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Chancellor Dennis Walcott Returns to NYU to Reinforce Efforts on Middle Grades Success, April 3

March 22, 2012

Last September, in his first policy address held at New York University’s Kimmel Center, Dennis Walcott, Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, announced his push to aid in the improvement of middle school grades in New York City. He said that the city would open 50 new middle schools in the next two years -- many in the city’s poorest neighborhoods. He would focus his efforts on middle grade teacher preparation through the New York Teaching Fellows Program and revive the Campaign for Middle School Success.

On Tuesday, April 3, Walcott returns to the university to further address some of the most unyielding challenges and identify some of the greatest opportunities that exist to support the development of middle grades in New York City. In collaboration with NYU Steinhardt’s Research Alliance for New York City Schools, Walcott will offer the keynote address at the Research Alliance’s event, “Informing New York City’s Middle School Initiative,” a day-long colloquium devoted to supporting the improvement of New York City’s middle grades.

The event will take place at NYU’s Kimmel Center from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. located at 60 Washington Square South. Subways: A,B,C,D,E,F,M (W.4th St.), 1 (Christopher St.), N, R (8th St.), 6 (Astor Place), 6 (Bleecker St.). Event space is limited and attendees must register here. Media interested in covering the day’s event should contact Courtney Bowe in the NYU Office of Public Affairs at 212-998-6797 or

“For students in New York City and across the nation, the middle school years are a crucial time for staying on track to succeed in high school and college,” said Chancellor Walcott. “That’s why this conversation around the middle schools initiative is so important. With a combination of new schools, a focus on improving literacy, a shift toward recruiting new leaders and educators, and added supports for school communities, I believe we can make real progress in tackling the challenge of middle school success.”

Following Walcott’s keynote, researchers, educators, policy makers, practitioners, and administrators will spend the day exploring the numerous and dynamic factors that contribute to the success of middle school grades. Discussions will cover such topics as: how to create an effective school climate that fosters positive behaviors and academic routines; what are the contexts for effective teaching in the middle grades; and how to define effective leadership in the middle grades.

"Over the past 10 years, New York City has seen noteworthy achievement gains for elementary school students and increases in high school graduation rates. The progress of students in the middle grades has been less impressive,” said Jim Kemple, executive director of the Research Alliance. “Chancellor Walcott and the Campaign for Middle School Success have outlined an ambitious framework for improving the quality of education in the middle grades and for ensuring that all students are on the path for college. Our goal for this colloquium is to examine the most promising approaches for addressing those challenges."

About the Research Alliance for New York City Schools
The Research Alliance for New York City Schools conducts rigorous studies on topics that matter to the city’s public schools. The Research Alliance strives to advance equity and excellence in education by providing non-partisan evidence about policies and practices that promote students' development and academic success.

About the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.
Founded in 1890, the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development was the first professional school of teacher education established at an American university. More than a century later, the school has widened its areas of study to include art, health, media, music, and applied psychology. NYU Steinhardt is committed to fostering innovative collaboration, a global approach to research and practice, and scholarship related to all aspects of the human experience. To learn more about NYU Steinhardt, visit:

This Press Release is in the following Topics:
Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

Type: Press Release

Chancellor Dennis Walcott Returns to NYU

Chancellor Dennis Walcott of the New York City Department of Education will return to NYU on April 3 for the NYU Steinhardt's Research Alliance for New York City Schools Colloquium, "Informing New York City's Middle School Initiative."

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