Dr. Charlotte Frank Inducted into Educational Publishing Hall of Fame
On December 1, 2011, the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) will induct Charlotte Frank, Ph.D., McGraw-Hill Education; Don Johnston, Don Johnston, Inc.; and Paul McFall, Pearson into the Educational Publishing Hall of Fame. Frank, who is senior vice president of Research and Development at McGraw-Hill Education discusses the person who had the greatest influence on her and the advice she would give to those choosing educational publishing as a career.
Dr. Charlotte Frank: Following high school, where I was the only girl in my physics class, I entered City College of New York’s School of Engineering. However, I felt rejected in college science and left the program after one year. Shortly thereafter, I pursued and received a BBA in statistics with a minor in economics, married, had three children and decided to be a homemaker. It was at that time that my mother reminded me that I had a college degree. She said, “You should go out and work and be independent so that you are always ready to handle whatever challenges that may come your way in the future.”
I took my mother’s advice to heart, and began my education career as a math teacher in the first intermediate school in New York City. During that time, I developed and piloted the school’s math curriculum, using the first tabletop programmable computer, The Olivetti Programma 101. Ultimately, I became the executive director of curriculum and instruction for the New York City Board of Education. At the same time, I was helping my own children grow as well as go to and through college. Were it not for my mother’s prodding, I would not be an active member in the educational community – still trying to help all young people to live happy and independent lives.
The advice I would give to young people starting out in educational publishing is that they must truly care about the education environment of students with whom they want to connect. They must understand what has to be taught in a given subject area, and the appropriate grade level, know how to deliver curriculum in a way that facilitates instruction and drives student achievement, request opportunities to observe, compare and contrast successful instructional programs/approaches, always question the reliability and validity of the data that supports educational initiatives and verify what you think has been successful and what strategies you think could even enhance and expand these effective designs.
The greatest challenge that educational publishing will face in the next five years is that publishers need to incorporate educational technology in the classroom that’s interactive, engaging, collaborative — providing tools that support effective instruction and drive student achievement in almost every subject. This digital transformation has the power to help students make the transition from elementary school to secondary school and on through to successful postsecondary education and/or careers. Educational publishers must also ensure that all of the content and technology tools they employ align with all pertinent curriculum standards. They have to continue to provide the quality information digitally wherever and whenever it is needed. Publishers also must partner with other companies to develop the best strategies for leveraging educational technology. In addition, it is critical that we engage schools of education, businesses, communities and families in these technological changes if we are to see significant progress in student achievement.#