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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Feedback: A New Orleans School Inspires Hope

Readers respond to a charismatic principal's reforms and professional-development initiatives.
Credit: Edutopia

I'm a New Orleans native who fled the city even before the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina because the burden was too great for me as a new teacher and mother committed to public education. Though the losses my family experienced from Katrina were huge, I held out hope that the devastating flood would at least bring about reform and new growth to the schools of New Orleans. Thank you, Ms. Lewis-Carter, for turning my faith into a truth and giving me the courage to make change in my school, my school district, and my community.

Stacy Smith Bertuccelli
Los Angeles

I would love to have this type of professional development in my school district. So many teachers are so afraid of technology that they are unwilling to jump in and explore. I fear that we are missing out on an exciting dimension of teaching and learning. Hopefully, more districts will adopt the kind of professional development described at New Orleans's Martin Behrman Charter Academy of Creative Arts & Sciences.

Janice Rrogren
Atlanta

Demystified Education

I read your recent article on Waldorf schools. As a first-grade substitute teacher who just received a master's degree in literacy, I'm excited to use some of the methods in my classroom.

There are so many rules placed on teachers and students in my school district that stifle individuality and creativity. I would prefer to make my classroom feel like home to my students.

Deborah White
from Edutopia.org

I am glad to see that Edutopia is trying to demystify the Waldorf philosophy. As a Montessorian educator, I have been trying to do the same for this philosophy as well. Reggio Emilio, Waldorf, and Montessori philosophies share similar qualities that many educators can benefit from by integrating them into their everyday methods. This small article is a wonderful start.

Patricia Lounibos
from Edutopia.org

Parental Involvement

I enjoyed reading about Parents for Public Schools to speak up for public education, encourage enrollment, and, at the same time, work to bring the voice of parents to achieve much-needed school reform. This will always be a challenge in any school district. But I found the national network of Parents for Public Schools chapters to be a great help.

Sandra Halladey
San Francisco

Taking Responsibility

There is no question that we need to thoughtfully reevaluate the purpose and priorities of our educational system.

It is well known that we are a culture willing to spend plenty of money on things like sports and entertainment. But we seem to be missing the relevant link between an educated people and a secure, prosperous, resourceful nation.

I teach in Florida, a state heavily populated by retired citizens. Here, we have the lowest per-student funding in the nation, and our state Supreme Court has upheld the right of retirement communities to exempt themselves from paying school taxes. It is my desperate hope that in my golden years, the youthful person administering my medications will be able to read the labels!

Johanna Rriddle
New Smyrna Beach, Florida

School Psychologists

An important link between research and classroom practice is school psychology. As professionals with training in child-psychology research and educational practice, we are ideal conduits for building the relationship between the ivory tower and the classroom.

Cynthia West
Baltimore

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