How to create a culture that attracts talented teachers
Deborah Kenny on the success behind the 'Harlem Village Academies'
- Duration 8:09
- Date Jun 14, 2012
Deborah Kenny on the success behind the 'Harlem Village Academies'
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-- who is here she is the author of born to rise and she's looking.
Specifically one part of the country where.
Has been a focal point Harlem.
-- new York and it's been kind of an avenue out of the ghetto in the past and then now struggling once again -- having.
-- this morning pleasure being here first of all tell me about the book.
So this book has been a number of years in the making.
It -- -- is actually the title of the book came from.
The school song that one of our board members John Legend wrote.
Last year and honor our first graduating class.
How John Legend all right sounds get sent out you form this I mean it I guess -- the age -- complications of not enough education reaching enough kids not enough kids finishing high school right it specifically what are you targeting.
So you know the book is as a personal story that.
Have to do -- starting.
A school from scratch and so in a way it's like an entrepreneurial.
Personal story of creating something from not thing.
And yet at the same time what I tried to do is describe over a ten year period.
What I learned because.
I need a thousand mistakes.
Along the way in trying to.
Accomplish what we were trying to do which is not just provide a world class education in Harlem for the children we serve which of course is our.
Focal point in our passion but also.
To do our best to become a national model and to show.
The world what should it Qaeda twelve system look quite so interesting all right so -- you public private charter was.
So it's it's network of charter schools or growing took it to -- 2000 children in Harlem.
And like all charter schools it's a public.
A public schools and of people use vouchers to get in there how to they get -- -- no I mean the dozen kids in Harlem that's that's like at ice cube and a bucket of hot water.
I mean not you get so many kids how to those 2000 kids get.
It -- it well so it's an open public lottery and what that campground or Joseph Klein.
You know back eight years ago is he created.
Such an excitement in New York City that a lot of the most.
Accomplished educators -- to New York because he was supporting.
Innovation and charter schools and basically what he was supporting us what's best for children and so now.
All the parents in this community know that the problem.
You know just it's impossible to educate these kids are all these myths that have been out there the problem is.
We have to open great schools and what we did that with all the charter schools in Harlem parents are walking to the school.
Amazing you know I have to steal some some thoughts from the live chat.
But unions are big conversation right now collective bargaining across the country yet but did you have a union workers that -- honey.
How do you deal with the unions you know it's interesting that you say union workers right we are a charter schools for the most part -- are not unionized arts are not.
And -- he.
As a leader your job this tip is to really support teachers make them happy helped them it.
Flourish as professionals I don't treat our teachers.
Like workers you know.
I know that the idea of -- mean.
What I -- is that is that it.
That we need to elevate the teaching profession so that teachers are treated like doctors and lawyers -- trusted to make decisions and -- -- held accountable.
And people who are really Smart and talented and passionate want freedom.
They want to be treated like a professional which means that they are trusted to do the job for which they were hired and then -- accountable for results.
And what happens is that teachers get so excite -- About that opportunity that number one we attract a higher level.
Caliber person to the job.
And because people who are willing to.
Put themselves on the line you know they believe in himself and number two once -- they -- they develop into it really -- effective teachers and then what happens is.
They make decisions about all the pros all the programs and elements of the school what curriculum could be do that if they were unionized.
Now they they would not be able to adherents why.
-- -- If you're not able to hold somebody accountable.
Then you what what ends up happening is.
A whole series of work rules that put into place this is higher than -- -- the bulletin board as higher treating them like workers and not specialized sites.
Right so it's really didn't equally to teachers to be treated that way whereas if you if you do it the way charter schools -- which -- how I think it should be done across the entire country.
Every school in the country should operate like it's a bit more expensive than a regular public don't -- -- well I've -- -- exactly the same actually we don't get a building.
For suffer some of our schools we have to figure out where to be sometimes we have we have to have meetings in the hallway of the fairway you know it's it's a little difficult we have the provider of startup funding we have to provide around facilities that of these kids have a place to go to these 2000 kids.
Well so we have -- we are actually in the process of building.
An elementary school on our -- because well there's no place to put them and so when we -- to elementary were starting so.
We shifted to fundraising just and that's private funding in the -- since that you won't get -- contributing to.
The public schools are funding of contributing to -- system what do the parents think.
So you know for that we have something like 95 or 96%.
-- parents grating if -- -- -- -- -- -- on the New York City.
The vast majority of parents are satisfied and and and some of them are.
Truly thrilled and grateful you know they they come up to me and say you know.
You've given me my child back.
You know I have to say this is igniting.
Some information or rather questions on the live chat -- Ron 1954 writes this this guests have any thoughts on the school cosponsored by the Blue Man Group.
That lets kids make up their own curriculum and they can show up when they want.
I I have not heard of that so I don't know anything about it but I I you know our kids show up at 7:30 AM that's you know.
Brian -- at New York says disband the US department of education and get it back to the state your thought.
I think that that current ahead of that US Department of Education Arnie Duncan.
Actually has done an extraordinary job because he is putting the control of the local level but he's he's really inspiring actually.
Holding the states to a much higher bar and he's saying if you can focus on student achievement.
We will give -- the funds to create the assessment systems I'd like to just say one thing though about all those tests the state tests.
I believe that schools to be held accountable not individual teachers by the state.
So instead of -- state -- evaluating thousands of teachers I think they should use these data systems they're creating too about weight schools and school leaders.
And then -- the principal the authority to run the school.
And give the teachers the choice of -- -- wanna teach.
Very interesting and then it around the the circle we go accountability comes back -- -- features right.
That's right -- you know -- your discussion on unions I have to say it's ignited it because it asks -- that that people are looking at it and they're saying where can we make a difference.
And they're looking at at some of the entitlement programs and -- right with your final -- You know what.
We have to transform.
The teaching profession in the country Arnie Duncan says that in the next ten years.
13 of all teachers are going to retire and it's a once in a lifetime opportunity and opportunity have to.
Elevate the profession by holding teachers accountable and giving them the freedom and trust.
To do their jobs.
-- -- -- -- Deborah Kenny is here she is the author of born to rise at Deborah Kenny HUVA.
If you -- -- -- with her on Twitter thank thank you for coming and -- and there's the book we saw some pictures of you throughout this whole thing we appreciate you come -- and everybody --