the country had increased, leaving his mother no choice but to give this advice: Get out. My mother said to me, if you want to survive, you need to get out of this hell, Nyeu says. but as the son of a poor tribal farming family, he didnt know how. His dad told him to study hard. So I put my heart into learning, Nyeu says. In the end, education didnt change my life. It saved my life. And he got out. but his heart is still in bangladesh, so now hes trying to save the lives of other indigenous tribal children with the padamu residential Education centre, a primary school that he opened with a local monk on the grounds of a buddhist temple.

Against all odds, you got a masters in engineering and an M.b.A., both in the united States. Why return home to a difficult life?

Number of televisions in your entire village: 1 How television is powered: Batteries Your school is near a small town because

In the Hill Tracts, the percentage of people who have a primary education just up to grade five is 28 percent, and that is based on whether or not you can sign your name. I realized that the next generation of kids, particularly those who had been living in refugee camps in India and returned home with one or no parents, had not gone to school. Many had lost their homes and had no way to survive since my people live off of the land. I had seen the world, but so many [back home] had nothing. I had a responsibility to help these kids get at least a basic education to have a glimpse of what was possible.
Why dont children go to school?

In remote areas, there is no electricity. In Bardanban, there is a limited supply of electricity. Plus we have access to a compounder a medical assistant. In remote areas, it can take half a day to get medical help.
The Xo computers from one Laptop per child you are trying to get for each student are:

3 3 r rugged r Low-cost 3 r battery and solar powered

r Free

How will you get by without Internet access?

3 r Few schools 3 r Huge distances between schools and villages 3 parents need help at home r 3 r Severely limited resources
Initially, you earned a full scholarship as a teenager to a boarding school far from home. You went alone. How did you get there?

Using my computer background to build a server with Wi-Fi. Once a month, we will go to the nearest town with an Internet cafe, download new material on a disc, and upload it to our server. When an XO computer is in the proximity of the server, it will download that information. Its possible. The Golden Hour. Why? In medicine, if someone gets injured, theres a window of time, maybe a few minutes to two hours, where if the person can get to the ER, the chances of survival increases. For our children, their golden hour is between the ages of 4 or 5 and 12. If we dont get them in school during this time, we wont get them at all.
Your nonprofit is called

Walking, a boat, two buses, a taxi, and a rickshaw.

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cambridge to Joburg
During his time as a student at the Ed School, Al Witten, Ed.M.02, Ed.M.03, Ed.D.10, always dreamed of taking something back to South Africa that would be bigger than himself and the degree he obtained. He dreamed of returning with something that held larger implications for his country, something with the potential to create change. In the end, that something was a piece of the Ed School itself. The project, which started in 2010, is called the Education Leadership Initiative. Inspired by Wittens vision, it is a joint collaboration between the Ed School and the faculty of education at the University of Johannesburg that aims to improve the quality of schooling and raise the standards of South African school leaders through ongoing support and training. While the project consists of three tiers, the Ed School is primarily involved within the leadership development component, which trains principals and district officials from the Johannesburg Central School District. Learning under faculty members from both universities, participants engage in large-group interventions, small group discussions, and case study analysis. The four large group interventions are spread out over the course of the three-year initiative. In between these interventions, small group discussions are held every four to six weeks, in which participants identify emerging challenges and develop plans for improvement. Discussion topics include issues they often struggle with around budgeting, financial management/planning, and human resource management. The idea for the project emerged after Witten took a trip home, while still in the doctoral program, to explore the possibilities for collaboration within the country. Accompanying him were two Ed School faculty members Professors Robert Peterkin and Jerome Murphy, Ed.D.73 as well as Charles Deutsch, from the Harvard School of Public Health. Murphy recalls the impact of the trip. What we saw was a combination of schools with a tremendous lack of resources and yet examples of principals who were doing extraordinary things under difficult situations, he says. It really opened my eyes, not only to the incredible problems, but also to the incredible opportunities that existed throughout the country. We wanted to figure out how we could help these people do more. Similarly inspired by the trip, Witten immediately began driving the project forward, taking a leading role in the conceptualization, design, and implementation. Now, one year in, Witten is still involved, although the program is currently run by a team of leadership practitioners and scholars from both universities, including Senior Lecturer Deborah Jewell-Sherman, Ed.M.92, Ed.D.95, who heads up the program. This project has captured national attention in the country in terms of the kinds of leadership training and support that are required to improve the core teaching and learning functions of schools, Witten says. It will have implications for how systemic interventions as well as leadership development programs are designed and implemented in other parts of South Africa. Rachael Apfel 14

This past autumn, President Barack Obama nominated two additional Ed School faculty members to the prestigious 15-member National Board of Education Sciences: Professor Judith Singer and Professor Hiro Yoshikawa, who also serves as the schools academic dean. Singer and Yoshikawa join Professor Bridget Terry Long, who was appointed in 2010 and now serves as the panels chair. In November, Heather Hill was promoted to full professor. She joined the Ed School in 2007 as an associate professor. In response to research that shows that young people often lack guidance when it comes to their online lives, Professor Howard Gardner and his GoodPlay Project released a casebook of teaching materials that can be downloaded for free. The casebook is called Our Space: Being a Responsible Citizen of the Digital World.

Associate Professor Tina Grotzer won a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor given by the U.S. government to young professionals beginning their independent research careers. Visiting Professor Helen Haste received the Kuhmerker Career Awardfrom the Association for Moral Education. Last year, the award was given to another Ed School faculty member, Professor Robert Selman. Professor Chris Dede was honored by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology with their annual Distinguished Development Award. The award recognizes achievements toward improving instruction through technology.

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professor paul Harris
currently reading: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel

first impressions: Very positive. On the first few pages she deftly introduces the various pupils who have fallen under Miss Brodies spell. I want to know more. last great read: The Genius and the Goddess by Aldous Huxley. He is an unusual novelist because he is comfortable exploring the world of science, but, like his friend D.H. Lawrence, he had misgivings about the long-term impact of scientific and technological developments on human relationships. Book youve read over and over: I remember passionately rereading a story by Enid Blyton, Mr. Gallianos Circus, as a boy. Sadly, the book is out of print. It offers a wonderful insiders view of circus life. I say that I reread it, but thats not absolutely true. At one point in the book, there is a storm and Jumbo the elephant, terror-stricken, breaks free and disappears. I used to find the idea of Jumbo being lost and separated from the circus so disturbing that I regularly skipped the chapter.

noneducation genre of choice: I enjoy biography. My most recent favorite was a biography of William James by Robert Richardson. Not only is it a vivid portrait of William James, who must have been enormously likeable and approachable, it also gave me a much greater awareness of the intellectual spirits that preside over Cambridge, Mass. next up: David Lodge, whose comic writing about academic life is great fun, has written a quasi-biography of H.G. Wells. It will be available any day now in the United States, and I might just treat myself.
Marin Jorgensen
Harvard GraduatE ScHool of Education

jill anderson


the appian way

Whither Opportunity? Boomerang Kids

By carl pickhardt By greg duncan and richard murnane

their caps to the other, they assume a more autonomous status and accept a heightened responsibility. but are they ready? In his latest book, Boomerang Kids, carl pickhardt, Ed.M.66, argues that a single ceremony is hardly all it takes to complete a transition to adulthood and fully develop the skills needed for independent living. He claims that young adults aged 18 to 23 are actually in a final stage of adolescence, which he calls trial independence. However, because this delicate stage is often overlooked, pickhardt asserts that adolescents face a premature thrust into adulthood, which has consequently led to a rise in boomerang kids graduates who falter on their own and return home to rely on their parents support while they regain their footing. In an attempt to help parents understand this increasing phenomenon, pickhardt approaches the problem from two angles, analyzing frequent causes as well as potential solutions. After a brief introduction to trial independence, pickhardt carefully guides readers and parents through 11 specific challenges including broken relationships, roommate problems, substance use, and stress that will potentially cause a child to boomerang home for recovery. Each chapter is devoted to a specific challenge and concludes with a parenting prescription, or a brief outline summarizing specific actions to take and topics to discuss with adolescents when particular situations arise. In this book, pickhardt sheds new light on adolescent development and the importance of cultivating a corresponding parenting style. Drawing on his experiences counseling both parents and children, he is able to provide thorough, effective, and realistic solutions to common problems, allowing parents to gain a new understanding of how to properly support their children while still respecting their developing freedom. by addressing both causes and solutions for the boomerang phenomenon, pickhardt provides insight with a dual purpose, making Boomerang Kids not only a guideline for intervention, but also a prescription for prevention.

ithin modern society, high school graduation has come to symbolize the passage into adulthood. As graduates tassles are shifted from one side of

merica is called the land of opportunity, where hard work is enough to turn rags into riches, and a better life is just around the corner. However, as the gap between the

incomes of wealthy and poor families has increased over the past three decades, so too has the educational performance of their children, bringing into question the nations reputation for equal opportunity for all. How exactly does income inequality affect the educational achievements of children? In an effort to answer this overarching question, in Whither Opportunity?, professor richard Murnane and Greg Duncan bring together contributions from a diverse group of economists, sociologists, and experts in social services and education. Approaching the problem from a variety of angles, the volume explores a diverse range of causes that have led to the rise in educational inequality. over the course of 25 chapters, it first summarizes existing research, then presents readers with a wide array of new findings. Not only does it illuminate the effects of social and economic factors such as unequal family resources but it also reveals the profound impact of environmental factors such as disadvantaged neighborhoods and insecure labor markets. The volume then supplements these findings by offering advice to policymakers, touching on issues such as funding distribution, child development strategies, and even calling for a national policy debate. Arising at a time when the disparity of test scores, college attendance, and graduation rates between wealthy and poor students is reaching an unprecedented level, this volume urges that the problem of educational inequality be addressed and that changes be made within the educational system. With extensive analysis, this collection not only provides readers with a clearer understanding of the problems surrounding educational inequality, but also offers guidance to policymakers in addressing these problems. For generations of Americans, education was the springboard to upward mobility, writes Murnane and Duncan. only if our country faces the consequences of growing income inequality will it be able to maintain its rich heritage of upward social mobility through educational opportunity.



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College Success Guaranteed: 5 Rules to Make It Happen

By malcolm gauld


Getting It Done: Leading Academic Success in Unexpected Schools Karin Chenoweth and Christina Theokas, foreword by Senior Lecturer Ronald Ferguson; 2011 Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions Dan Rothstein, Ed.M.81, Ed.D.85, and Luz Santana; 2011 Schooling in the Workplace Adjunct Lecturer Nancy Hoffman; 2011 The Strategic Management of Charter Schools: Frameworks and Tools for Educational Entrepreneurs Peter Frumkin, Bruno Manno, and Nell Edgington, foreword by Frederick Hess, Ed.M.90; 2011

onsider this number: 168. Look familiar? Have any significance? No? What if it was said that this number was the key to success in college guaranteed?

In College Success Guaranteed: 5 Rules to Make It Happen, Malcolm Gauld, Ed.M.83, has created a guide to assist collegebound students in setting themselves up for success, arguing that 168 the number of hours in a week will make or break a students college experience. As young adults make the transition from high school to college, Gauld claims that the biggest challenge they face is learning not to drown in free time. Without the structured environment of home and high school, college freshmen become accountable for their actions 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Therefore, in an attempt to provide freshmen with some sort of structural foundation for managing this overwhelming amount of time, Gauld offers five simple rules: go to class, study 15 hours a week, get involved in something, get a mentor, and avoid procrastination. While acknowledging that many students will eventually modify some of the rules to adapt to their learning styles or lifestyle preferences, Gauld claims, I have never encountered anyone who went wrong fol-

oTHEr booKS
African American Children and Mental Health Professor Nancy Hill, Tammy Mann, and Hiram Fitzgerald; 2011 Childrens Understanding of Death: From Biological to Religious Conceptions Victoria Talwar, Professor Paul Harris, and Michael Schleifer; 2011 Collaborate or Perish! Reaching Across Boundaries in a Networked World Zachary Tumin, Ed.M.77, and William Bratton; 2012 Creative Adventures in Social Studies: Engaging Activities & Essential Questions to Inspire Students Dan Peppercorn, Ed.M.02; 2011 Every Child, Every Classroom, Every Day: School Leaders Who Are Making Equality a Reality Professor Robert Peterkin; Senior Lecturer Deborah Jewell-Sherman, Ed.M.92, Ed.D.95; and doctoral candidates Laura Kelley, Ed.M.04, and Leslie Boozer, Ed.M.07; 2011 Hearts on Fire: Twelve Stories of Todays Visionaries Igniting Idealism into Action Peter Cookson, C.A.S.91, and Jill Iscol; 2011
Harvard GraduatE ScHool of Education

The Influence of Teachers John Merrow, Ed.D.73; 2011 New Directions for Youth Development Doctoral candidate Helen Janc Malone; 2011 Public Value: Theory and Practice John Benington and Professor Mark Moore; 2011 Round and Round Together: Taking a Merry-Go-Round Ride into the Civil Rights Movement Amy Nathan, M.A.T.68; 2011 Steady Gains and Stalled Progress: Inequality and the Black-White Test Score Gap Jane Waldfogel, Ed.M.79; 2011 Think, Care, Act: Teaching for a Peaceful Future Susan Gelber Cannon, Ed.M.84; 2011 Transcendental Learning: The Educational Legacy of Alcott, Emerson, Fuller, Peabody and Thoreau John Miller, M.A.T.67; 2011

lowing these five rules as they are presented in this book. Directed largely toward high school seniors and young adults, the book presents readers with insightful advice in a format that is concise, practical, and easy to digest. relevant and applicable no matter a students field of study, interests, activities, or background the book serves as a guide for not only surviving, but enjoying the college experience. using a variety of anecdotes, stories, and ideas that he collected through interviews with current students and recent grads, Gauld sprinkles the pages with strategies and tactics found useful by actual students. College Success Guaranteed is intended to set forth a blueprint of things to do, instead of lecturing readers with a list of donts. For incoming freshmen, one might do well to have a plan of attack, Gauld writes. Thats what this simple book is about. Briefs written by Rachael Apfel


the IntroductIon
Not everyone from the Ed School becomes a teacher or a principal. Most, however, do end up in careers in the education world or are connected to education in some way. We have superintendents, Teach For America managers, chief academic officers, curriculum writers, curriculum evaluators, professors, lecturers, tutors, daycare directors, reading specialists, literacy coaches, education policymakers, education nonprofit directors, deans, department chairs, financial aid advisors, family coordinators, alumni office directors, admissions officers, admissions consultants, afterschool coordinators, academic auditors, education researchers, education entrepreneurs, professional development specialists, headmasters, teacher union administrators, special education advocates, education journalists, college presidents, childrens book authors, childrens book illustrators, guidance counselors, school founders, childrens television producers, librarians, online instructors, and registrars, to name just a few. And then there are the others, those whose careers took unexpected turns after graduating from the Ed School, or, in some cases, complete 180s. Some even came here fully intending never to work in education. But not surprisingly, considering the Ed School is grounded in learning, most of these graduates now say that what they took from their time at the Ed School still has real meaning when theyre treating patients or dealing with constituents or making an audience crack up. This feature story looks at a few of those graduates.

not what you

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michael rodman

the protector: Julia Guenther

By the time Julia Guenther graduated from the University of California-Berkeley, she was pretty sure she would end up working in the education policy world. She had, after all, majored in political science and minored in education, and had spent a summer interning at the U.S. Department of Education. She was even surer during her year at the Ed School, when she wrote a professional development plan on a new teacher induction program for the city of Cambridge, Mass., that was compliant with No Child Left Behind. And then Hurricane Katrina hit, forever changing not only the Gulf Coast, but also Guenthers career. In the days following the disaster, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recruited long-term volunteers from other federal agencies. Guenther, back working at the U.S. Department of Education, ended up spending two months in Mississippi helping at a recovery center. There she saw firsthand how policy decisions made in Washington trickle down to those in the field. She wanted to make the process better, so she left the education world but stayed with policy and, for the next four years, with FEMA. And then last summer, she made another move to the Food and Drug Administration, where she now works on policy in another area: food defense. Its a completely new field for me, she says, and also fairly new for the federal government, stemming from 9/11 and the subsequent Bioterrorism Act of 2002. Still, Guenther was confident she could handle it, partly because of Harvard. At the Ed School I learned not to let peoples titles or age intimidate me, she says. Thats really helped me as Ive switched fields from education to emergency management to food defense. Now, as part of the Food Defense Oversight Team, Guenther develops and implements procedures to prevent or respond to the intentional contamination of food in the United States. Luckily, she says, these kinds of attacks dont happen often, partly because most companies take good precautions, plus using food as a weapon isnt very appealing. A car bomb says, Look, we did this, she says, but if people get sick from what they are eating, they might think its just salmonella rather than a non-natural agent. We have that to our benefit. Lory Hough
Harvard GraduatE ScHool of Education



the Joker: Jane condon

Did you hear the one about the Ed School alumna who made a career out of making fun of herself ? Dubbed the upper-crust Roseanne by the Associated Press, Jane Condons standup comedy career began unexpectedly. After teaching, writing for Fortune and Life, and living in Japan for five years in the 80s, Condon wrote a book about Japanese women. While on the book tour, she found that audiences often laughed out loud at her readings. So she decided to try stand-up. Since then, Condon has performed regularly at New Yorks top comedy clubs and appeared on shows like The View and Last Comic Standing. In 2010, she debuted her one-woman off-Broadway show Janie Condon: Raw & Unchained. Her material is typically personal, poking fun at her husband and two sons and her experiences living in Greenwich, Conn., after growing up in blue-collar Brockton, Mass. According to Condon, studying at the Ed School honed her ability to tell stories. Teaching and comedy are both about storytelling, Condon says. My year at Harvard focused on the story, from childrens television to the history of education to Shakespeare, and that has been the major thread of my career.
annie WaTson


Last year, Condon experienced an honor of a lifetime when Wellesley Colleges seniors chose her as their commencement speaker. When asked, she joked that her first thought was, Is Norah Ephron dead? But the advice she gave was simple and sincere: Give back, dont give up, and love. Mark Robertson, Ed.M.08

the storyteller: Bill littlefield

For Bill Littlefield, sports isnt Only a Game, as the name of his weekly National Public Radio talk show suggests its also a way to tell stories. Like the one he tells about the time he was supposed to interview Roger Clemens in the dugout at Fenway Park one night when Clemens was still a hotshot pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. It was a few hours before the game and the park was empty. Littlefield waited. And waited. And while he waited, he noticed that one of the players from the other team had walked out of his dugout, dressed and ready for the game. Except, says Littlefield, he was wearing slippers, not cleats. Intrigued, Littlefield watched as the player went up into the empty stands and quietly looked out at the field. Littlefield went over and introduced himself. I told him fans 20


would pay hundreds of dollars to sit in the dugout, so why would he want to sit in the stands? The player said it was something he often did when the team traveled, his way to stay grounded and remind himself how lucky he was. I sat there and thought, Heres my story. I was lucky that Clemens never showed up. And so it has been for Littlefield during his 18 years with Only a Game, which is produced at WBUR in Boston, just around the corner from the dugout where he missed Clemens but found his real story. Luck, and his ability to find the story in anything, has worked well for Littlefield a former high school teacher who honed his writing skills at the Ed School and the show, which is about sports, but not about sports. (As the shows website says, the show is radio for the serious

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sports fan and the steadfast sports avoider.) Only a Game has covered everything from the 2011 NBA lockout to a blind high school football announcer to competitions involving belt sanders and skillet tossing. And of course there have been stories about his sports idol, Willie Mays, otherwise known as the Say Hey Kid, the one he grew up thinking would move into the vacant house next to his in Montclair, N.J. Theres the piece about a Mays biography that Littlefield reviewed, which includes a mention of Littlefield dressed as Mays one Halloween as a kid. Or the time Littlefields basement was flooded and someone from the cleanup crew, a former minor league baseball player, noticed his extensive Mays collection. Or the dozens of other

stories Littlefield has done over the years that mention Mays and his achievements in some way. But for all the talk about sports heroes and athletic competitions, one thing Littlefield isnt likely to include on his show is who he thinks will win the Stanley Cup or the World Series or the next Super Bowl. Im not good at predictions and Im not really an insider when it comes to sports, he says. Im not a beat guy. People assume I know a great deal more than I actually do about sports. Thats the attraction for me. I dont have to chase a bunch of 19-year-olds who dont have time to talk. No one is standing over my shoulder saying so-and-so just did something big so go talk to her. I just tell stories. Lory Hough
kaThleen dooher

Harvard GraduatE ScHool of Education


the WordsMIth: sue Miller


Blame Charles Dickens. The seemingly endless cycles of self-promotion that writers must go through every time a new work is published might be traced back to him, says novelist Sue Miller. And she doesnt much care for it. I used to have a lot of difficulty, actually, with promotion, Miller says of the job side of being a writer the publicity, the interviews, the photo shoots. Of feeling a kind of false self taking over, repeating the same thing over and over with an air of fresh discovery. Despite this, Miller feels truly fortunate to have this career, which has seen two of her 10 acclaimed novels (The Good Mother and Inventing the Abbotts) made into films. Although always a writer, she didnt publish until after graduating from the Ed School. In fact, while pursuing her studies in early childhood education, Miller was a working, single mom, trying to make ends meet by renting out rooms in her newly bought house, and had little time for writing fiction. Still, she credits a child development course with teaching her the art of observation, a vital skill for a writer. Another course was one in imagining future scenarios. The future scenario Miller didnt imagine? I never imagined writing would support me, she says. And, now that it does, she savors the time before the publicity grind begins that this career affords her. I take care of my life and those of the people around me, she says. Then I write. Marin Jorgensen

the healer: demian szyld


Demian Szyld never thought that 20 years after he met Anne, hed still be working with a bunch of dummies. But he is. And he loves it. As the associate medical director of the just-opened New York Simulation Center for the Health Sciences at Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan, Szyld helps run a $20.8 million dollar center that uses dummies mannequins to train healthcare workers, medical students, and emergency personnel for disasters, natural or otherwise. However, the sophisticated mannequins are a far cry from Anne, the motionless rubber dummy that Szyld used in high school to practice CPR as a way to fulfill a physical education requirement. More robot-like than doll-like, the simulation center mannequins can cost up to $250,000. They cry, cough, sweat, and vomit. And, along with actors who also serve as patients, the mannequins allow trainees to continuously practice procedures and even make mistakes. Szyld says he was able to jump into his role overseeing these mannequins and the new center more easily because of his year at Harvard, which may surprise some, but not him. My time at the Ed School let me think about how people learn and what it means to be a leader all critical skills that I needed to go to the next level in my field, he says. Someone teaching would need the same skills to on to his or her next level. So in that way, my having gone to the Ed School wasnt that unexpected. Lory Hough 22

elena seiBerT

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paul TaggarT

michael rodman

the InsIder: sophia lafargue

Sophia Lafargues proudest moment on Capitol Hill? Easy. June 19, 2002. She was sitting on the floor of the U.S. House chamber next to her boss, Representative Shirley Jackson Lee (D-TX). Lee was offering an amendment that Lafargue, Ed.M.99, had drafted to the National Sea Grant College Program Act. The legislation, she explains, was designed to ensure equal access for minority and disadvantaged students to a marine policy fellowship program. It passed with bipartisan support. This would be a heady moment for any Congressional staffer, but it had particular resonance to Lafargue, coming only two years after she had become a U.S. citizen. There I was, putting into practice my strong belief that if this country could help me overcome the disadvantages that I inherited, then surely it could do more for the many others who had similar hurdles to jump, says Lafargue, who moved to New York from Jamaica as a child. Humbling. Awesome. Inspiring. And it still is. That day marked the beginning of a whirlwind journey from legislative assistant, to interim chief of staff, to permanent chief of staff in Lees office all within just four short months. Now, as chief of staff to Representative Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Lafargue finds herself in the thick of the action on Capitol Hill, overseeing the eight-term congressmans policy objectives and strategies and managing an office of 18 full-time and two part-time staff members, all while maintaining a policy portfolio that includes foreign affairs and international trade. Lafargue acknowledges that this is not a typical career path for an Ed School graduate. However, she credits the Ed School with both helping her land in Washington (through the Career Services Offices D.C. Days program) and also being effective at it. Youd be surprised the degree to which my Ed School experience is an integral part of my working life now, says Lafargue, citing the critical thinking skills she gained, as well as the lessons from psychology classes that have provided insight into how people behave and how Washington can help. I draw on it every single day. Michael Rodman
Harvard GraduatE ScHool of Education



the storM seer: Mish Michaels

For many New Englanders and weather junkies, Mish Michaels is a familiar face. A meteorologist with nearly 20 years of forecasting under her belt, she has been on a tornado chase in Oklahoma, on a flight into Hurricane Isabel, and to the 6,288-foot summit of New Hampshires Mount Washington in mid-winter. While Michaels has spent the bulk of her career on Boston TV stations like WBZ and WHDH, she has also been on the nationally syndicated Weather Channel show, Atmospheres. I always was fascinated by weather, Michaels says. Some of her earliest memories involve the weather, like watching a tornado unfold in Maryland as a young girl, to obsessively watching weather forecasts on television. However, when she decided to apply to college at Cornell 24

University, she picked animal science as a major. But then, in what she calls a moment of divine intervention counting the seconds between thunder and lightning while eating lunch a couple weeks before starting college she decided to change her major to science meteorology. By 23, she landed a coveted job in the highly competitive Boston news market. And then, after many years of working successfully as a meteorologist, Michaels decided to go back for a graduate degree. She looked no further than the Ed School. While working as a broadcaster, you are called upon to be an educator all the time, like when doing the forecast, she says. I enjoyed taking [the forecast] beyond what was happening to why. To me thats the essence of the work. As a meteorologist, you need to be able to communicate what you know. Additionally, her job as a meteorologist regularly called upon her to speak to children at schools. She enrolled in the Technology, Innovation, and Education Program, which she credits with being a game changer in her career. ed.M.95 I became a much better writer and it really added depth to my oral presentation, Michaels says, noting it also inspired her to help launch a publication called The Weather Almanac and take on an adjunct lecturer position at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. Reframing what I know was born out of my work at the Ed School. Though Michaels left her position as a television meteorologist in 2009 to focus on raising her now-5-year-old daughter, she continues to funnel her enthusiasm for weather and education. As part of a new business venture, she launched a childrens clothing line called Natural Cloud Cover. The 100 percent organic t-shirts and onesies are themed around what else? the weather. Michaels says she was always giving weather-related gifts to friends and had the idea of weather-themed t-shirts for some time. An artist and watercolorist, Michaels designs the t-shirts, which
BosTon herald /john Wilcox

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feature phrases like Official Snow Taster and Rainy Day Puddle Jumper. At the heart of the venture is her desire to get kids talking about the weather and perhaps spark another childs passion for science. Five percent of sales go to the Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory, a Massachusettsbased science center geared toward education.

As far as what the future holds for Michaels and a potential return to television, she says it remains to be seen. I miss the excitement and the intensity, but most of all the learning, Michaels says. Every time I forecast a storm, Im always learning and I always want to know more. Jill Anderson

the statesMan: Joseph lekuton

When Joseph Lekuton had the chance to go to a private high school in Kenya, his nomadic Masaai family made an almost unheard of sacrifice to pay the schools fees: they sold four of their cows. You better make it, his brother told him after the sale. This is a big sacrifice. The sacrifice paid off. Lekuton made it big, both in his country and in America, getting a bachelors degree (on full scholarship) and two masters in the United States before being elected in 2006 to the Kenyan Parliament, where he has focused on getting new schools built and mediating between ethnic groups clashing over livestock grazing rights. He has made up for his familys sacrifice, initially giving his mother 50 cows and sending money home. And for his village, located in the northern part of the country and struggling with drought, he has raised funds for water purification projects and a new dormitory where nomadic children can live and go to school while their families are moving with the herds. Lekuton also helped get computers shipped from the United States to local schools and donated some of his salary to the poor. This commitment to his people, especially in school children, is something Lekuton honed at the Ed School and is critical to his country. As he explained in an interview with The New York Times, Without education, you cant have democracy. Lory Hough
Harvard GraduatE ScHool of Education


guillaume Bonn


the MedIa MoGul: anne sweeney

Everyones a critic. Including the children of Anne Sweeney, cochair of Disney Media Networks and president of DisneyABC Television Group. My critics are at the kitchen table! Sweeney laughs, remembering the time her then-middle-school-aged daughter informed her that the scheduling of Disneys Lizzie McGuire doesnt work for me! Kids are honest, says Sweeney. Mine never hesitated to tell me when they didnt like something. And the audience family or not is the most important thing to Sweeney when programming the networks she oversees, including ABC, Disney Channel, and ABC Family. You have to keep in mind the needs of different audiences, she says. For ABC Family, the millennial generation is defined by the lives they lead using different devices. They dont want stories that are relevant and predictable. Sweeney calls her company story-centric. From childrens fare on Disney to adult programming on ABC, she says, It all begins and ends with story. Success depends on the depth of characters and your ability to tell the stories. Her Ed School mentor Gerald Lesser would understand this. Himself one of the minds behind Sesame Street, Lesser 26


welcomed Sweeney when, as an undergraduate who hadnt yet even applied to the Ed School, she arrived at his office door unannounced. He invited me right in, and we talked for an hour about his experience on Sesame Street and at the Ed School, Sweeney says. He explained the meaning of having an education background when working in childrens television. It helps you understand and approach your audience in a different way. Lesser would become Sweeneys advisor, and unintentional matchmaker, when she met her husband, Phillip Miller, Ed.M.80, in his Childrens Television class. (Miller, a former teacher and producer at Massachusetts Educational Television, now works in a similarly unexpected job: intellectual property attorney.) Grounded by her family even the critics Sweeney is unfazed by lists naming her among the most powerful women in entertainment and is more inclined to measure success on the wide reach of her shows. What were doing is culturally significant. Last year, television was the most discussed topic on Twitter, she says. Television is social currency. Marin Jorgensen

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associaTed press

the MInd reader: Bill haddad

Bill Haddads office is not characteristic of your typical psychologist: Housed in a windowless building that is highly secure and routinely debugged, the only objects in the room are a computer and a couple of pictures. But then again, Bill Haddad is not your typical psychologist. As an employee for the Defense Intelligence Agency, which was founded by Robert McNamara in 1961 as a way to integrate all of the military intelligence for the Department of Defense, Haddad is actually part of a rare group fewer than 20 psychologists around the world are employed by an intelligence agency in similar positions. Working in something called a sensitive compartmented information facility, Haddad is largely responsible for screening and evaluating potential intelligence agents to determine their suitability for high-stress positions, such as operating in a war zone, and to delegate who can be trusted with topsecret clearance. This component is definitely the most important aspect of my job because, ultimately, I am hand-selecting the people that will help protect national security, he says. Occasionally, Haddad also creates psychological profiles of foreign leaders, which are passed on to military and political leaders when making policy decisions. From time to time, hes also involved in activities that are more covert. Say someone in another country wanted to turn on Osama Bin Laden and reveal his location to the authorities, Haddad says. He would be brought to a safe house where we would psychoanalyze him, make sure he is not a double agent or a nut, and determine what is really motivating him. Its clear that after graduating from what was then the schools Counseling and Consulting Psychology Program, Haddads career has taken a big turn from the education world. Nevertheless, he says his time at Harvard helped him shift away from the engineering field, where he worked for 12 years. The Ed School was a complete awakening for me because people actually interacted in class, he says. This interaction fostered skills that, when combined with the critical thinking mindset I gained in engineering, have allowed me to make deeper connections with people and really look inside their heads and see what makes them tick. Rachael Apfel Ed.





Harvard GraduatE ScHool of Education




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Statistical Significance
BY david mcKaY wilSon illuStrationS BY otto Steininger

School districts around the country have more data available to them than ever before, but figuring out what to do with all that information isnt always easy.

Harvard GraduatE ScHool of Education


he P.S. 175 Data Wall commands a central place in Principal Cheryl McClendons office at the Henry Highland Garnet School for Success in Harlem, N.Y. Its color-coded, with green and blue signifying proficiency in state math and English language arts exams. Yellow and red indicate failure to meet benchmarks. McClendon acknowledges there is far too much yellow on the English scores, but she remains optimistic. The schools schedule now includes back-to-back reading and writing periods, providing more time for literacy training. And according to the sophisticated metric in New York City schools that includes student progress as well as qualitative measures on the school environment, P.S. 175 was rated B a score better than 51 percent of city schools. We progressed from a C to a high B, says McClendon. It was really, really hard work. The preeminence of the display on McClendons wall reflects the burgeoning role that statistical data plays in the U.S. educational system. Over the past 20 years, the accountability movements reliance on data to quantify student learning has transformed pedagogical practice and opened up educational practice to show the public how well students are achieving or not achieving in their public schools. Statewide standardized tests, mandated by the federal government under No Child Left Behind, have provided mounds of data for educators to analyze. Yet these piles of numbers have left many educators paralyzed and unable to figure out how to use them. Meanwhile, initiatives across the country, sparked by the federal Race to the Top competition, which link teacher evaluations in part to student achievement, have pushed our data-driven system into new frontiers. Sarah Glover, executive director of the Strategic Data Project, under the Ed Schools Center for Education Policy Research, says districts are hungry for strategies to make use of the data stacking up at district headquarters. We want to take advantage of the mounds of data that are accumulating and apply analytic methods to be more predictive, and help understand how we can keep things moving forward, she says. If we want kids to graduate from high school on time, what are the markers they need to hit in the K12 career to do so, and what are the practices that will get them there? The project, which now includes 10 school districts, a charter management group, and two state education departments, is the latest example of datas primacy in 21st-century education and of the growing influence of economists in education policy. It wasnt always that way. Back in the 19th century, clergy held sway in education

circles. By the early 20th century, psychologists had burst on the scene as they began to measure learning. Then came the sociologists and lawyers of the 1960s and 1970s, who were concerned with equal opportunity and equity in the schools. Economists, meanwhile, began to investigate education in the 1950s, with University of Chicago free-market proponent Milton Friedman asserting that schools would run more efficiently if governments separated school finance from school operations. His work led to the development of school voucher programs. Labor economists used longitudinal models that had been developed to determine the impact of social programs on worker income to analyze student performance on standardized tests. The economists substituted test scores for wages to see progress or the lack thereof. Other economists used their analytical tools in lawsuits arguing that states failed to provide adequate education for all students, while others developed models to show that spending public money on dropout-prevention programs would actually save taxpayer money if the dropouts were later incarcerated. Proponents for public investment in early childhood education have relied on the work of Nobel Laureate James Heckman, whose studies have shown the positive results of early childhood investments, based on higher earnings, less crime, and lower unemployment among adults who had been enrolled in high-quality preschool programs as children. Raj Chetty, a professor of economics at Harvard, in 2010 published a study that estimates that having an above-average kindergarten teacher in a classroom of 20 will generate about $320,000 more in total lifetime earnings for each of his or her students, compared to the same class with a below-average teacher. Chetty analyzed data from randomized experiments involving 11,500 students conducted in 79 Tennessee elementary schools from 1985 to 1989. Chettys team tracked down 95 percent of those tested to see if students who scored well on kindergarten tests were earning more than their classmates by the time they reached their mid-20s. He found that high kindergarten scores predicted a wide variety of outcomes for the students: They were more likely to attend college, have retirement savings, be homeowners, and live in better neighborhoods.


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Economists have a huge tool kit through econometrics, says Chetty. And we are now applying those tools to education. With todays focus on test scores and achievement, theres a tremendous amount of good data. The reliance on student data to justify certain public investments and drive instruction in the classroom has attracted scores of economists to the field. Ed School Professor Richard Murnane, a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) who helped start the schools Data Wise Project (see sidebar, page 32), recalls that in the 1980s, there were a handful of economists at the bureau involved in K12 educational research. Today, Murnane says the bureau has about 120 NBER economists focused on education. The data is there, and the economists are finding support to carry out their experiments, says Murnane, coauthor of the 2011 book, Methods Matter: Improving Causal Inference in Education and Social Science Research. There are lots of policy levers, and we are able to look at the consequences of these policies. While economists are not the only ones using or creating data, critics decry the omnipresence of statistics. They say the overreliance on data has harmed education by

narrowing curricula and focusing on test preparation to ensure that students pass mandated tests in math and English language arts. The recent scandals surrounding cheating by test administrators in cities like Atlanta and New York have also called into question the validity of test results. This test mania has gotten completely out of control, says Diane Ravitch, research professor of education at New York University and author of the 2010 book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education. Education is so much more than data about reading and math, and some of the data today is utterly untrustworthy. That data, however, cant be ignored, says J.D. LaRock, Ed.M.04, a senior analyst at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris, who served as senior education advisor to Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) from 2006 to 2008, and policy director for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Education from 2008 to 2010. LaRock, working toward his doctorate in the Ed Schools program in administration, planning, and social policy, says those jobs on Beacon Hill and in Washington, D.C., trained him to use data as the centerpiece for improving schools.
Harvard GraduatE ScHool of Education


The Data Wise Project

Theres no lack of data in the San Antonio Independent School District. Middle school principal Yesenia cordova has data from Texas statewide accountability tests, the districts own system, and the weekly common assessments that are benchmarked to the state tests, as well as marks given by classroom teachers on homework and quizzes. but with all those numbers, she couldnt figure out how they could inform this dilemma: The math scores at Edgar Allan poe Middle School had stagnated at 72 percent proficiency for three years. She was determined to make progress among the one in four middleschoolers who wasnt making the grade in a school whose population is 90 percent Hispanic and 94 percent economically disadvantaged. In June 2010, cordova came to the Harvard Graduate School of Education with an assistant principal and math teacher from poe Middle School to participate in a weeklong Data Wise workshop, in which educators learn an eight-step process that includes collaboration, data analysis, and an action plan. Its a project that began in 2001, when professor richard Murnane spent a year with the boston public Schools to improve the districts methods for understanding assessment data. This past summer, the San Antonio group joined educator teams from Farmington, conn.; Denver; cambridge, Mass.; chile; and Australia at the weeklong session. Through the process, cordova realized that the schools eighthgrade teachers planned together, but the sixth- and seventh-grade teachers did not. It allowed us to be reflective about the data and to look at it without being judgmental, says cordova. It allowed us to dig deep and find the root cause of our problem. We needed to know if it was truly a learner problem or if it was a problem with our practice, in how we were delivering the lessons. To increase collaboration, cordova brought together math teachers for all three levels. They agreed to plan together, teach the same material, and have common assessments each week to determine student progress. Teachers modeled instruction for each other and tweaked the curriculum to address problem areas. by years end, 80 percent of poes students were proficient in math. We changed our school culture into one that focused on teacher collaboration and looking at the right data, says cordova. We werent just looking at the numbers. We were also looking at our teaching practice, and it paid off. Lecturer Kathryn boudett, director of the Data Wise project, says the eight-step process provides a roadmap for educators looking to make meaningful change, based on what the data shows. The project has added four online classes so the groups can share what theyve found since returning to their schools. We give homework about digging into the data, she says. With this work, you just cant learn it in one setting. You have to learn it by doing it.

When he ran successfully for school board in the Boston suburb of Melrose in 2009, he made academic achievement, and the use of data to promote it, the top issue in his campaign. I think when people understand what the numbers mean, it can light a fire under them, says LaRock. It wasnt so sophisticated what we did. But the simple act of ensuring that the committee looked closely at performance data on a regular basis gave life to new conversations that werent taking place before. The analysis led to a more well-defined plan to narrow the achievement gaps, with specific goals, and a deeper articulation of the strategy to reach those goals, LaRock says. Essentially, you cant argue with the facts, he says. It put academic achievement front and center in what we do. Having the facts, though, isnt enough as educators wrestle with reams of data and spreadsheets that extend out far beyond their computer screens. The Strategic Data Project helps districts decipher the data in ways that can improve instruction. Nathan Kuder, a fellow with the project working in Bostons Office of Accountability, has helped the district make sense of its data concerning the delivery of services to English language learners. His charge: to help the department understand where these students were enrolled, what services they were receiving, and where the district needed to train teachers to serve those students. Problems arose because teacher data was kept by the districts human resources department while student data was kept in a separate system. Kuders initial report had 27 different categories of service delivery. The first reports were overwhelming, recalls Kuder. There was too much information. So we simplified it, made a school-by-school report for each of our 125 schools. That report, now circulated monthly, has guided the district to more effectively assign teachers certified to teach English language learners. By the end of the 201011 school year, Boston saw a 35 percent increase in students receiving complete services. Now Kuder is working with Boston educators on designing a metric to help drive instruction



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that uses data in addition to results from the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System, known as the MCAS, which has tests taken in March, with results not available until six months later in September. Wed like to get beyond MCAS, says Kuder. Were trying to identify a new metric, so we are looking out the front window, instead of always looking behind us with old information. While Kuder has developed a system to better allocate teaching resources in Boston, Ed School doctoral student Tom Tomberlin, Ed.M.06, another Strategic Data Project fellow working with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina, is developing a teacher evaluation system. That system, like many under development around the country, will be based in part on how a teachers students perform on statewide standardized tests. That project began with an exploration of merit pay, using a value-added model, to measure student progress during their time with individual teachers. Tomberlin says opposition arose because additional measures of teacher effectiveness in the schools in addition to test scores had yet to be developed.

Now Tomberlin is working with teachers on several areas that could be included in the evaluation system: content pedagogy, participation in professional learning communities, student surveys, teacher work product, teacher observation, student learning objectives, and value-added measures to determine if students have achieved a years work in their subject. First, Tomberlins group is doing a literature review to determine if research supports the importance of these factors in instruction. Then they will move on to determine how these factors get measured, through a standardized method of observation and measurement. That will generate unique data a crucial element of Americas data-driven education world. Weve gone back to the drawing board to develop our multiple measures of effectiveness before we start talking again about compensation, says Tomberlin. So were engaging with our faculty to hash it out. David McKay Wilson is a New Yorkbased freelance writer whose last piece in Ed. focused on President Obamas overhaul of the student financial aid system. Ed.

The Data Wise Process

1. Organize for Collaborative Work: Schools develop a
data team to gather data from many sources and then set up schedules to allow school personnel to collaborate in their examination of the data.

3. Create a Data Overview: Educators
create a concise summary of student achievement results that inspires rather than overwhelms. The summary is intended to show what students are learning and reveal gaps in that understanding.

6. Develop an Action Plan: The
team decides to address a certain area and designs a professional development program to support educators who will put that plan into action.

4. Dig into Data: Now that the data is avail2. Build Assessment Literacy: Educators learn the basics
of assessment terminology and learn how to both analyze and talk about the data. able, educators look at a broader range of student work, such as projects, classwork, and homework, to provide more clarity on what the data has shown. Through this step, educators discover gaps in certain areas that are common to large numbers of students.

7. Plan to Assess Progress:

Educators set goals both shortterm and long-term and develop a plan that will determine if those goals have been met.

8. Act and Assess: Educators

monitor how the plan is working, and then make adjustments to make improvements. The process then returns to Step 3, in which data is gathered for analysis, and a new cycle of review begins.

5. Examine Instruction: Educators look at

how classroom instruction has affected poor student performance in areas revealed by digging into the data. They identify an area that they want to tackle through collaboration.

Harvard GraduatE ScHool of Education


The debate over how much schoolwork students should be doing at home has flared again, with one side saying its too much, the other side saying in our competitive world, its just not enough.

t was a move that doesnt happen very often in American public schools: The principal got rid of homework. This past September, Stephanie Brant, principal of Gaithersburg Elementary School in Gaithersburg, Md., decided that instead of teachers sending kids home with math worksheets and spelling flash cards, students would instead go home and read. Every day for 30 minutes, more if they had time or the inclination, with parents or on their own. I knew this would be a big shift for my community, she says. But she also strongly believed it was a necessary one. Twenty-first-century learners, especially those in elementary school, need to think critically and understand their own learning not spend night after night doing rote homework drills. Brants move may not be common, but she isnt alone in her questioning. The value of doing schoolwork at home has gone in and out of fashion in the United States among educators, policymakers, the media, and, more recently, parents. As far back as the late 1800s, with the rise of the Progressive Era, doctors such as Joseph Mayer Rice began pushing for a limit on what he called mechanical homework, saying it caused childhood nervous conditions and eyestrain. Around that time, the then-influential Ladies Home Journal began publishing a series of anti-homework articles, stating that five hours of brain work a day was the most we should ask of our children, and that homework was an intrusion on family life. In response, states like California passed laws abolishing homework for students under a certain age. But, as is often the case with education, the tide eventually turned. After the Russians launched the Sputnik satellite in 1957, a space race emerged, and, writes Brian Gill in the journal Theory Into Practice, The homework problem was reconceived as part of a national crisis; the U.S. was losing the Cold War because Russian children were smarter. Many earlier laws limiting homework were abolished, and the longterm trend toward less homework came to an end. The debate re-emerged a decade later when parents of the late 60s and 70s argued that children should be free to play and explore similar anti-homework wellness arguments echoed nearly a century earlier. By the early-1980s,
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BY lorY hough illuStrationS BY JeSSica eSch

however, the pendulum swung again with the publication of A Nation at Risk, which blamed poor education for a rising tide of mediocrity. Students needed to work harder, the report said, and one way to do this was more homework. For the most part, this pro-homework sentiment is still going strong today, in part because of mandatory testing and continued economic concerns about the nations competitiveness. Many believe that todays students are falling behind their peers in places like Korea and Finland and are paying more attention to Angry Birds than to ancient Babylonia. But there are also a growing number of Stephanie Brants out there, educators and parents who believe that students are stressed and missing out on valuable family time. Students, they say, particularly younger students who have seen a rise in the amount of take-home work and already put in a six- to nine-hour work day, need less, not more homework. Who is right? Are students not working hard enough or is homework not working for them? Heres where the story gets a little tricky: It depends on whom you ask and what research youre looking at. As Cathy Vatterott, the author of Rethinking Homework, points out, Homework has generated enough research so that a study can be found to support almost any position, as long as conflicting studies are ignored. Alfie Kohn, author of The Myth of Homework and a strong believer in eliminating all homework, writes that, The fact that there isnt anything close to unanimity among experts belies the widespread assumption that homework helps. At best, he says, homework shows only an association, not a causal relationship, with academic achievement. In other words, its hard to tease out how homework is really affecting test scores and grades. Did one teacher give better homework than another? Was one teacher more effective in the classroom? Do certain students test better or just try harder? It is difficult to separate where the effect of classroom teaching ends, Vatterott writes, and the effect of homework begins.



Harvard GraduatE ScHool of Education


Putting research aside, however, much of the current debate over homework is focused less on how homework affects academic achievement and more on time. Parents in particular have been saying that the amount of time children spend in school, especially with afterschool programs, combined with the amount of homework given as early as kindergarten is leaving students with little time to run around, eat dinner with their families, or even get enough sleep. Certainly, for some parents, homework is a way to stay connected to their childrens learning. But for others, homework creates a tug-of-war between parents and children, says Liz Goodenough, M.A.T.71, creator of a documentary called Where Do the Children Play? Ideally homework should be about taking something home, spending a few curious and interesting moments in which children might engage with parents, and then getting that project back to school an organizational triumph, she says. A nag-free activity could engage family time: Ask a parent about his or her own childhood. Interview siblings. Instead, as the authors of The Case Against Homework write, Homework overload is turning many of us into the types of parents we never wanted to be: nags, bribers, and taskmasters. Leslie Butchko saw it happen a few years ago when her son started sixth grade in the Santa Monica-Malibu (Calif.) United School District. She remembers him getting two to four hours of homework a night, plus weekend and vacation projects. He was overwhelmed and struggled to finish assignments, especially on nights when he also had an extracurricular activity. Ultimately, we felt compelled to have Bobby quit karate hes a black belt to allow more time for homework, she says. And then, with all of their attention focused on Bobbys homework, she and her husband started sending their youngest to his room so that Bobby could focus. One day, my younger son gave us 15-minute coupons as a present for us to use to send him to play in the back room. It was then that we realized there had to be something wrong with the amount of homework we were facing. Butchko joined forces with another mother who was having similar struggles and ultimately helped get the homework policy in her district changed, limiting homework on weekends and holidays, setting time guidelines for daily homework, and broadening the definition of homework to include projects and studying for tests. As she told the school board at one meeting when the policy was first being discussed, In closing, I just want to say that I had more free time at Harvard Law School than my son has in middle school, and that is not in the best interests of our children. One barrier that Butchko had to overcome initially was convincing many teachers and parents that more homework doesnt necessarily equal rigor. 36

Most of the parents that were against the homework policy felt that students need a large quantity of homework to prepare them for the rigorous AP classes in high school and to get them into Harvard, she says. Stephanie Conklin, Ed.M.06, sees this at Another Course to College, the Boston pilot school where she teaches math. When a student is not completing [his or her] homework, parents usually are frustrated by this and agree with me that homework is an important part of their childs learning, she says. As Timothy Jarman, Ed.M.10, a ninth-grade English teacher at Eugene Ashley High School in Wilmington, N.C., says, Parents think it is strange when their children are not assigned a substantial amount of homework. Thats because, writes Vatterott, in her chapter, The Cult(ure) of Homework, the concept of homework has become so engrained in U.S. culture that the word homework is part of the common vernacular. These days, nightly homework is a given in American schools, writes Kohn. Homework isnt limited to those occasions when it seems appropriate and important. Most teachers and administrators arent saying, It may be useful to do this particular project at home, he writes. Rather, the point of departure seems to be, Weve decided ahead of time that children will have to do something every night (or several times a week). This commitment to the idea of homework in the abstract is accepted by the overwhelming majority of schools public and private, elementary and secondary. Brant had to confront this when she cut homework at Gaithersburg Elementary. A lot of my parents have this idea that homework is part of life. This is what I had to do when I was young, she says, and so, too, will our kids. So I had to shift their thinking. She did this slowly, first by asking her teachers last year to really think about what they were sending home. And this year, in addition to forming a parent advisory group around the issue, she also holds events to answer questions. Still, not everyone is convinced that homework as a given is a bad thing. Any pursuit of excellence, be it in sports,

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the arts, or academics, requires hard work. That our culture finds it okay for kids to spend hours a day in a sport but not equal time on academics is part of the problem, wrote one pro-homework parent on the blog for the documentary Race to Nowhere, which looks at the stress American students are under. Homework has always been an issue for parents and children. It is now and it was 20 years ago. I think when people decide to have children that it is their responsibility to educate them, wrote another. And part of educating them, some believe, is helping them develop skills they will eventually need in adulthood. Homework can help students develop study skills that will be of value even after they leave school, reads a publication on the U.S. Department of Education website called Homework Tips for Parents. It can teach them that learning takes place anywhere, not just in the classroom. It can foster positive character traits such as independence and responsibility. Homework can teach children how to manage time. Annie Brown, Ed.M.01, feels this is particularly critical at less affluent schools like the ones she has worked at in Boston, Cambridge, Mass., and Los Angeles as a literacy coach. It feels important that my students do homework because they will ultimately be competing for college placement and jobs with students who have done homework and have developed a work ethic, she says. Also it will get them ready for independently taking responsibility for their learning, which will need to happen for them to go to college. The problem with this thinking, writes Vatterott, is that homework becomes a way to practice being a worker. Which begs the question, she writes. Is our job as educators to produce learners or workers? Slate magazine editor Emily Bazelon, in a piece about homework, says this makes no sense for younger kids. Why should we think that practicing homework in first grade will make you better at doing it in middle school? she writes. Doesnt the opposite seem equally plausible: that its counterproductive to ask children to sit down and work at night before theyre developmentally ready because youll just make them tired and cross? Kohn writes in the American School Board Journal that this premature exposure to practices like homework (and sit-and-listen lessons and tests) are clearly a bad match for younger children and of questionable value at any age. He calls it BGUTI: Better Get Used to It. The logic here is that we have to prepare you for the bad things that are going to be done to you later by doing them to you now. According to a recent University of Michigan study, daily homework for six- to eight-year-olds increased on average from about 8 minutes in 1981 to 22 minutes in 2003. A review of research by Duke University Professor Harris Cooper found that for elementary school students, the

average correlation between time spent on homework and achievement hovered around zero. So should homework be eliminated? Of course not, say many Ed School graduates who are teaching. Not only would students not have time for essays and long projects, but also teachers would not be able to get all students to grade level or to cover critical material, says Brett Pangburn, Ed.M.06, a sixth-grade English teacher at Excel Academy Charter School in Boston. Still, he says, homework has to be relevant. Kids need to practice the skills being taught in class, especially where, like the kids I teach at Excel, they are behind and need to catch up, he says. Our results at Excel have demonstrated that kids can catch up and view themselves as in control of their academic futures, but this requires hard work, and homework is a part of it. Ed School Professor Howard Gardner basically agrees. America and Americans lurch between too little homework in many of our schools to an excess of homework in our most competitive environments Lil Abner vs. Tiger Mother, he says. Neither approach makes sense. Homework should build on what happens in class, consolidating skills and helping students to answer new questions. So how can schools come to a happy medium, a way that allows teachers to cover everything they need while not overwhelming students? Conklin says she often gives online math assignments that act as labs and students have two or three days to complete them, including some in-class time. Students at Pangburns school have a 50-minute silent period during regular school hours where homework can be started, and where teachers pull individual or small groups of students aside for tutoring, often on that nights homework. Afterschool homework clubs can help. Some schools and districts have adapted time limits rather than nix homework completely, with the 10-minute per grade rule being the standard 10 minutes a night for first-graders, 30 minutes for third-graders, and so on. (This remedy, however, is often met with mixed results since not all students work at the same pace.) Other schools offer an extended day that allows teachers to cover more material in school, in turn requiring fewer take-home assignments. And for others, like Stephanie Brants elementary school in Maryland, more reading with a few targeted project assignments has been the answer. The routine of reading is so much more important than the routine of homework, she says. Lets have kids reflect. You can still have the routine and you can still have your workspace, but now its for reading. I often say to parents, if we can put a man on the moon, we can put a man or woman on Mars and that person is now a second-grader. We dont know what skills that person will need. At the end of the day, we have to feel confident that were giving them something they can use on Mars. Ed.
Harvard GraduatE ScHool of Education


oneonone William Fitzsimmons

lthough most teachers would be thrilled to write a recommendation letter for a bright student interested in an Ivy League college like Harvard, the first two nuns William Fitzsimmons, Ed.M.69, Ed.D.71, asked at Archbishop Williams High School in braintree, Mass., flat out said no. At a place like Harvard, full of communists, atheists, and rich kids, the young Fitzsimmons, son of a gas station and convenience store owner, would surely lose his soul. Fitzsimmons kept trying and eventually found a few nuns who agreed to write letters, landing him a spot in the Harvard college class of 1967. Now, as dean of admissions at the college, Fitzsimmons makes Harvard possible for other young people, including thousands from workingclass backgrounds similar to his. As former Harvard president Derek bok once said of Fitz, as hes known, bill is changing peoples perceptions of what it takes to come here. Theres such an impression that Harvard is a really elite school full of nerdy people from wealthy families who went to prep schools. The great triumph is when you find someone in an unlikely place who, against all odds, achieved something.



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jill anderson

alumni news and notes

how are you changing perceptions? Since 2007 alone, Harvards annual investment in financial aid has climbed more than 70 percent from $96.6 million to $166 million, significantly out-pacing increases in tuition. More than 60 percent of Harvard students now receive financial aid; the average grant is $40,000. But personally youve also changed stereotypes by telling your story. why has this helped? People really relate to individual stories. Its refreshing for them to know that Harvard isnt something youre born to. Its something available to everyone. is the family gas station still open? The gas station is inactive now, but the store is going strong in Weymouth. We had a fantastic experience and met many great people. do you remember any of them? There was Big Sabe from rural Maine, right on the Canadian border. He came down to work on the railroads. We sometimes called him Baltimore Sabe because he liked the Baltimore Colts. We had a guy named Squid who had spent a lot of time as a sailor. We had a deep sea diver and a guy named Pete who drove a highly combustible gas tank. Jerry trained horses at the fairgrounds next door. There were firefighters and police officers, politicians, and a number of people who worked at the local shipyard. what did you learn from these regulars? It was an incredible education for a kid for anyone, really. I was able to

get to know a real cross section of the American population. We had lecture night at the store, which was one of those old-fashioned places where you really got to know people in almost any profession you could think of. It was also a way to learn about social class and the fabric of America.

how did this affect you at harvard? This experience was incredibly useful going to Harvard, where I got to see more broadly what I saw at the granular level at the store. It also really showed me the importance of education, especially when people gave me advice about missed opportunities. But it also convinced me that in our credential-oriented world, we often miss the fact that there are many people out there who didnt get to go to college who are educated in so many other ways. Its still very much alive in my mind. did you really decide to apply to harvard after reading about the college in an encyclopedia when you were in middle school? My parents World Book Encyclopedia had a picture of Harvard and a description of it that made it sound very enticing, mostly for its vast resources and its national and international faculty and students. Although Harvard was only 20 miles away, I never visited until my senior year in high school, in part because Harvard seemed so exclusive. Visiting this parallel universe quickly dispelled my misconceptions as is the case today for our first-time visitors. true or false: You discovered the ed School after finding a catalog in an office you were cleaning when

you were an undergraduate. This is absolutely true. I came across the catalog in the Thayer Hall dorm crew office I cleaned. At that time, I was interested in various possibilities teaching, research, college guidance counseling, public school administration, and international opportunities. Taking courses at the Ed School while a Harvard undergraduate kept me interested in all of the above. Youve been in harvards admissions office since 1972. what one piece of advice would you give to readers thinking of going into the admissions field? By all means, do it! George Goethals [his undergraduate mentor] encouraged me by his warning: Its such a captivating profession. Youll come to know the world and human nature in a unique way by visiting schools and communities in your recruiting; talking with educators, parents, and policymakers; hearing thousands of life stories each year as you read applications and take part in admission committee deliberations, and then following the students you admitted throughout their college years and beyond. You can make a difference in students lives and help ensure that good people have access to the resources of a great university in a way that benefits the world. The only problem is that its so captivating that you may blink and wake up 30 years later wondering where the time went so quickly. was he right? He was wrong it will be 40 years this coming July.
Lory Hough
Harvard GraduatE ScHool of Education


alumni news and notes

book, they provide a playbook for the collaboration of technology, politics, and platforms to help all achieve together what few can alone.

courTesy of alison church hyde

Neal Baer, Ed.M., published his debut novel, Kill Switch, in December 2011. His latest television production, A Gifted Man, currently airs on CBS. Mark Nerio, Ed.M., is vice president of community development for Citibank covering Austin, San Antonio, and South Texas. In addition, he was named chair-elect of the board of directors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Antonio.

the staff at alison church hydes crossroads Springs institute

the condition of affected children and interviews with these children.

James (Terry) Cowan, Ed.M., is a ghostwriter who, with his wife Lois, penned Deer in the Crosshairs: My Life in Sarah Palins Crosshairs by Levi Johnston. The book was published on September 27, 2011. John (Jack) Miller, M.A.T., recently published Transcendental Learning: The Educational Legacy of Alcott, Emerson, Fuller, Peabody and Thoreau. He has authored or edited 17 books and has an authors page on Amazon under John P. Miller.

Julius Wayne Dudley, Ed.M., was appointed to the United States Commission on Civil Rights on September 14, 2011 under its new charter. Working with the commission under its previous charter, Dudley contributed to and helped edit reports on school desegregation in Georgia and on school discipline. Renee Hobbs, Ed.D., was appointed founding director of the Harrington School of Communication and Media at the University of Rhode Island, to begin January 1. Her newest book, Digital and Media Literacy: Connecting Culture to Classroom, was recently published.

Alison Church Hyde, Ed.M., with her husband Arthur Hyde and subchief Meshack Isiaho, cofounded Crossroads Springs Institute, a care center and school for orphans of AIDS in Hamisi, Kenya. Beginning with 40 children in 2004, there are now 320 children in early childhood education through Standard 8. She is now president of the incorporated Crossroads Springs Africa.

zachary tumin

Charles Dey, M.A.T., delivered the keynote address at the 50 Years of Peace Corps Partnership event at Dartmouth College in November 2011.

Carolyn Newberger, Ed.M.72, Ed.D., was honored in October 2011, along with her husband, Eli, with the Family Legacy Award by Family Service of Greater Boston. Zachary Tumin, Ed.M., will publish Collaborate or Perish! Reaching Across Boundaries in a Networked World with former NYPD and LAPD chief and Boston police commissioner William Bratton, on January 17. In the

Jean Marzollo, M.A.T., was awarded the 2011 Oppenheim Portfolio Best Book Award Gold Seal for I Spy Spectacular, the 20th anniversary celebration of her popular I Spy childrens book series. It was also a Parents Choice Recommended Seal Winner for 2011.

Susanna Whitney Grannis, Ed.M., recently published Hope Amidst Despair: HIV/AIDS Affected Children in Sub-Saharan Africa, presenting research on

Sara Hoagland Hunter, Ed.M., recently wrote her eighth childrens book, The Lighthouse Santa. She had a reading in December at the Boston Athenaeum.



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Dare to Dream: William Trueheart

oon after William Trueheart, Ed.D.79, finished his undergraduate degree, he had dreams of being a businessman. but when he met a high school teacher who asked him to

mentor some low-income students of color in connecticut, his During the mentorship, Trueheart watched the students attitudes and grades improve, and he encouraged them to apply to four-year universities. In the end, the students were each rejected, opening Truehearts eyes to the reality of higher education in America. I was touched by this experience and inspired by these stuabout learning, only to experience that deep sense of rejection, especially after they had worked so hard, Trueheart says. unfortunately, more often than not, there are things happening [in] students [lives] that institutions dont fully recognize. As a result of that experience, Trueheart has dedicated much of his 45-year career to education in roles ranging from president of bryant university to associate secretary of Harvard university in its office of Governing boards to president and chief executive officer of reading Is Fundamental, Inc. The latest incarnation is as president and chief executive officer for Achieving the Dream, Inc., a Washington, D.c.-based nonprofit that helps community college students, particularly students of color and low-income students, stay in school and earn certificates or degrees. What most people dont realize is nearly 50 percent of students enrolled in post-secondary education are in community colleges, he says. A high percentage are low income and students of color. unfortunately, while many of these students earned their high school diplomas, many are not prepared to take on college work. Theres a lot of talent being wasted each year because we havent invested wisely in helping those students prepare for college well, he says. We believe its an obligation of community colleges to help students who come into the doors become college ready as efficiently and quickly as possible. Achieving the Dream focuses specifically on helping community colleges serving low-income students in urban and rural Jill Anderson areas build support resources for students. Trueheart explains that the goal is to determine ways to help low-income students of color succeed in college and earn certificates or degrees of some kind, by directing private dollars to these institutions. For example, by sending out leadership and data coaches to community college campuses, Achieving the Dream helps faculty and administrators build institutional research capacity and data analysis to track whats happening in the classroom and with student support. ultimately, this information aids community colleges in making informed decisions about which practices to adopt or abandon. community colleges have been underresourced for a number of years and underappreciated, he says. They have been doing extraordinary work, and there are lots of excellent teachers and administrators helping students who are not as prepared as they should be. I believe it is urgent, and if we dont begin to turn around the rates of completion and success for our students of color, then we are a weak nation.
courTesy of William TruehearT

future aspirations changed.

dents, who turned their lives around and [had become] excited

Pamela Gutlon, Ed.M., in November celebrated the second anniversary of her Outsiders Art Gallery located in Durham, N.C.

Deb Hirsch, Ed.M.86, Ed.D., was named vice president for development and director of external relations at Mount Ida College in Newton, Mass.

Barbara Brown, Ed.D., was named head of school at the Marin School in Sausalito, Calif., in July 2011. Tony Cipollone, Ed.D., was appointed the first president and chief executive officer of

the John T. Gorman Foundation, which aims to improve the lives of Maine residents through grantmaking. He was previously vice president for civic sites and initiatives at the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore.

Harvard GraduatE ScHool of Education


alumni news and notes

Jamie (Kornberg) Phillips, indi (avila) lombardo, and min (chon) Kim have a mini-reunion with their children

Alice Charkes, Ed.M., recently celebrated her 20th year of teaching French in Vermont public schools. She lives in Brattleboro teaching K6 and absolutely loves working with early language learners. She writes, I would love to hear about other GSE alumni teaching FLES, especially here in New England. I continue to be a voracious reader and knitter; Ive been playing on an ice hockey team for 18 years and still do self-supported bicycle tours once or twice every summer.

Jos Cole-Gutirrez, Ed.M., and his wife, Jennifer, welcomed son Santiago Arn ColeGutirrez on October 13, 2011. Santiago joins siblings Paloma, Marina, Nadia, Emilio, and Camila.

Christine Pina, Ed.M., has been named vice president for institutional advancement at the University of Hartford in Connecticut. She was formerly director of major gifts at Wesleyan University. Ingrid Schorr, Ed.M., is associate director of the Office of the Arts at Brandeis University.

Sharon Gleason, Ed.M., is director of development for the Girl Scout Council of the Nations Capital. She recently earned the highest professional fundraising certification, the Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the largest community of professional fundraisers in the world.

Stacey Collins, Ed.M., is teaching creative writing classes at Santa Monica College. She is also working as a freelance magazine writer and trying to break into the entertainment business. In Los Angeles, shes a board member of, an organization for Harvard alumni interested in the arts and entertainment fields. B. Price Kerfoot, Ed.M., was honored by President Barack Obama with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. His research focuses on the application of rigorous clinical trial methodologies to the evaluation of education and educational technology. He is a staff urologist at a Boston VA hospital.

Jos Cole-Gutirrezs son Santiago Arn

Charles Haynes, Ed.M., was promoted to professor by the MGH Institute of Health Professions, the Boston health sciences graduate school. Haynes, who joined the MGH Institute in 1992, is a faculty member in the department of communication sciences and disorders.

Ingrid Schorr welcomes audience members to the 2011 Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts, which she produces

Sona Chong, Ed.M., is a writer and producer of educational content at Sockeye Studios, LLC. Nursery Rhyme Singing Time with Mother Goose Club, the companys first DVD on its Mother Goose Club imprint, came out earlier this year.

Indi (Avila) Lombardo, Ed.M., lives in Aliso Viejo, Calif., with her husband, Chris, and their daughter, Ella Lucia.



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The Serial Entrepreneur: Ana Gabriela pessoa

na Gabriela Pessoa, Ed.M.07, has no patience for the status team of teachers produces new content daily, personalized to each student, to keep the users engaged. Pessoa is particularly proud that Ezlearn uses a learner-focused model. Learner-focused means the student is in command, says Pessoa. We do that by creating an algorithm that personalizes each and every course based on each users needs and his own goals. A student can learn alone on
courTesy of ana gaBriela pessoa

quo. Since long before graduating from the International Education Policy Program at the Ed School, she has searched for a way to bring high-quality, affordable education to the greatest number of people in her home country of Brazil. And in her experience which includes working at Senac Rio, the largest professional education network in Brazil, and at Universidade Estcio de S, the largest university in Brazil there is only one way to accomplish this: through technology. Her latest venture, Ezlearn Educacional, is an education technology company based in Rio de Janeiro that helps people who have a high need for English language training but who have not previously had access. Through the company, Pessoa continues to study how technology can be used in learning, particularly through adaptive learning platforms and social networking. The main goals, Pessoa says, are to democratize access to high-quality content, create a cheap and easy way to learn, and create great usability on the site for people with little or no technology background. The latter two goals, she hopes, help Ezlearn reach the lower middle class, a segment of the population whose education has been particularly neglected. Currently, Ezlearns main product is Meuingls, a website that helps Brazilians learn English through video lessons, social networks, and other learning technologies. The sites Marin Jorgensen

the platform, although there is user interaction and interaction with teachers as well. Since its inception in 2009, Ezlearn has grown its subscriber list to more than 100,000 and shows no signs of slowing down, she says. Pessoa is working on expanding the sites services, including adding several more skills-based courses, and hopes that its subscriber list continues to grow, eventually reaching her goal of 1 million users. Similarly, Pessoa also has no plans to slow down. Despite a busy schedule that, in addition to her CEO duties at Ezlearn, includes being on the board of Ensina (Brazils Teach For America equivalent) and starting the organization Women Entrepreneurs in Technology in Brazil, Pessoa plans on developing even more new businesses. Im a serial entrepreneur in education, she says.

She is currently teaching Spanish to grades 18 at a Waldorfinspired charter school. She recently published her first Spanish-language childrens book, Sana, Sana. Min (Chon) Kim, Ed.M., lives in Houston with her husband, John, and their two kids, Ji-Oh and AJ. Jamie (Kornberg ) Phillips, Ed.M., lives in Los Angeles

with her husband, Josh, and their two kids, Hudson, 3, and Olivia, 4.5. She continues to run the educational enrichment company she founded in 2004. She recently had a mini-reunion with Indi (Avila) Lombardo, Ed.M., and Min (Chon) Kim, Ed.M., and their families. Although we have spread around the country, we are so happy to be able to get together once in a while, she writes.

Cahn Oxelson, Ed.M., was recently named director of college counseling at the Horace Mann School in the Bronx, N.Y. Amy Stephens Sudmyer, Ed.M., and Jeff Sudmyer, Ed.M., welcomed their daughter, Elizabeth Stephens Sudmyer, on June 6, 2011. She joins big brother Charlie, who is now four. Kate Yocum, Ed.M., recently received the Fulbright Distin-

guished Award in Teaching to study immigrant and language education in Finland.

Diane Michalowski Freedland, Ed.M., is a director of community development at the PJ Library, an award-winning Jewish family engagement and literacy program under the Harold Grinspoon Foundation
Harvard GraduatE ScHool of Education


alumni news and notes

that is designed to strengthen the identities of Jewish families. Prior to that, she was executive director of Young Audiences of Massachusetts, an affiliate of one of the nations largest arts

education organizations in the United States. Craig Outhouse, Ed.M., was recently appointed assistant principal at Woodland School

in East Hartford, Conn., an alternative program that services more than 200 students in K12. He continues to serve as an adjunct professor in the psychology department at Western New England University in Springfield, Mass. Ann Sharfstein, Ed.M., started a new position as the reading specialist at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, N.H., at the start of the 20112012 academic year. This follows six years as an instructor at the

Stern Center for Language and Learning in Vermont. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and their two daughters, Sadie, 6, and Helena, 3.

Tyler Hodges, Ed.M., has been appointed director of upper school academics and student life at Laguna Blanca School in Santa Barbara, Calif. Previously, Hodges served as upper school dean of students.

Working with low-income families in the Massachusetts cities of boston, chelsea, and Lynn who would like to send their children to college, FuEL uses incentivized savings programs including matching parents savings, offering seed money for parents accounts, and providing additional access to scholarships opportunities and college access workshops called Savings circles. FuELs programs actively promote budgeting and saving and encourage family motivation, what the organization sees as one of the most important factors in educational attainment. currently, in order for families to take advantage of the programs, they need to belong to the schools or organizations with which
courTesy of kaiTlin lemoine

FuEL is partnered. How to reach more families, says LeMoine, is among the organizations challenges moving forward. one of LeMoines own challenges, though, in her new role as director of education and research, is ensuring that FuEL is best serving the families they are already working with. To that end, LeMoine attends as many of the workshops as she can in order to get to know the families personally and observe how the

Fuel to the Fire: Kaitlin LeMoine

content she has designed is being received. I take a very hands-on approach, she says. In my experience, curriculum design only becomes real when I can see how it is both implemented and reacted to by those learning from it. one of my primary goals is to ensure that the material provided to families is meaningful and truly helps them guide their children down the pathway to higher education. And her efforts are paying off, as FuEL is seeing its families send their children on to successful college careers. FuEL even receives letters from former participants expressing their gratitude. Learning how the FuEL program empowers families who may have otherwise found the pathway to college education almost impossible, says LeMoine, serves as a potent reminder of just how powerful our work is. Marin Jorgensen

hen she walked into the Ed Schools 2010 Fall Internship Expo, Kaitlin LeMoine, Ed.M.11, never guessed that shed be walking out with a new career

direction. What the former teacher and student enrichment coordinator at prospect Hill Academy charter School in Somerville, Mass., found was inspiration in the form of Families united in Educational Leadership (FuEL), a boston-area nonprofit. I had just wrapped up a summer job developing and teaching a personal finance curriculum for high school students and was struck by the influence that financial knowledge had on youth, she says. To work at FuEL was a unique chance to develop curriculum to promote further awareness of both financial literacy and higher education access among whole families, including their students.



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Boris Korsunsky, Ed.D., was named one of the winners of 2011 Amgen Award for Excellence in Science Teaching. Only 31 teachers in the United States and Canada, including four teachers in Massachusetts, were so honored. Adrian Lim, Ed.M., was the honoree in the academic leadership category of the Junior Chamber International 2011 Ten Outstanding Young Persons in the World Award. He recently contributed as a member of the New Media Consortium K12 Horizon Project Advisory Board to produce the Horizon Report 2011 K12 Edition. He is currently the principal of Ngee Ann Secondary School in Singapore.

of the Coalition of Essential Schools. He continues to serve as the principal of the schools middle school campus, a position he has held since 2007. He lives with his wife and son in the Cabbagetown neighborhood of Atlanta.


Molly Shaw, Ed.M., was named executive director of Communities In Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Inc., in North Carolina.

Charlene Desir, Ed.M.01, Ed.D., is the cofounder of The Empowerment Network (T.E.N.) Global, a nonprofit organization that supports the psychological development and academic advancement of women and children in Florida and Haiti. She has recently opened a youth center in the village of San Raphael, Haiti, which provides vulnerable youth with art-based programming to promote psycho-social development and overall healing.

Max Klau, Ed.M.00, Ed.D., is the director of leadership development at City Year, a national service organization headquartered in Boston. He recently contributed the chapter City Year: Developing Idealistic Leaders Through National Service to The Handbook for Teaching Leadership, a textbook published last October. Louie Rodriguez, Ed.M.99, Ed.M.01, Ed.D., was honored in October 2011 as a Person of Distinction by San Bernardino Valley College in California. He also recently wrote a blog entry for The White House Initiatives. It can be read at

Mark Hecker, Ed.M., founder and executive director of Reach Incorporated, a literacy program that recruits and trains struggling adolescent readers to tutor Washington, D.C.-area elementary school students in need of additional support, was one of 22 people from eight countries named a 2011 Echoing Green fellow. Echoing Green is a nonprofit social venture fund that identifies, invests in, and supports some of the worlds best emerging social entrepreneurs. Ryan Miller, Ed.M., recently became associate director of campus diversity and strategic initiatives at the University of

Matt Underwood, Ed.M., was promoted to executive director of the Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School, a K8 charter school with two campuses. The school is a member

Deirdre Duckett, Ed.M.03, Ed.M., is working as director of recruitment and hiring at the Achievement Network in Boston.

In Memory
Dorothy rundle Lamborn, Ed.M.41 Irvin Gaydos, GSE46 Emilie Gustava Larson, M.A.T.46 caesar Gregory, Ed.M.47 Dorothy King pethybridge, Ed.M.49 Elaine Kaufman Navias, GSE50 charles Smith Jr., GSE52 roger Hahn, M.A.T.54 oscar lan rogers Jr., M.A.T.54 James Wallace, M.A.T.54 Arthur Wiscombe, Ed.M.55 John beebe, M.A.T.56 Nathaniel ober, M.A.T.51, c.A.S.56 Shirley osepchuk, Ed.M.56 robert Vandenberg, c.A.S.56 Katharine Kharas, M.A.T.57 George Isaac brown, Ed.D.58 Judith richie Demerath, Ed.M.58 James Tatro, M.A.T.59 Joyce Friend Everett, M.A.T.61 paul Judge, M.A.T.61 Norman Walker, M.A.T.61 John bradford Davis, Ed.M.49, c.A.S.59, Ed.D.62 Geraldine Anderson, Ed.M.63 Judith Gartner, M.A.T.63 Anne Kane McGuire, M.A.T.63 Lloyd blanchard, Ed.M.49, c.A.S.66 charles Toth Jr., M.A.T.66 peter Francis carbone Jr., Ed.M.62, Ed.D.67 Helen Harry Johnson, M.A.T.67 Joanne Mitchell, Ed.D.67 Nap Dufault, c.A.S.69 Joanne Dellaporta, M.A.T.70 John Elmer, M.A.T.46, c.A.S.72, Joseph McLean, c.A.S.72 Donald robert parkhurst, M.A.T.72 Howard ramagli Jr., Ed.M.74 bonnie page MacFadyen, Ed.M.76 Hsiao-ti Falcone, Ed.M.78 catherine Jenkins, Ed.M.81 Lavern Hunter, Ed.M.82 Janice Attean, Ed.M.88 Nancy Neill, c.A.S.88 Mary Fries, c.A.S.96 Sergei Samoylenko, Ed.M.00 Kolajo paul Afolabi, Ed.M.10

alumni news and notes

Texas at Austin. In his role, he works with constituencies across campus on strategic planning, diversity education initiatives, campus climate incident response, and creating the universitys first institutional diversity plan. Previously, he directed the LGBT Resource Center at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Fla.

That Figures

24,813 21,138 1,710 17,327 22,848

Number of all living Ed School alumni Number of domestic alumni Number of international alumni Number with valid email address Number with valid mailing address

Alumni in United States

12,102 3,905
Northeast West



Maxie Glass, Ed.M., got engaged in June 2011 to Evan Harnik, and will be getting married next July at the Harvard Club in New York. Kim Snodgrass, Ed.M., has taken a position as special projects associate to the CEO and vice president at Olive Grove Consulting, LLC. She continues as director of her nonprofit, REACH: Realizing Every Action Creates Hope.

Other: Guam, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, federated state of Micronesia, and military


Geographic Spread



Australia/ Oceania



North America

South America


Ed. It Is
Number of alumni with first name starting with Ed


Number with a January birthdate (Ed.s publication month)


Scott Barge, Ed.M.06, Ed.D., joined his alma mater, Goshen College in Indiana, as director of institutional research. He is also a member of the faculty, teaching statistics and research methods.

Michael Clarke, Ed.M., last years class gift chair, is teaching chemistry at Old Mill High School, an Anne Arundel County public school in Maryland, and settling back into life in the Washington, D.C. area.

He says, It is great being back with my wife and kids, but I do miss Appian Way! Liliana Garces, Ed.M.06, Ed.D., is serving as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Poverty Center of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. She was also appointed assistant professor of higher education administration in the Department of Educational Leadership at George Washington University School of Education and Human Development. She is spending this year in Michigan before moving to D.C. Michael Hurwitz, Ed.M.04, Ed.D., is working as a research scientist in the policy and advocacy division of the College Board.

Kaitlin LeMoine, Ed.M., is working at Families United in Educational Leadership, a Massachusetts nonprofit, as director of education and research. (See profile page 44.) Katherine Pezzella, Ed.M., is assistant director of Greek life at the College of Charleston in South Carolina.

Class Gift Chair Michael Clarke, Ed.M.11, his wife, Gail Hewitt-Clarke, and his children, Michael and Michaela HewittClarke, hold the giant class gift check at Commencement 2011



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michael Tallman

Wheres Ed.?
Well, it seems the answer to that is everywhere. And thats great. but we have too many to print only on the back cover so we decided to run a whole bunch here. Keep them coming!
1 Yes, the dean took a copy of Ed. to the recent wedding of her daughter, Kaitlin, and son-in-law, chad. 2 mayra Yaez de Saldaa, mom to Jerusha Saldaa Yaez, ed.m.11, reading at the airport in San Juan, Puerto rico. 3 red Skullton hanging out in the living room of Perla manapol, ed.m.73. 4 david torres, waiting for his mother, Jennifer monie de torres, ed.m.96, to accept the Secondary teacher of the Year award for mobile county Public Schools. 5 the children of catherine wu, ed.m.97, in taiwan. 6 current ed.d. student liz hale rozas and her husband, Xavier rozas, ed.m.10, on a bike trip down the california coast this past summer. 7 martyna Sarnowska, ed.m.10, lecturer haiyan hua, and magdalena wierzbicka, ed.m.10, at a conference in warsaw, Poland.

3 6

Harvard GraduatE ScHool of Education



william coperthwaite and his yurts, in maine and on appian way

In the round
If you walked down Appian Way in 1968, it would have been hard to miss the circular, tent-like structure with a shiny red roof on the Ed School campus. The yurt, a round wooden living structure first used by Mongolians, was the campus home of thendoctoral student William Coperthwaite, Ed.D.72. It was a smaller version of his permanent home, a three-story yurt he built in 1962 on 300 acres of land in Machiasport, Maine, set 1.5 miles from the nearest road. Since then, he has spent the years working as an educator and learning about disappearing cultures from around the globe. It was the latter pursuit that brought him to the Ed School in the late 60s. At the time, he was deeply immersed in learning the ways of the American Eskimo and planning a traveling exhibition for schools. According to Coperthwaite, when administrators got word of his work, they encouraged him to apply for the doctoral program and bring the traveling exhibition to fruition. A lover of nature and sustainable living, for Coperthwaite the shift to Cambridge, Mass., was tough, so he asked the school to let him build his own yurt on campus where Gutman Library now stands. With a price tag of $600 and the help of other students, Coperthwaite erected the yurt in two days. For the next year, the yurt became a gathering place for those interested in handicrafts and hosted lively debates and informal seminars about education. The yurt was so popular that nearby Radcliffe College asked Coperthwaite to design another yurt for their faculty and administrators in what is now the location of the sunken garden. Living in the round is different than living in a square, Coperthwaite says of the popularity. The circular shape of the yurt encourages conversation and interaction with one another, he says, noting that while sitting in the round, everyone can be equal. 48

For years, Coperthwaite has worked to generate interest in yurt living and has helped people all over the world even school districts design and construct the buildings. P.J. Phil and Coperthwaite has become the go-to expert on yurt design and construction, which resulted in the book, A Handmade Life: In Search of Simplicity. He even created the nonprofit Yurt Foundation, which focuses on research, education, and dissemination of yurt living. Today, on his 300 acres, Coperthwaite continues to cherish the simplicity of yurt living. Despite many technological advances, he still has no electricity or plumbing at home. He balks at phones and email, preferring to write letters. Now, in his 80s, he still travels the world studying disappearing cultures and shares what he learns via workshops. An avid whittler, Coperthwaite believes people need to make more things by hand and understand the hard work involved in such crafts. The hands help the brain and the brain helps the hands, he says. He admits that much of what worried him about education and modern society in his days at the Ed School still exists today. The erosion continues, the population explosion continues, and there are more and more cars just pushing out more problems, he says, looking out at the trees. We are living beyond our means as a society and its scary. So I live in the woods and carve spoons. Jill Anderson For those interested in reaching out to Coperthwaite, visit
watch a video of coperthwaite in maine.

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jill anderson

mark silBer

investing the appian way

dick and meg with their son on the steps of their chauncy Street apartment in 1962

pass It on
rowing up in the rural town of chazy in upstate New York, less than 10 miles from the canadian border, richard Dick Dodds, M.A.T. 62, relied on financial help to and acted in school plays, and advised the literary and graphic arts magazine. Meg notes that Dick became the first English teacher at Mt. Greylock to have his name placed on the schools Hall of Honor. Although he went to Harvard and oxford, we grew up in the country, she says, explaining why she was so proud when he was given the honor. So he was able to teach students from all walks of life. public education is in my blood, Dick says. both of my parents were teachers for about 35 years. The familys passion for education continues with the Dodds son, richard Jr., Ed.M. 85, who works as a data warehouse developer at brandeis university in Waltham, Mass. In establishing their legacy at the school, the Dodds are now members of the paul Hanus Society. We both love children of all ages, and we love to help them, Meg says of their decision to put their money into the annuity. These are very unusual times that we are living in now, so we feel a little more comfortable knowing that we have invested in Harvard something that will be solid in the future. Amy Magin Wong
Harvard GraduatE ScHool of Education

pursue his educational goals an academic route that eventually led to the Ed School and, later, to a sabbatical at oxford. I was a scholarship guy all the way through, he says, which is why he and his wife, Meg, decided to set up a planned charitable gift annuity to benefit student fellowships. During her husbands time at the Ed School, Meg worked in the universitys development office, and now she fondly recalls museum visits and spending days riverside with their new baby. We know how wonderful it is to have a scholarship to a very good college, she says, and its nice to pass it on. In making this type of a gift, the Dodds will receive steady, guaranteed lifetime payments from the annuity a tax-advantaged way to provide income during their retirement as well as to support the schools mission. I had a tremendous time at Harvard with people who were interested in ideas and who were doing a lot of good research, Dick says. I would like to see that continue. Eventually, Dick taught English at Mt. Greylock High School in Williamstown, Mass., for 36 years, where he also directed


Harvard Graduate School of Education Office of Communications 44R Brattle Street Cambridge, MA 02138

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Wheres Ed.?
Are you right as rainn? You can be if you glam it up while reading Ed., as rainn Wilson, star of the television show The Office, did in November when he was at the school recording an Edcast. Send the photo of yourself or someone in your family to To see more Wheres Ed.? photos, go to page 47.

michael rodman