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From Queens to Colorado, two principals start an open dialogue

Denver principal Marc Waxman’s public declaration last month that he no longer believed in school “reform” initially attracted a response from Diane Ravitch. Now it’s prompting a deeper conversation about big education policy questions.

Waxman has enlisted Stacey Gauthier, co-principal of Renaissance High School in Queens, for an open correspondence about how to improve schools. Gauthier and Waxman know each other already; they both worked at New York City charter schools that had converted from district schools.

In the column’s first entry today in the GothamSchools community section, Gauthier writes:

When Marc asked if I was interested in starting up a dialogue about educational issues facing us today, I first thought “Isn’t there enough of that?” But then I was reminded by a wise woman at GothamSchools that this dialogue often takes place outside of those people actually doing the work day to day educating our young people. …

Our goal for this dialogue is to take back ownership of some of these issues, while discussing them in the context of real-world practice.

Waxman and Gauthier have sworn to be “brutally honest” as they work through big issues, such as about how charter schools and unions can coexist. Their posts will appear regularly on GothamSchools and Education News Colorado.

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