Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education (GSE) awarded scholarships and other honors to six public schools that dramatically improved student learning despite difficult odds, during the eighth annual National School Change Awards ceremony in July at the Lincoln Center campus.
Lew Smith, Ph.D., director of the awards and associate dean for program development and outreach at GSE, also announced that the Panasonic Corp. will begin sponsoring the awards. The awards will now be known as the Panasonic National School Change Awards, and will be managed jointly by Fordham and the Panasonic Foundation. The 2008 Panasonic National School Change Awards will be made possible by a $75,000 grant from Panasonic North America.
“You have taken teaching and learning to a new level in your communities, with good teaching and learning brought to scale—just what this country needs,” said Ray Simon, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, at the awards ceremony. “It is unfortunate that, for too many children, it is still luck of the draw whether or not they get a good teacher.”
The ceremony recognized the staff of exemplary schools in four states, including Anna F. Booth Elementary School in Irvington, Ala., where more than 70 percent of the students were left homeless by Hurricane Katrina.
The other winners were:
Public School 196, Brooklyn, N.Y.
World of Inquiry School No. 58, Rochester. N.Y.
Dreamkeepers Academy, Norfolk, Va.
Chalkley Elementary, Chesterfield, Va.
Signal Hill Elementary, Signal Hill, Calif.
Winning schools received a $5,000 grant, subsidized participation at the National Principals Leadership Institute at Fordham, and are invited to take part in a national research project on school change. The 2007 winners were chosen from a national pool of 127 schools—the largest number of applicants in the award’s eight-year history.