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Mulgrew: We’re at a crossroads in education

National Action Network conference

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The achievement gap was the topic of an extensive debate at the National Action Network conference on April 15. Education officials and experts, including UFT President Michael Mulgrew, participated in the conference’s education panel. Chancellor Joel Klein opened the discussion, calling for pay differentials and replacing ineffective teachers. Mulgrew (above), referring to his years of experience in teaching, warned, “There’s a lot of finger pointing that is not doing any good for anybody.”

Qualified teachers are essential, he said, but it was an engaging curriculum that made the difference for his students. “We’re at a crossroads in education. We can get it right if we will take on the task that every child — not 60 percent or 80 percent — every child leaves high school college- and career-ready. Let’s come up with things we know that engage them and embed that inside instruction.” Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott moderated the panel, which also included parent leader Zakiyah Ansari, Tennessee value-added expert June Rivers, the Rev. Emma Simpson of the Children’s Defense Fund and other African-American education leaders.

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