Panel Discussion on “Systems to Build Knowledge”
To talk about the lessons we can learn from Valley Stream 30 (episode #6), Ed Trust brought together Jeffrey Howard, founder of The Efficacy Institute, Natalie Wexler, author of The Knowledge Gap, and Josh Anisansel, a Long Island school administrator who wrote his doctoral dissertation on Valley Stream 30.
In a wide-ranging conversation moderated by podcast creator Karin Chenoweth, Josh Anisansel described Nassau County as highly segregated with tremendous inequities. Jeff Howard responded that these kinds of inequities are deeply woven into American society but that schools and districts that are fully mobilized are able to operate as if they didn’t exist. “Educators who get this right…reach a kind of state of grace where they come to a firm conclusion that there ain’t nothing wrong with these kids. These kids can learn at the highest levels.” Natalie Wexler argued that all children need a carefully sequenced curriculum that builds knowledge systematically both to help children learn about the world and ensure that they can read at high levels. Panelists grappled with whether programs and curricula are more important or the beliefs and systems educators bring to the enterprise and worked through a number of related issues.