The Hardest Questions Aren't on the Test: Lessons from an Innovative Urban School
Google Tech Talk
January 21, 2010
Presented by Linda Nathan.
Boston Arts Academy comprises an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse student body, yet 95 percent of its graduates are accepted to college. This remarkable success rate, says Principal Linda Nathan, is in large part due to asking the right questions and being open to seeking answers collaboratively with faculty, parents, and the students themselves.
In her new book, The Hardest Questions Aren't on the Test: Lessons from an Innovative Urban School, Nathan gives insights into the process of grappling with these questions, attempting to implement solutions, and evaluating the outcomes. Stories that are inspirational as well as heartbreaking reveal the missteps and failures—as well as the successes. Nathan doesnt claim to have all the answers, but seeks to share the philosophies and practices that have worked for the BAA. Principals, educators, and parents will find many new ideas to bring to their own schools.
Chapters focus on questions all schools can consider, such as:
· How and why does a school develop a shared vision of what it stands for?
· What makes a great teacher, and how can a principal help good teachers improve?
· Why must schools talk openly about race and achievement, and what happens when they do?
Speaker Info: Linda Nathan
Linda was instrumental in starting Boston's first performing-arts middle school, and was a driving force behind the creation of Fenway High School, recognized nationally for its innovative educational strategies and school-to-work programs. She is also a co-founder and board member of the Center for Collaborative Education in Boston, a nonprofit education reform organization dedicated to creating more equitable and democratic schools. She was named 1990 Teacher of the Year by Channel 5 "Chronicle" in Boston, and from 1995 to 1998 she served on the National Academy of Science's Commission for the Science of Learning. In 2003, Linda received the Nadia Boulanger Educator's Award from the Longy School of Music for her work in arts education. In 2007, she was named a Barr Foundation fellow for her work in social entrepreneurship and leadership. In 2009 she received the Godine Medal for service to the community by Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
Linda has published widely on issues of school reform and arts education. Her upcoming book, The Hardest Questions Aren't on the Test: Lessons from an Innovative Urban School will be released in October by Beacon Press.
Fluent in Spanish, she has worked on issues of school reform in Puerto Rico, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia. In 2006, Linda presented at UNESCO's World Conference on Arts Education in Lisbon, Portugal. She is a lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she teaches a course titled "Building Democratic Schools."
Linda Nathan earned a bachelor's degree at the University of California, Berkeley, a master's in education administration at Antioch University, a master's of performing arts at Emerson College, and her doctorate in education at Harvard University.