The First Few Days

Now that the calendar pages have turned to July, I am thrilled to be on board officially as the new Dean of Children’s Programs at Bank Street College of Education. Given the events of recent days, my entry has been a bit frenetic, but I am impressed and inspired by the resolve of this extraordinary community. So many of you have reached out in the aftermath of the inaccurate and incendiary piece published by the New York Post last Friday, and we are grateful for your offers of support, your words of encouragement, and your signs of solidarity.

While we are still in the process of determining precisely how the institution will be responding publicly, one immediate course of action that each of you can take is to write a testimonial that speaks to the impact of your experiences with Bank Street’s commitment to teaching and learning about issues of diversity, equity, and social justice. For inspiration, I encourage you to read Gail Karp’s powerful testimonial in which she speaks of the transformative effects of Bank Street’s Racial Justice and Advocacy (RJA) program on her entire family. 

Over the next couple of weeks, we will be sharing your stories—absent of identifying information—on the School for Children website. Our goal in doing this is to reclaim the narrative and to cast Bank Street’s diversity work in the proud and reflective light that it deserves. No words are too many, and no words are too few. You can send your testimonials here.   

On a personal note, I have never been more convinced of or committed to the importance of supporting our children to understand their own identities, to examine and embrace their differences, and to learn the skills to live their lives in service of the greater good. Indeed this work is one of the hallmarks of progressive education and one of the reasons that I am most excited to be your new Dean and for my own children to be joining the Bank Street community.

I also know that the best schools are those that view curriculum as dynamic—in a constant state of revision, refinement, and reflection—and in the months ahead, I look forward to learning more and engaging deeply about how our curriculum attends to the needs of our children. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you would like to share your feedback as I orient myself to the Bank Street culture and community this summer.


–Jed Lippard, Dean of Children’s Programs