one room schoolhouse

ONE ROOM SCHOOLHOUSE: Thought-provoking column from NYT columnist Mr. David Brooks on the New American Academy in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Founded by Mr. Shimon Waronker, an HGSE graduate and New York Leadership Academy alum, the school embraces a Dewey-esque approach where up to 60 students gather in a large room and are led through an interdisciplinary curriculum by a teaching team. Teachers move with students from grade to grade, enabling them to build stronger personal relationships. After gaining street cred by turning around a problematic South Bronx middle school, Mr. Waronker received the blessing of Mr. Joel Klein, former chancellor of NYC schools, and Ms. Randi Weingarten -- a miracle of sorts in today’s edu-political climate. Whether or not New American Academy houses the classroom of the future remains to be seen. Master teachers make $120K--a far cry from most teacher salaries. Many teacher-commenters have pointed out that less attention on standardized testing and more on professional development for teacher collaboration would likely improve any school. EdSurge is taking the global view; there should be room for NAA among many successful models.

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