NYU Steinhardt Leadership Forum Navigated by Dean Dominic Brewer
Dean Dominic Brewer
As an outgrowth of its mission to connect the vital work of educational practitioners, policymakers, and researchers, New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development recently launched the Education Solutions Initiative “to make meaningful progress on resolving the critical issues facing students and educators.” Its marquee Leadership Forum recently focused on six key areas of scholarship, providing insights from the scholars who prepared white papers on each topic as well as a panel of policymakers who sought to connect and analyze the policy-practice-research dots.
In his welcoming remarks, Dominic Brewer, the NYU Steinhart Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of NYU Steinhardt, noted that one of his goals in becoming dean has been to “to build a different kind of school of education.” To do so, he said, “we as an institution aspire to help improve equity and effectiveness in school systems through our research and programs,” and the Leadership Forum is but one means by which Steinhardt can facilitate a “robust, meaningful two-way conversation between academia and policymakers and practitioners.”
Expressing her pride as a Steinhardt alumna, New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina delivered the keynote address. She urged participants to continue conducting rigorous research that can inform reforms pursued by the Department of Education to improve graduation rates and college readiness, among many other priorities.
Vice Dean for Research and Faculty Affairs Pamela Morris reiterated this need, noting that “the work that we are conducting as academic scholars is often many, many steps away from the decisions and the questions that policymakers are asking.” To help bridge the divide, the Leadership Forum featured scholarship by faculty and researchers from across Steinhardt’s departments, who presented their white papers on the following educational issues: Universal Pre-K, Common Core, English language learners, College access, Outcomes beyond test scores and school culture.
In presenting their research, the authors shared key findings and their relevance to students and educators, and offered recommendations for further study and application. These included mechanisms for expanding access to high-quality pre-K, acquisition of English language proficiency, post-secondary success for underserved students, support for children’s socio-emotional learning, and healthy school climates. The scholars who studied the Common Core noted that the initiative “operates in unique political circumstances from state to state,” and focused their research on the history of efforts in New York.
Moderating the culminating policy panel was James Kemple, Executive Director of the Research Alliance for New York City Schools at NYU Steinhardt, in conversation with New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim and NYC Schools Deputy Chancellor of Strategy and Policy Josh Wallack. The panelists reflected on the roles that research and evidence play in informing their work from legislative and implementation perspectives.#