Urban Education Ph.D. Program
Proposal Development


Helping Link Research to the Needs of Practice:

City Schools, CUNY Teacher Education, and the Proposed Urban Education Ph.D. Program


In order to help insure continuing connections with urban schools and the on-going relevance to practice of the research work in the proposed program, we intend to establish regular means of communication and collaboration between the program and representatives of schools and other significant educational institutions in New York City.

 Our formal proposal calls for research initiatives and a curriculum focus on many of the critical challenges of urban education. Our aim is to support improvements in urban students’ literacy, mathematical achievement, and critical reasoning across the curriculum. We will focus on teacher education and systemic reform, teaching to higher standards for all students, new instructional technologies, language and culture issues, including the needs of English language learners, and connecting urban students with urban educational resources. Our proposal calls for Urban Education students to do fieldwork study in urban schools and internships in leadership and policy-making settings.

 It is important that the new doctoral program reach out to school superintendents and other leaders and managers in the city’s public, private, and charter schools, both to seek their guidance regarding current educational needs and to share with them the latest research on best practice. We seek collaborative efforts in developing and validating curriculum and teacher development initiatives in such priority areas as reading, writing, and mathematics education, and addressing the needs of English language learners.

 We also wish to involve the city’s senior education leaders directly in the new doctoral program as regular seminar and symposium speakers and others as continuing education and degree students. We will seek formal agreements to place our doctoral students as interns in superintendents’ offices, district and central administrative offices, and with the education advisory staff of elected officials in the city and in Albany.

  Within CUNY, it is critical to the success of the doctoral program that its students participate as graduate teaching fellows in the teacher education programs of the CUNY colleges, bringing their knowledge of the latest research findings and policy directions. The combined experience of the full Urban Education doctoral faculty will be made available to each campus as part of the processes of curriculum renewal and validation and ongoing staff development, helping to insure the highest standards for all of CUNY’s teacher education programs.

 To facilitate continuing alignment between the work of the program and the practical needs of educators and educational leaders in the city, we propose the following initiatives:

 ·        Establishment of an external Advisory Council, composed of educational and civic leaders and representatives of important educational institutions, and including schools superintendents and representatives of nonpublic and charter schools, to meet with the program faculty and Executive Officer and consult with them concerning important research needs in relation to educational policy and practice and civic priorities

 ·        Institution of regular continuing education seminars, staffed by program faculty and invited educational leaders, to address policy and practice issues informed by research and experience, and focusing on such critical topics as curriculum implementation and staff development, management and budget issues in the context of systemic reform initiatives, and best practice research on teaching in key subject areas and the implementation of the New York State Learning Standards across grade levels

 ·        Joint development of funded research proposals by program faculty, participating CUNY colleges, NYC school districts and/or central offices, and other appropriate institutions to validate instructional and policy initiatives and make research-based recommendations for practice, particularly in high priority areas such as reading and writing education, mathematics and science education, new educational technologies, and meeting the needs of English language learners

 ·        Collaborative arrangements for internships for Urban Education doctoral students in city schools, district and central offices, and with education advisory staff to elected officials.

 ·        Recruitment of career educators with leadership roles and aspirations as continuing education and doctoral students in the Urban Education Ph.D. program.

 ·        Agreements with the deans and faculties of the CUNY colleges’ teacher education programs for consultations regarding major curriculum reviews and initiatives, mentoring and staff development, and recruitment of senior faculty

 ·        Placement of Urban Education doctoral students as graduate teaching fellows and adjunct faculty in teacher education programs at the participating CUNY colleges