General Bankstreet News

News & Notes From The Bank Street Community

Posted by Claire Daniel on February 16, 2012

From NY1 to the New York Times, Bank Streeters have been popping up all over the place. See what’s been happening in the community, including not-to-miss upcoming events and a round-up of what we’ve been reading.

In the news

Dr. PeggyMcNamara, chair of teacher education, graced the small screen in the NY1 Exclusive: QueensParentsOutragedOverDaughter'sGunSpellingAssignment [VIDEO]

As reported, several Queens parents were outraged to see that their children’s phonetic homework included pictures of a gun and then a robber. Brought on as a consultant, “Dr. Peggy McNamara said it doesn't surprise her that the sheet was used.”

She said teachers have to check the work produced by curriculum companies.  "I think the issue would be with this particular company. What are they thinking about when they put ‘gun’ and ‘rob’ on a page?” said McNamara. “Do they really think about where this goes and the sensitivities of different communities where a kid might use this?"

Faculty member BetsyGrob makes an appearance in the New York Times Letters to the Editor section, responding to an article announcing thattheachievementgapbetweenrichandpoorchildreniswidening.

Studies showing an increasing achievement gap between rich and poor students come as no surprise. As early-childhood educators who spend time in classrooms, we have been shaken by the changes of the last decade, changes that have had a particularly devastating effect on children in poor communities. 

Young children have been deprived of essential experiences — art, music, open-ended discussion, dramatic play, exploratory use of materials — that we know contribute to well-rounded development and engaged learning....  [Continue reading RichandPoor: TheEducationGap

A round of applause

Recent Bank Street graduate Gregory David is the founding teacher of JCCinManhattan's new Gift of Math Program a math support program for 2nd graders in public schools. This after school program matches under-performing students one-to-one with volunteers who follow specific lesson plans and receive supervision and support.

Math leadership facultymemberHalMelnick collaborated with David in choosing the curriculum, as well as by providing a steady stream of Bank Street-trained teacher candidates for new sites.

“The program is amazing, kids are flourishing,” says David, who is the on-site math teacher at the initial site (PS 163). Already, a second teacher has been hired at PS 75, and the program hopes to expand into fifteen schools over the next few years.

For more information about these volunteer programs please contact, Judy Gross, JCC Director of Literacy, Math & Social Action Programs, at

Upcoming Events

Dean Jon Snyder moderates The Seventh John H. Niemeyer Series: Can This School Be Saved? Effective Alternatives To School Closings. Join leading voices in education policy as we explore options for revitalizing — rather than closing — underperforming schools. Participants include:

  • Christine Quinn, Speaker, New York City Council
  • Zakiyah Ansari, Parent Leader, Coalition for Educational Justice; Advocacy Director, Alliance for Quality Education
  • Maria C. Fernandez, Senior Coordinator, Urban Youth Collaborative, Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University 

R.S.V.P to Shannon Whitaker-Burke ( to attend this March 12th event.

Want to networkwithBankStreetalumniwhoaredoingcoolthings with their Master’s Degrees? Then don’t forget to R.S.V.P to Linda Reing ( for this special event TODAY at 6:00 PM. Alumni panelists include a social worker, a classroom teacher, a Certified Education Planner, a high school principal, an education app developer, and an early childhood school founder/director

What we’re reading