Education Policy Breakfast 2013

Deans Office

Education Policy Breakfast 2013

The NYU Steinhardt Education Policy Breakfast Series brings together policy leaders, legislators, business people, heads of corporations, foundations and advocacy organizations, university faculty, and school superintendents. For more than a decade, our goal has been to illuminate contemporary educational issues and foster discussion among the many constituencies concerned with education at both the local and national levels.


About The Breakfast

Friday, April 19, 2013
8:30-10:30 a.m.

Rosenthal Pavilion
Kimmel Center for University Life, 10th Floor
60 Washington Square South

Common Core Standards
Part III: Desired Outcomes and Potential Consequences

This year, our theme for discussion will be the new Common Core Standards. Over the course of three sessions, we plan to examine the Common Core Standards and issues regarding their implementation, challenges that may arise in assessing achievement, and the potential outcomes of the standards -- both intended and otherwise. Questions we will consider include: What are the common core standards, and how were they developed? What will be the impact on teacher education in New York City and beyond? Are there any issues or special populations that have not been considered? We anticipate an informed, spirited discussion involving policymakers, education leaders, and researchers about this very timely issue.

The third and final installment in this year's series will explore the impact of the Common Core standards, from the outcomes desired by policymakers to possible unintended consequences for students, teachers, and schools. To do so, we will be joined by a distinguished panel featuring a policy maker, a researcher, and a practitioner. Seating is limited.

Guest speakers are:

  • James Cibulka, President, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
  • Ramon Gonzalez, Principal, MS 223 The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology
  • Okhee Lee, Professor of Childhood Education, NYU Steinhardt
  • Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers


  • Joseph McDonald, Professor of English Education, NYU Steinhardt

About the Speakers

James Cibulka

Since the beginning of his presidency, Cibulka has focused on making accreditation a lever for change and reform in educator preparation to better meet urgent national P-12 needs. Under his leadership, the accreditation process focuses on moving educator preparation to excellence through continuous improvement and research-based transformation.

Cibulka has a long and distinguished record in higher education. Prior to his appointment as president of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), he served as dean of the College of Education at the University of Kentucky from 2002 to 2008, where he also held academic appointments in two departments. While in Kentucky, Cibulka was appointed by the governor to the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board, and he served as chair of that body.

Cibulka started his career as an administrator for the Chicago Board of Education and as a teacher and administrator in the Model City Community Schools Program in Duluth, Minn. His first university appointment was at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he served for 23 years, establishing the Department of Community Education and directing the PhD program in urban education. Cibulka also served as the associate dean, chair, and professor at the University of Maryland’s College of Education.

Cibulka is the author of numerous books and scores of articles on education policy, administration, and community development. From 1992 to 1995, he also served as editor of the Educational Administration Quarterly. In 2006 he received the Stephen K. Bailey Award by the Politics of Education Association for “shaping the intellectual and research agendas of the field.”

Cibulka earned a BA from Harvard College, graduating magna cum laude, and a PhD from the University of Chicago.

Ramon Gonzalez

Ramon Gonzalez has been a life long educator. He started teaching in 1995. He taught technology, English, and mathematics to 6th and 7th graders. The Merrow Report, a nationally syndicated show on education, spent the entire year documenting Ramon and his 6th grade class at IS 44. The recordings evolved into a three part series called "Growing up in the City", a program about race, education and identity in New York City. It continues to air on PBS 15 years later! Ramon has also written about adolescent issues and urban gangs. He contributed a chapter called "Welcome Home Boyz: Building Communities through Cultural Capital" in a book titled Adolescent Gangs: Old Issues, New Approaches edited by Curtis Branch, a professor at Columbia University in 1999. Ramon found through his research that some of the major issues that deeply influenced young people to join gangs were their need for a familial structure, lack of a clear vision of their future, and few models of success. These findings would serve as the basis for his school which was founded in 2003.

Ramon Gonzalez is the founding principal of MS 223-The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology, a middle school in the South Bronx in 2003. Ramon started his school in one of the most dangerous middle schools in NYC at the time. Less than 10% of his students were at grade level in reading and mathematics when the school was created. Six years later, 65% of his students are on grade level in English and 85% in math. Ramon's community activism has deeply influenced his school. Students take courses in financial literacy and participate in a school-wide economy where they can earn, save, and spend "school bucks". He was named a 2007-2008 Cahn Fellow for Distinguished Principals at Teachers College/Columbia University. His school received the 2010 Intel School of Distinction Award in Mathematics. He currently serves as a mentor for emerging principals in the Advanced Leader Principal ALPAP and Summer Principals Academy program at TC. He holds a BA from Cornell University, MS from City College, MA from Teachers College and is expecting to receive his doctorate from TC in May 2013.

Okhee Lee

Okhee Lee’s research areas include science education, language and culture, and teacher education. Her current research involves the scale-up of a teacher professional development intervention to promote science learning and language development of English language learners. She is a 2009 Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and received the Distinguished Career Award from the AERA Scholars of Color in Education in 2003. She was awarded a 1993-95 National Academy of Education Spencer Post-doctoral Fellowship. She has directed research and teacher enhancement projects funded by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, Spencer Foundation, and other sources. She received her doctorate from Michigan State University in 1989 and taught in the School of Education at the University of Miami prior to coming to Steinhardt.

Joseph McDonald

Joe McDonald is Professor of Teaching and Learning at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University, where he coordinates secondary program areas in the Department of Teaching and Learning, and teaches in the English Education program area.   He is the author or co-author of nine books about teaching and school reform – including Going Online with Protocols: New Tools for Teaching and Learning (Teachers College Press, 2012), Going to Scale with New School Designs: Reinventing High School (Teachers College Press, 2009), and The Power of Protocols (Teachers College Press, 2003, 2007, 2013).  His forthcoming book, Cities and their Schools (University of Chicago Press, under contract), is based on research funded by the Annenberg and Spencer Foundations on the last 15 years of school reform in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and the Bay Area.  

McDonald was the founder of NYU’s school partnership project which involves close relationships with 22 schools in the Lower East Side, East Harlem, and the South Bronx.  He co-leads the NYU EXCEL Academy, which teaches philosophy and writing to aspiring college students from the South Bronx; and he is Director of the Metro Learning Communities Project at NYU's Metropolitan Center for Urban Education.

McDonald was for many years a high school English teacher as well as a high school principal.   He has been co-editor of the Series on School Reform at Teachers College Press since 1994.  

McDonald holds a Doctorate in Education and Master of Arts in Teaching English degree from Harvard University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Scranton.  Before coming to NYU, he taught at Brown University where he led the teacher education program in English and served as the first Director of Research at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, as well as Senior Researcher for the Coalition of Essential Schools.  McDonald has been at NYU/Steinhardt since 1998, and has served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and also as Associate Dean for Community and Global Initiatives.

Randi Weingarten

Randi Weingarten is president of the 1.5 million-member American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, which represents teachers; paraprofessionals and school-related personnel; higher education faculty and staff; nurses and other healthcare professionals; local, state and federal employees; and early childhood educators. She was elected in July 2008, following 11 years of service as an AFT vice president.

In the months immediately following her election, Weingarten launched major efforts to place education reform and innovation high on the nation's agenda. In September 2008, Weingarten led the development of the AFT Innovation Fund, a groundbreaking initiative to support sustainable, innovative and collaborative reform projects developed by members and their local unions to strengthen our public schools.

Weingarten served for 12 years as president of the United Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 2, representing approximately 200,000 nonsupervisory educators in the New York City public school system, as well as home child care providers and other workers in health, law and education.

For 10 years, Weingarten chaired New York City's Municipal Labor Committee, an umbrella organization for the city's 100-plus public sector unions, including those representing higher education and other public service employees. As chair of the MLC, she coordinated labor negotiations and bargaining for benefits on behalf of the MLC unions' 365,000 members.

From 1986 to 1998, Weingarten served as counsel to UFT president Sandra Feldman, taking a lead role in contract negotiations and enforcement, and in lawsuits in which the union fought for adequate school funding and building conditions. A teacher of history at Clara Barton High School in Brooklyn's Crown Heights from 1991 to 1997, Weingarten helped her students win several state and national awards debating constitutional issues.

Elected as the local union's assistant secretary in 1995 and as treasurer two years later, she became UFT president after Feldman became president of the AFT. Weingarten was elected to her first full term as UFT president in 1998 and was re-elected three times.

Weingarten is known as a reform-minded leader who has demonstrated her commitment to improving schools, hospitals and public institutions for children, families and their communities. She has fought to make sure teachers and school support personnel are treated with respect and dignity, have a voice in the education of their students, and are given the support and resources they need to succeed in the classroom.

With her leadership as AFT president, the union has pursued an agenda that reforms education by holding everyone accountable, revamping how teachers are evaluated, and ensuring that children have access to broad and deep curriculum as well as wraparound services. The AFT agenda fights against fingerpointing and calls for a continued investment in education. It also highlights the work that teachers, nurses and public employees do every day to make a difference in the lives of others.

Weingarten holds degrees from Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the Cardozo School of Law. She worked as a lawyer for the Wall Street firm of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan from 1983 to 1986. She is an active member of the Democratic National Committee and numerous professional, civic and philanthropic organizations. Born in 1957 and raised in Rockland County, N.Y., Weingarten now resides on Long Island and in Washington, D.C.