New Series on College Deans
the Dean’s Office:
Alfred Posamentier, Dean, School of Education, CCNY
Pola Rosen, Ed.D.
into Dean Alfred Posamentier’s office, the eye is tantalized by
a splendid array of gem-like antique maps, prints and memorabilia
of the composer, Richard Wagner, all so closely displayed that
one cannot see the color on the wall. Reflections of the dean’s
deep interest in music and mathematics abound, reflecting his
deep abiding respect for learning and education. Indeed, according
to Posamentier, “education reflects who we are, what we want to
do and our mission.” His comments are inspiring to his students
for they are the ones to go out in the world to teach others.
Now in its 80th year, the School of Education at City College,
the first school of education founded in the City University of
New York (CUNY) system, is the educational home of over 2500 graduate
and undergraduate students aspiring to join the teaching profession.
And, most of the school’s graduates offer their services to the
urban public school system. In an effort to better equip graduates
for the professional world, the school recently completed the
re-registration process required by the State of New York, which
redesigned its requirements for teacher certification. To meet
the new requirements the school had to revamp its own curriculum
forced us to redefine our goals and to conduct a total revaluation
of what we do as a school of education,” said Doris Cintron, Chair/Deputy
Dean of the School of Education.
The process took two years and encountered several obstacles,
which according to Cintron included “Getting a group of people
together, validating their ideas, respecting their field, but
saying that change has to happen.”
In addition to revamping the curriculum, raising standards and
providing students and staff with more support services, Posamentier
sought to give the school greater visibility through enhancing
publicity and strengthening recruiting efforts. Changes included
“the tenor of the place” to give the school “immediate credibility,”
limited because only 40 percent of students passed the state LAST
exam in 1999 when he was appointed. “The college staff was demoralized
because we had the almost the lowest passing percentage of graduates
in the state,” Posamentier stated.
His efforts produced results: two years later, scores rose to
an 87 percent pass rate. Citing the novel approach to revamping
the school, the dean stressed as his goal, “to create from our
professional point of view the best teachers we can.” In describing
the size of the faculty, Posamentier indicated that it was continuously
increasing, indicating “a favorable future that fostered stability
and dedication.” The future also holds remarkable innovations.
The faculty has unanimously voted to partition the school into
three departments—Language and Literacy, Curriculum and Instruction
and Administration, Supervision and Special Education. Other new
initiatives include the inauguration of a national, quarterly
education journal, The New Educator Journal. This
peer review journal will soon be launched.
Other future plans that Dean Posamentier will implement include
a center for Science and Math education, which will further enhance
its already strong math and science teacher development programs,
and builds on CCNY’s strengths in science and engineering.
of the things we have strived for is to become the leader in CUNY
in Science and Math Education,” said Posamentier.
want especially to use our fine programs for science and math
teachers to help the NYC Board of Education solve its shortage
of teachers in these areas and to provide direct enrichment for
the students in the schools.”
According to Cintron, “We are educators for the city…We have a
faculty that really knows and understands urban education,” said
Cintron. “We know the needs of inner city schools and student
populations and prepare teachers and leaders that will effectively
meet all challenges.”
Dean Posamentier introduced Prof. Catherine Fosnot and her innovative
work with elementary math teachers. This will definitely warrant
a future visit to the halls of academia uptown on Amsterdam Avenue
and 135th Street.#
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