On the Ground: Boston
In this issue of On the Ground, we look at our neighbor, affectionately known as the city on the hill. Boston has had many education-related firsts during its long history, including the country's first public school, the first school for the blind, the first all-female law school, and the first public school for black students. Here is a look at some of the ways that the Ed School community is involved in education in Boston.
We have hundreds of graduates working in education in Boston, as educators in Boston Public Schools (BPS), as leaders in educational nonprofits and foundations, and as staff and faculty in the many colleges and universities across the city. Here are just a few:
In BPS: Rasheed Meadows, Ed.M.'97, Ed.L.D.'13; Drew Echelson, Ed.M.'05, Ed.D.'13; and Mary Skipper, Ed.M.'06, are assistant superintendents of networks. Meg Campbell, C.A.S.'97, Ed.M.'05, is executive director and founder of Codman Academy Charter Public School, which employs half a dozen other Ed School graduates. Michele Brooks, Ed.M.'08, is the assistant superintendent for the Office of Student and Family Engagement. She was a recent member of the Boston School Committee. Melissa Dodd, Ed.M.'01, is BPS chief of staff.
At Boston colleges and universities: Jake Murray, Ed.M.'94, is senior director of the Aspire Institute at Wheelock University. Chen Shen, Ed.M.'12, is a student support coordinator at Northeastern University. Karen Wacks, Ed.M.'90, is clinical training coordinator for the music therapy department at Berklee College. Jose Alicea, Ed.M.'92, Ed.D.'96, is associate dean of academic affairs at Roxbury Community College. David Horton, Ed.M.'63, is supervisor of student teachers and aspiring principals at Simmons College. Nancy Stoll, Ed.D.'88, is dean of students at Suffolk University.
At Boston education nonprofits: Lindsay Laguna, Ed.M.'11, is the manager of curriculum and learning initiatives at FUEL, which focuses on college access and success for students and families. Samuel Albertson, Ed.M.'10, is the site director at Tenacity, Inc. Tenacity coordinates literacy, life lesson, and tennis instruction for BPS students. Max Klau, Ed.M.'00, Ed.D.'05, is vice president of leadership development at Boston-based City Year.
In January, the Data Wise Project partnered with the BPS director of data inquiry and two inquiry facilitators to deliver an intensive one-week course for master's and doctoral students on using collaborative inquiry to improve learning and teaching. This spring, multimedia case studies from a Boston high school and elementary school will be used to train educators from around the country and world on how to use data wisely.
Lecturer Pamela Mason, M.A.T.'70, Ed.D.'75, director of the Language and Literacy Program and the Jeanne Chall Reading Lab, served on the Board of Trustees of Cathedral High School in the South End and supervises language and literacy students placed at the high school through the Field Experience Program. Professor Kay Merseth, M.A.T.'69, Ed.D.'82, has been arranging visits to Boston schools for Harvard College undergraduates as part of their coursework for her class, United States and the World 35: The Dilemmas of Excellence and Equity in K–12 American Schools. Lecturer Rick Weissbourd, Ed.D.'87, director of the Human Development and Psychology Program, founded Lee Academy, as well as two interventions for at-risk students in Boston: ReadBoston and WriteBoston. Associate Professor Meira Levinson is working with teachers and principals in a number of Boston public schools to identify and help them reflect about dilemmas of justice that arise in school. Professor Catherine Snow is working with two Boston elementary schools in a randomized trial of her extended Word Generation Project AND served on a committee established by former mayor Tom Menino to review policies for K–3 literacy. BPS is also implementing an evaluation of STARI, Snow's sixth-through-eighth- grade program for students reading three or more years below grade level; the work is led by Lowry Hemphill, Ed.D.'86, an associate professor at Wheelock College. Lecturer Jacqueline Zeller worked with students, parents, and staff as a school-based psychologist in partnership with BPS.
Educators from BPS have consistently attended offerings by Programs in Professional Education. In the past year, more than 20 participants took part in Principals' Center leadership institutes and K–12 teaching and learning programs such as The Transformative Power of Teacher Teams and Data Wise: Using Assessment Results to Improve Teaching and Learning. PELP Boston is one of the original Public Education Leadership Project (PELP) partner districts, spanning the superintendent tenures of Tom Payzant, M.A.T.'63, C.A.S.'66, Ed.D.'68.; Carol Johnson; and now John McDonough. Senior Lecturer Karen Mapp, Ed.M.'93, Ed.D.'99, once the deputy superintendent for family and community engagement in BPS, is now a member of the PELP core faculty. In close collaboration with the district, a case study, "Staffing the Boston Public Schools," was authored by PELP and used in both Ed School classes and PELP's 2007 Harvard Ed Press publication, Managing School Districts for High Performance.
Nine Teacher Education Program master's students spent last semester interning in BPS, including Jim Hatzopoulos (Another Course to College), Carol Stoll (Boston Arts Academy), Max Price (Brighton High), Sara Cole and Kyle van Leer (Edwards Middle), Shannon Moran (Irving Middle), Natalia Cuadra-Saez (McCormack Middle), Rene Reyes (New Mission High), and Chris McCoy (Snowden International). Ellen Bryson and Tri Huynh interned at Cristo Rey, a Catholic school in Boston.
Ed.L.D. student Kimberley Ednie is completing her Ed.L.D. residency with BPE, a Boston-based education nonprofit that includes the Boston Teacher Residency program, which was launched in 2003 by then-Boston Superintendent Tom Payzant. Several Ed.D. students are also involved in Boston: Eve Ewing, Ed.M.'13, is communications and development manager with the Urbano Project, which recruits local artists to work with young people in Boston to design justice-oriented works of art. Jenny Jacobs, Ed.M.'03, Ed.M.'12, is teaching Sheltered English Instruction to residents in the Boston Teacher Residency program. During the past year, Bonnie Mackintosh has been conducting classroom-level observations and child assessments in community-based preschool programs throughout Boston's Circle of Promise and East Boston neighborhoods as part of an initiative to improve access to high-quality early childhood care and educational programs. Monica Yudron, Ed.M.'12, is the initiative's evaluator. Meghan Lockwood, Ed.M.'09, is preparing a case study on teacher collaborative inquiry at Boston International Newcomers Academy for the Data Wise Project.
BPS participates in many Career Services Office events, including a preK–12 Expo in March and a diversity reception in April. Since last fall, they also posted more than 200 Boston-based jobs.
Harvard Education Press recently published several Boston-connected books: Restoring Opportunity by Professor Richard Murnane and Greg Duncan features a BPS preK program. Character Compass by Scott Seider, Ed.M.'04, Ed.D.'08, focuses on three Boston schools that have made character development central to their missions. The Quest for Mastery focuses on the positive aspects of out-of-school programs, including several in Boston. Learning from the Experts features work going on in Boston and the voices of Boston teachers.