Fulfilling The Dream: Single Sex Education
The Young Women’s Leadership Foundation, NY
What is the most compelling argument for an all girls school, from Kindergarten to College?
I believe the most compelling argument for the choice of an all girls school is personalization and whole child education. The all girls environment provides a concentrated focus on the needs of each student and the opportunities to assure that every girl’s needs are met and that she is empowered to actualize her full human potential, free from the stereotypes of gender, race, and class.
How did you become involved in all girls education? What did you do before that? Were you educated in a single-sex school?
I am the product of every possible educational setting—as an Army brat I attended 14 schools K to 12 in Japan, Europe, and all over the United States, Department of Defense schools, parochial schools, public schools, and single sex schools. My fondest memories of my own education were those periods in all girls environments. It had been my lifelong dream to work as an educator and to someday lead a highly effective school. I became a teacher in NYC and then an assistant principal in a very large coed junior high school in Queens. I saw immediately that there were quite a number of adolescents there whose needs could not be met in the co-ed environment. I applied for the principalship of The Young Women's Leadership School of East Harlem and was very fortunate to take the helm in 2001.
Who were your mentors?
My mentors were the school founder, Ann Rubenstein Tisch, the senior fellows at CEI-PEA, Dr. Jo Ann Deak, an incredible team of passionate and dedicated teachers at the East Harlem School, and the hard working principals in the Young Women's Leadership Network.
What is the future of single-sex schools? Would you send your children or grandchildren to a single sex school?
There are now 15 single sex public schools in New York City, over 80 around the nation. I truly believe that this model has been validated as an effective choice in the public school choice portfolio and I am eager to see it offered to first generation minority students in our inner cities where I believe it will have a very deep impact on student achievement. I would definitely send my grandchildren to a single sex school.#