This blog post was written by Lauren Bierbaum, Executive Director for Partnership for Youth Development.
On Wednesday, June 13, The Afterschool Corporation (TASC) of New York City and the Partnership for Youth Development (PYD) in New Orleans brought together local and national partners to discuss the vital importance of more time, used more intelligently, to help children learn more effectively. As the incoming Executive Director at PYD, I can’t help but reflect on how hungry our schools, program providers, and communities are for models that give children the time they need to succeed.
Our panel on “Principals and Partners” featured (L-R) Dwight Rhodes, CAO of Renew Charter Schools; Rickie Nutik, Executive Director of Young Audiences; Korbin Johnson, Principal of KIPP Central City Primary School; Lauren Bierbaum, Interim Executive Director of PYD; and moderator Chris Caruso, Senior Vice President of ExpandED Schools at TASC.
Our event, “Re-inventing Schools: A Policy Forum on Partnerships for School Reform,” highlighted TASC’s ExpandED Schools model, which is being replicated here in New Orleans and in our sister cities of Baltimore and Newark. But the forum wasn’t just about our own model. This conversation was about the myriad innovative ways strong partners across the nation have begun delivering the highest quality instruction – in core academics and enrichment – by taking the risk of re-imagining what the school day means.
Our panel on “Schools and Communities Sharing Accountability for Student Success” featured (L-R) Leslie Maloney, Senior VP of the Haile/U.S. Bank Foundation and member of the STRIVE Partnership Executive Committee; Ron Fairchild, President and CEO of Smarter Learning Group; Lucy Friedman, President of TASC; and moderator Emily Richmond, Public Editor for the Education Writers Association.
For me, this work boils down to four core concepts. First, of course, is time: how much we have and what we do with it. Research indicates that children spend only 20% of their waking hours in school. We have no choice but to do a better job of providing opportunities to children during the other 80%. Second is community: not only the communities we create within our schools to develop children’s core academic competencies, but also the interactions we build with indigenous experts and community-based educators from whom children learn values, culture, and how to find their own way in the world. Third, we can’t talk about expanded learning without mentioning quality: it’s about sharing practices, lifting up what works, holding ourselves and our peers accountable in ways that drive meaningful and measurable impact for young people. And finally, it’s about resources: financial resources to be sure, but beyond that, the rich partnerships that I saw represented at our event today. Arts programs, school principals, charter management organizations, social service providers, advocates, state education officials, PYD and TASC came together to commit to a common vision: that all our children have the means to develop into healthy, contributing citizens, if we can just make sure that all our children have the time to succeed.