Transcript of a News Conference on the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute November 8, 1982


Held by

Richard Ekman, Director of the NEH Division of Education Programs
A. Bartlett Giamatti, President of Yale University
Terry M. Holcombe, Vice President for Development and Alumni Affairs at Yale
Crale D. Hopkins, Program Officer of NEH
Mark R. Shedd, Connecticut Commissioner of Education
Gerald N. Tirozzi, Superintendent of New Haven Public Schools
James R. Vivian, Director of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
David L. Warren, Chief Administrative Officer of the City of New Haven


James R. Vivian

May I place first things first? Before introducing the gentlemen facing you, I would like to recognize among those of you assembled here the numerous New Haven public school teachers who are here. You are the reason we are assembled today. We honor you, your calling, your profession. It is for you and through you for your students that the Teachers Institute exists. I would like also to recognize the members of the Yale faculty who are present today. They are not only the mind, but also the heart of this place. The purpose of the Institute is not to create new resources at Yale: rather, it is to make available in a planned way our existing strength, that is, to institutionalize the work of University faculty with colleagues in the schools. At that work, I believe both University faculty and school teachers have been exceptional.

The Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, William Bennett, was called to a meeting today with David Stockman, Director of the Office of Management and Budget. He is therefore not able to be with us. Chairman Bennett is making today in Washington an announcement on the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute. We have welcomed particularly the emphasis he has placed on the crucial importance of strengthening teaching of the humanities in the nation s schools. He is represented here today by Richard Ekman, Director of the NEH Division of Education Programs. Dr. Ekman returned to NEH this year after serving for four years as Vice- President and Dean of Hiram College. Dr. Ekman.

Richard Ekman

Thank you, Jim. I bring greetings from William Bennett and also his regrets for not being here. I'm tempted to make some wisecrack about someone taking someone else to the woodshed, but that would lead only to speculation as to whose woodshed it was and who was being taken. So, I won't. I will also not describe in any detail what the Institute is all about or what the Endowment's grant covers. That material is in your press packet. I will leave that to your reading later on.

I am very pleased to be here today to join in congratulating the New Haven Schools and Yale University on their collaboration thus far. It is especially gratifying that the grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities will enable the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute to be transformed from a developing model of school- university cooperation into something with a bright future, something that we at the Endowment hope very much will become permanent. Without strong schools there can be no strong universities. This project is of considerable significance to the Endowment. The Chairman of the Endowment, William Bennett, and I have worked closely together over the past six months in developing plans for the Endowment to give much greater emphasis in its grant programs to the encouragement of school-university collaboration. The Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute is thus, in some respects, a harbinger of the Endowment's future work. I hope that a larger number of the universities in the country will come to recognize, as Yale has, that effective social responsibility need not be manifested only in the work of schools of law, or public administration, or business, and the other professions. Yale s vision is unusual and may even be unique among the great universities. Under the leadership of President Giamatti, Yale's refreshing view is that its excellence in the humanities can be a basis for its civic relations, and that its faculty of distinguished scholars of the humanities are appropriately regarded as part of a tradition of public service. Yale's vision should strengthen in us all an appreciation of the force, the vitality, the essential practicality of the humanities. And I look forward very much to the salutary influences of this grant in many other places. Thank you.

James R. Vivian

Dr. Crale Hopkins has been the Program Officer responsible for the Teachers Institute from the beginning. I personally am grateful for both his advice over all that time and the spirit in which it has always been offered. He exemplifies, I think, government service at its best, and I am happy to report that that is not uncommon at the National Endowment. Dr. Hopkins.

Crale D. Hopkins

Thank you, Jim. As you say, it has been my pleasure to be the Program Officer for the relationship between the Endowment and the Yale-New Haven project. As I see it, this project is a premier example of what can be accomplished when university faculty and classroom teachers overcome fixed ideas about the roles of each and work together. I had the pleasure of personally observing in New Haven classrooms students who receive a sounder education in the humanities, and thus will lead fuller adult lives, due to their teachers' involvement with Yale University, to the credit of both. I would only add that in a time of economic stress, social deliberation, what we have here is an effort at excellence in the teaching of English, history, and the other humanities for their own sake and for the sake of the future. Thank you.

James R. Vivian

Some stories, I hope, improve with the telling. Before being named Yale's President, Bart Giamatti had agreed to teach the Institute's first seminar on student writing. In his present office he has shown no less a personal interest in our work. He has spoken on numerous occasions nationally about the role higher education must play in strengthening teaching in our schools. President Giamatti.

A. Bartlett Giamatti

Thank you, James. I am delighted to see Dr. Ekman again, an old colleague and friend, and Dr. Hopkins. I hope they will take back to Mr. Bennett our gratitude, not simply for the support in the material sense, but also for the encouragement and the sense from the agency of the Federal government that the encouragement at the local level is one, not the only, but one of the roles that the Federal government can properly play, from my point of view at least, in the encouragement of the schools and the means of education at a time when education must be viewed as central to the health, the welfare, the intellectual, and spiritual well-being, and productivity in the largest sense of the country. We have been trying here at Yale and in New Haven with our colleagues in the New Haven Public School system and other colleagues in the area to work from our position of strength as an educational institution. In the humanities, sir, our faculty is as distinguished you acknowledged, although I would also like to acknowledge the presence of distinguished faculty in social sciences and in the sciences, who are not only here, but who are as distinguished and as committed and have been a superb part of our efforts working with our colleagues in the City and in the area. Yale has a splendid faculty member named James Comer, M.D., who has worked a long time on a superb and innovative program called the Urban Academy working with two primary schools. That is part of our efforts. Today, we are delighted to receive from you recognition and to commit ourselves to working on the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute.

The recognition from the National Endowment for the Humanities will help to sustain the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute in these critical years of activity as that Institute continues to help strengthen teaching in our schools and as it seeks a solid financial footing for its own future. Implicit in the NEH funding is the hope that what New Haven Public School teachers and Yale faculty do together at the Institute to construct exciting, innovative, and solid curriculum units can be followed in other communities throughout the country. When that happens and the Institute will make every effort and will work hard, by that I mean the University to make sure that it can happen, school children, teachers and faculty throughout America will benefit greatly, and I might add at a time when America needs to attend to that central process to make us all civilized and better, which is in fact education. I am very grateful to you gentlemen, and I am very grateful for not only your help but for your presence here today. Thank you.

James R. Vivian

The Superintendent of New Haven Public Schools took part in 1977 in the early discussions of the idea that became the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute. His leadership as an educator and as an administrator from that time to this has been no less important to this joint program of ours, than it has been to the school system as a whole. Dr. Tirozzi.

Gerald N. Tirozzi

Thank you, Jim. First, I, too, would like to thank the Humanities for this substantial grant which will allow us to continue what has indeed been an exemplary program for the school district and the university. I also am very appreciative for the efforts of Yale University to reach out and become a more integral part of the school district. For a long period of time I have maintained that Yale, of course, has much to offer to the educational program in New Haven, and in turn the system, the school system, has much to offer Yale. I think that when one looks at this project, the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, it represents a unified effort to try very hard to enhance the curricula offerings of our school district as well as appropriate pedagogy as related thereto. It is not a bifurcated effort where we are going in different directions, but it is a cohesive effort. I think this program, in particular, is a tribute to the teachers of the New Haven Public School system, and I would parenthetically add, of course, we are very appreciative to the professorial ranks at Yale for your support and your expertise. But I think what this has done for teachers, in particular, the teachers I have spoken to, the teachers I have observed, I think it has lifted morale and has helped the teachers to enhance their own level of professionalism. I think all too often educators, especially public educators, are kept down in terms of the level of professionalism. We have much to offer, and I think this project has raised the ego level of our teachers and at the same time has allowed the Yale community, the professorial ranks, to accept the fact that New Haven has some of the finest teachers anywhere and they have much to offer. So, I think we have been involved in a process and in a program of Yale supporting the school district and the school district supporting Yale. We have both gained from this endeavor, and I think this particular grant and hopefully other grants will allow us not only to continue with this effort, but in my personal conversations with President Giamatti we are interested in expanding this project, the Comer project, and others. So, I sincerely hope we can continue. I thank all those who have been involved, and I look forward to a continued productive relationship.

James R. Vivian

I feel confident in saying that no Mayor of our City has had a closer or more fruitful relationship with this University than Biagio DiLieto. Representing Mayor DiLieto today is the Chief Administrative Officer of the City of New Haven, David Warren.

David Warren

Thank you, Jim. On several occasions I have commented to the Mayor, when he asked me to represent him, that I was certain that he would have preferred to be here, that the audience would have preferred that he be here, and I would have preferred not to be here. I can say today that s not the case, I am very pleased to be here in his behalf, to speak in behalf of the City and all of its residents regarding the receipt of this National Endowment for the Humanities grant. It's especially ironic for me since in this instance I have been able to play both ends against the middle. When the grant was in its early stages at Yale, I happened to be a member of the administration and supporting this proposal as it was being proffered to the City, and now that I am an employee of the City I am happy to say that the support is strong, real, and long-term there. And I'm only especially pleased now to know that the University continues to feel as strongly as it did in 1977. I think that the purposes of the grant have been spoken to in some detail both in the written and oral materials this afternoon. I can say in addition only that in particular I would like to thank the President of the University, who as suggested earlier was involved in the inception of this grant and supported it before it took off, before it became a national concept, continues to support it today, and it is the kind of leadership that the City has looked to Bart Giamatti for, and which he has provided. I think we have here, in short, a superb example of how town and gown can come together in mutual benefit to all the parties. If you will, the University s motto of Lux et Veritas may well be reflected here. It seems to me in the curricula being developed what we have is the light and the truth of the University being reflected for the children of this City through this program. We are most appreciative. We support it, and we thank you.

James R. Vivian

Connecticut is fortunate to have as our Commissioner of Education, Mark Shedd. Not only has he established as a priority statewide the preparation and retention of the highest quality teachers in our schools, he has been a leader among his counterparts nationally in calling attention to the importance of strengthening teaching in the schools, now and for the future. Commissioner Shedd.

Mark R. Shedd

Thanks very much, James. The Institute is certainly a marvelous and unique program, unique of its kind in any part of the country. I think it is to the great credit of Yale, its President, the Endowment, and certainly the school system for seizing upon the opportunity which is unique in that really every party to the effort is a gainer. The biggest gainers of course are the students who are and will be the beneficiaries of the rich and high quality programs that come out of the engagement of university scholars and school teachers from the community. I think also it's clear that the teachers in New Haven schools are the gainers for the experience, and I dare say that the faculty at Yale are gainers in many great ways because of the associations they make more closely to the students and the people of the community, particularly the teachers within the schools. I think in many important ways that the schools and colleges and universities of this State and of the nation are the gainers and will be the gainers as a result of this program. There are many programs that we know about that exist within the State that bring together universities and colleges and secondary schools in many unique and productive ways. The existence of this program at Yale with the encouragement that s given and the sustenance that s been given as a result of the grant from the Federal government and the funds that will be matched as a result of that can only add encouragement to other institutions within the State and across the nation. This is, as the President has said and as the State Board has recognized in Connecticut, a time when we must double and redouble our efforts to improve the quality of the educational offerings in our schools. It is not enough to establish as a priority equity and equality of opportunity, unless we also establish of equal importance the pursuit of excellence in all our school programs. And the promise to me and the impressive thing to me about this program is the possibilities, the potentialities, that it holds for encouraging similar activities, joint efforts, between the schools and colleges within the State of Connecticut and across the nation. It is an idea whose time has come, and I thank the University and school system for helping to show the way.

James R. Vivian

In addition to those of us who have just spoken, another is here also to participate in answering questions. I should identify him. Terry Holcombe, at the far end of the table, as Yale's Vice President for Development and Alumni Affairs, has overall responsibility for the fundraising campaign that has been announced today. We will take questions, first, from the media and, if time permits, from others present. Are there questions?

Question

When will money from the NEH come to New Haven, and how will it be funneled?

Richard Ekman

For all I know, some of it is already here. All universities that do business with the Federal government receive the money in installments over periodic intervals.

Crale D. Hopkins

April first is not an entirely coincidental date to begin with.

Gerald N. Tirozzi

If it is not too forward, I would like to recommend that possibly a teacher who has participated in the Institute provide some insight and wisdom regarding your personal involvement. Let's not be shy; you are not shy when you negotiate with the Superintendent.

Linda Maynard Powell

As the "grandmother" of the program, I have been a member of the Institute for the full five years that it has been going and a member of the History Education Project before that, and I can just say that it has been a great program. It has been in place of graduate school for me. It s exciting sharing teaching techniques with the experts in the New Haven schools and the kinds of scholarship that we really need to have done for our students to make them better students. It is a great blend of those who work on those techniques in the Institute. Any questions?

Question

Linda, do you believe that the Institute has kept teachers in New Haven?

Linda Maynard Powell

I have made that statement before. It is one of the things. I can't say it is the only thing for me, but there certainly are a lot of great opportunities for teachers in New Haven, and the Institute is one of the strongest. When teachers are allowed to recognize their own weaknesses, to develop curriculum that is not pre-packaged. I am not knocking any education schools. I am a graduate of Southern Connecticut State College. I think that it did a fine job of preparing me and teachers in New Haven, but I think we need to get more into the areas of curriculum that are not already set up in a packaged course. So that the Institute allows I think that is part of the beauty it allows a lot of really creative people to come together in seminars and share the common interest.

James R. Vivian,

In further response to your question, Ann; I might mention the study that we recently completed, the results of which we are releasing today. It showed that almost half of the teachers who had participated in the program believe that the opportunity to be a Fellow in the Institute influenced their decision to continue teaching in the New Haven Schools. I feel that is very important.

A. Bartlett Giamatti

As someone who was denied the opportunity to teach in the Institute by losing his summer job, I want to say that one of the reasons I am so devoted to it is because I'd leave in a shot if it weren't for the Institute. That is a little attempt at humor, Ms. DeMatteo, if you write that down.

Question

This grant is supposedly one step so this program will remain here in New Haven, and another step evidently is going out to the business community and asking for their help. Just what part of that are you asking for, for this program?

A. Bartlett Giamatti

Terry, do you want to speak to that?

Terry M. Holcombe

Let me speak to that. I think, first of all, this is a welcome challenge. I'm the guy with the dark hat who has to go out and raise all the money; so, my work begins here. It is a welcome challenge in that I think this has really two opportunities to raise money. First, as a national model, it opens up opportunities with national corporations and foundations and even individuals who are not local to this area, so that we have that as a very good opportunity. We hope this will become a model, not only in terms of the programs, but in terms of how support can be generated from a very large part of the community for programs such as this. Secondly, there is the New Haven portion, the local group, which presumably will benefit much more directly from this. So, we really have two parts to it. The ultimate objective is to secure four million dollars in endowment which will underwrite the program in perpetuity, and we will be working hard on that over the next several years. As I said, both on the national scale, where I think that the uniqueness of the program and the quality of it does give us some very good opportunities, and also locally for on-going support which has been what has kept the program going so far.

James R. Vivian

In further answer to your question about corporate support, I might ask whether either Bob Reigeluth, who is Chairman of the New Haven Development Commission, whom I see in the audience today, and who was the first chairman of our local corporate campaign, or perhaps Henry Brightwell who is presently chairing that effort, might either of them wish to add a comment.

Robert S. Reigeluth

Maybe I ll attempt to be first, because I was the first guinea pig to take the assignment on. At the time that Jim asked the Development Commission to get involved in this, we were very much aware that there was nothing really that could affect the recruitment of companies for New Haven more than a strong public school system. It was one of the things that employers look for when they came to New Haven, and it was for that reason that we took the assignment on to try to interest corporations in New Haven in the Public School- New Haven program. It worked out very well. We have about fifty- five corporations in the first year that did step up to bat, put their money up, and it was a very worthwhile experience. Brightwell is now carrying it on. Maybe he would like to tell you where we re going from here.

Henry P. Brightwell

I should mention that when Bob asked me to take this on, I noticed that his golf handicap went down and mine went up. I would really like to address a question on this score to Dr. Ekman, however, because it has been pointed out that we do have a group of local business people and other educators from the other colleges locally who are supporting this. For the Teachers Institute we're getting pretty good support I think from our business community at a time when it is not easy. I would like to have you Doctor, if you would, discuss the role that you see for the private sector in supporting a program such as ours, particularly since you are suggesting that it might go nationwide, if you will. In short, how and why would you say the private sector should join with universities and schools to improve the quality of secondary school education.

Richard Ekman

There is a good deal of talk at the Endowment these days as to whether the humanities are insular, that is confined to the academy, or that they serve the public generally. As that discussion continues one of the clearest examples of an arena in which the humanities work that serves both is the arena that has to do with public schooling. Everyone is influenced by the quality of schools. This is an era in which school levies are regularly defeated, and every school district is asked to make hard choices about what ought to be taught and what cannot be taught. That is, this is an era in which one cannot have one s cake and eat it too. The difficulty, then, is how a particular school system goes about making those choices and does it in a way that engages the broadest base of public support. With limits on what state and local governments are willing to spend, the private sector becomes all the more important. Through the Endowment's Gifts and Matching Program we hope in many, many of our grants to make it possible for public and private dollars to come together in support of worthy projects. That program, as some of you know, is an unusual feature of the legislation which established the National Endowment for the Humanities that allows the Endowment, a Federal agency, to receive gifts from private sources, match them with Federal dollars, and award the sum of the money, that is double the original gift, back to the grant recipient institution. That s a mechanism that is used more and more frequently and with considerable success. I forget the most recent statistics, but it does appear that the Endowment has been able to generate through this gifts and matching mechanism, private gifts in support of the humanities equal to two or three or four times what the Congress has appropriated directly for support of projects. Do I answer your question?

James R. Vivian

We have begun to take questions, not only from the press, but also from others. So, I would ask whether there are questions from anyone. Jill Savitt.

D. Jill Savitt

For President Giamatti:
I was supposed to be in that seminar that you didn't teach. That is what attracted me to the program in the beginning. Would you teach another one?

A. Bartlett Giamatti

I would if I could. What attracted me to this in '77 was what had, if I may say so, attracted me to something that I believe Mr.(Jonathan) Fanton, who was then assistant to Mr. Brewster, and I and others helped to create in '75. It was then called the Visiting Faculty Program. It was a program under which colleagues from other four- year degree-granting institutions came to Yale in the summer to work with Yale faculty, again on whatever seemed to be useful. So that interest in seeing Yale play from its strength as a great educational institution, not only on the international scene and nationally and we are an international and national university but also where we live. Whether Connecticut or New Haven. It goes back a long, long time. It goes back to the point at which it was clear to me that I wouldn't have to leave the Yale faculty if I didn't want to, which is to say to the early '70 s. I think my interest in the Visiting Faculty Program and indeed in this program and other similar things but I would cite those two is of long standing, and it's part of my conviction that this institution is a great institution. it is a great educational institution. Its education is at the center of what the culture needs to be civilized. We have our role in it; our role should be on all the national and international scales but must also be here at home. And this is the way of doing what we can do best with our superb people and with other superb people who are around us. So, it is an old kind of interest. it is an old kind of interest.

Al Gorman

I have a question for Dr. Hopkins. In relation to your job for NEH, you visit many classrooms in the United States, and you said earlier you have been to New Haven classrooms. Could you comment further on your observations regarding what you have observed of the Institute in practice?

Crale D. Hopkins

My pleasure to do so. Two things. One, as you say, I have had the good fortune to visit many classrooms across the country in connection with the work that I'm fortunate to have at the Endowment, There are many types of projects which train teachers which involve faculty development. There are projects which develop curriculum. There are varying opinions on which of those have the most salutary affect on the classroom. The best of both, in my opinion, we find here at Yale. On one hand the teachers who are actually involved in the seminars receive, accumulate a greater and sounder preparation in history, English, whatever, in the humanities for the classroom which filters through to the students in a variety of undefinable ways. And number two, the curriculum to use that bit of jargon units that they write then, and this is one of the finest things about this project, are considered and selected by the schools here in New Haven, and the best of those go on to be used in other classrooms. So, in two different ways, one the teachers who actually go to the seminars, and more and more of those will be able to do so over the next three years, and in perpetuity. And number two, the units that they prepare based on their work with the faculty members at Yale are used by the remainder of the teachers in the schools. So, what I saw was, number one, teachers who are more excited, more enthusiastic, and better prepared; students who responded to that better preparation, to that excitement. Number two, quality materials produced by teachers from the unit to which these students also responded very well and from which they will receive a much better education in the humanities.

Joseph Montagna

I have a question for Commissioner Shedd. You mentioned earlier in your comments that there are other towns in Connecticut that collaborate with universities. Is there anything about the Institute that makes it unique within the State of Connecticut, and further are there any elements of the Institute that you see as having important implications for other communities?

Mark R. Shedd

One obvious aspect of the Yale-New Haven project is its national visibility because this is a national university. And I think under any circumstances one can't overlook the obvious advantage that that has. But beyond that, I think that, of other programs that I know, and there are a lot of good ones around, that a great deal of care and careful thought and planning and close collaborative working relationship over time has gone into this one, than most of those with which I am familiar. And, as I say, there are some good ones around in Connecticut in both public and private institutions and in neighboring public school systems and around the country. But from my experience I think the characteristics I have mentioned, and with the track record that has been established here over the period of four or five years clearly demonstrates its proven effectiveness and its readiness to go on to become a more institutionalized part of the life of the university and the community that surrounds it. I think those aspects of the program will be looked upon by other institutions and by other parts of the country in attempting to replicate or adapt the model to their particular circumstances. I think that the comments that were made earlier about the impressions upon the public school teachers of such a program are worth mentioning again. A study that has been recently conducted by some other members of the Yale faculty lead us clearly to the conclusion, based upon some research they ve done on teachers, public school teachers, who have left or who have the feeling or the attitude that they will leave teaching, public school teaching, is among the key characteristics that influenced them to feel this way is a feeling of lack of esteem and status, a feeling of isolation in their relationships within schools, and thirdly, and these are all three very close to each other as important reasons why people have the attitude about leaving public school teaching, the third, is salary. And I believe that the three more or less go together. I think here again while there is no promise that coming out of this program there will necessarily be any improvement in the direct relationship between the program and improvement in conditions of salary, that clearly it does address the other two. The camaraderie and the colleague-ship among teachers and between teachers and faculty on the University and the esteem that testimony reveals from teachers out of the classroom that they feel as a result of participation in the program. So, I think for these and a whole host of other reasons that the Institute has a great deal of power for what it can transmit in many directions.

Jessie G. Bradley

I am very pleased with what has happened with our school system through the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute. I have a question based on the fact that we see this program as a model program. I would like to ask Dr. Ekman and then Dr. Hopkins if you would tell us how you feel this model now can be disseminated throughout the country to other universities. What steps would you take to do that?

Richard Ekman

Some things are happening already. Jim Vivian told me earlier that he receives mail and telephone calls regularly from people in school systems throughout the country and from some universities as well. People who have either heard about this grant in the making or have heard about the previous work of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute. Beyond that the Endowment is prepared to do a good deal to help build upon your success here in the way we go about our work in Washington. I recently completed a reorganization of the work of the Division of Education Programs. In that reorganization the support available now for elementary and secondary oriented projects has two main prongs, and both prongs owe origins, in some sense, to the lessons learned through this project and a few similar things. One of those prongs is to concentrate very much on teachers. Not on "teacher-proof" materials that somehow anyone can use in the classroom, but on teachers who are going to be in their jobs for quite a long time to come. Often that work will take the form of a summer seminar or institute where teachers can learn better about their own subjects and how to teach it. The second prong is a prong that aims at deliberate collaborative work between schools and school systems on the one hand and colleges and universities on the other. This has been a theme in recent years. The Rockefeller Foundation s report on the state of the humanities is just one of several nationally visible documents which calls attention to the crucial importance of bringing together, an a genuinely collaborative basis, schools and colleges. I suppose there are some very large school bureaucracies in some cities that aren't capable of doing that sort of thing. And I suppose there are a few very small rural school districts that are incapable of doing that sort of thing. But that leaves all the rest in the middle. Medium sized school districts in medium sized communities with a finite number of colleges and universities and a workable system in which collaboration is very much at the heart of things. Take a sequential subject, such as French or German, where what goes on in the fourth grade very much affects what goes on in the fifth grade and sixth grade and so on right up through the undergraduate years of college. There should be every motivation possible to bring institutions together and we hope, through this second prong of our work then, to make possible support for all kinds of collaborative work between schools and colleges.

Crale D. Hopkins

Three things, first of all you, yourself are the answer to part of that, you and other people in the New Haven school system as you talk to your colleagues across the country, as you appear nationally at conferences and conventions, as you let them know what has happened here and how you respond and how you participated in what has happened here, number one. Number two, members of the faculty and administration at Yale who are doing the same thing: appearing at conferences, conventions, talking, and largely responding to, as my colleague has said, inquiries received. Number three, I would point out that the panel reviewing and recommending approval for this grant, this new grant to the Yale-New Haven project, recommended and that recommendation was approved by the National Council on the Humanities and Dr. Bennett, the Chairman, an additional amount of money, $60,000, specifically for dissemination. And between Dr. Ekman and others of the Endowment staff and members of the Yale New Haven project exactly, we hope exactly, the best way to accomplish, in other ways in addition to these conferences and conversations, the dissemination of all the best things and they all are good things of this project will be done.

David L. Warren

I wonder if I might just add to that a fourth factor to tailgate on you.

Crale D. Hopkins

My pleasure.

David L. Warren

I think that one can't hope to see this replicated unless there is a special and fortuitous mix of leadership. There are many communities and many great universities, or some, around the country, but this idea has not come to roost, and I think it is a consequence of the kind of leadership that President Giamatti, Mayor DiLieto, the Superintendent Gerry Tirozzi, and the man who has pushed all three of them consistently, Jim Vivian, to make it happen. And that is a quite unique and unusual set of persons coming together around a commitment to an idea. Absent that commitment and that leadership, it will not happen elsewhere.

Question

Dr. Tirozzi, do you have any evidence that, since the Institute has evolved, the basic skills and achievement test scores . . . Let me rephrase that. In New Haven the basic skills and achievement test scores for students has, for instance, for the last two years. Do you think that that has anything to do with the Institute?

Gerald N. Tirozzi

I don't think that I could present any specific or objective data or research that would prove that point. I would say based on my own conversations with teachers in the high schools, some of the comments you ve heard today, and some of the comments you heard earlier from the representatives from the Endowment for the Humanities. It is obvious that the quality of teaching and the quality of the learning experience has improved. So it would be my subjective statement that, yes, I think that it has impacted on what is happening in the school district.

James R. Vivian

If I might add to that? While I think it is not valid for us to claim that any changes improvements or decreases in student performance on normative, standardized testing could be directly attributable to the Institute, we did in the study that, as I mentioned before we are releasing today, ask teachers for their views of the difference that their work in the Institute had made in terms of student performance. And I would point in particular to three of the findings of the study. The first was that nearly half of teachers who had participated directly in the program report that their Institute units resulted in higher student attention, interest, motivation, and mastery than have other curricula they have prepared. Teachers reported also that the usefulness of Institute units does not appear to depend on a teacher having been directly in the program. And finally, over fifty percent of all the teachers who have completed the program report that their units have been successful with their least advanced students. I think that point is perhaps the most important that I would make, that the units the teachers write appear to serve all students in the schools, not just those already successful in school.

Gerald N. Tirozzi

Can I piggy back on that? I would like to just add to that, the more I think about it, it s been written that, once a classroom door closes, that s when educational policy actually begins: What the teacher does in that classroom. I am a great believer if the teacher feels that he or she can, in fact, impart the knowledge and feels good about himself or herself, there s a greater potential. You know, when you look at something like the Maslow's hierarchy of needs. All too often the public school teachers act at that survival level, especially in urban districts, worrying about safety, security, et cetera. I think that we are in a program here where teachers are able to grow, move toward that self-actualization plane, which I think enhances their feeling about themselves, which in turn is transmitted to students, which ideally in turn is transformed into students feeling better about themselves and becoming better learners.

James R. Vivian

I think we have time for one more question before I ask the panel whether any of them have final remarks they would like to make.

Question

I would like to know what percentage of teachers is involved in the program and what percentage of students are directly impacted, and if it is possible to increase that with the grant?

James R. Vivian

The hope, the desire, and the plan is certainly to increase it, and that is part of what the new grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities makes possible. At this point in time about forty percent of all teachers of the subjects the Institute covers in humanities and sciences have completed successfully at least one year of the Institute's program, which is, I think, a very high percentage. The study that we completed indicates that about seventy percent, if I recall the figure accurately, of teachers who have not before been in the Institute will consider participating in future years, and that a very high percentage also of teachers who have participated in the program, ninety percent, intend to participate again. Which is to say I think that there is every prospect there will be new teachers participating in the program, as well as recurring participation by those who have been in the program before. The second part of your question as to the number of students we have reached: The survey that we completed last year on the use of materials prepared by teachers in the program indicated a very widespread use of units. Statistically, it indicated that every student in the New Haven middle and high schools is studying an average of two-and<-a-half curriculum units prepared in this program in any given year and, of course, they enter the next grade level and then encounter new teachers who are using the materials from the program.

Gerald N. Tirozzi

Since my boss is here today, the Commissioner of Education, I would be remiss if I did not a) thank the Commissioner and his staff for their continued support and remind the audience that in the early days of the project the State Department was very supportive with funding, which allowed this program to begin, as was the New Haven Foundation and the Hazen Foundation. So, there are others who have also been very supportive. But, God forbid, I don't acknowledge my boss during a press conference.

Mark R. Shedd

I was afraid you would never mention it.

James R. Vivian

Also today you will find in your press materials a release acknowledging a new grant from the New Haven Foundation for our 1983 program. The New Haven Foundation last year awarded a matching grant as an incentive to encourage local corporate giving, which has been described earlier. I would ask whether any members of the panel wish to add anything themselves?

A. Bartlett Giamatti

May I just say, Mr. Vivian, that Yale has been an enormous beneficiary from this program in the following ways. We have been very well treated today by everybody saying very nice things about the University and so forth. The fact remains that I think the Yale faculty has benefited enormously from working with their colleagues in the public school system. There are certain things that Yale faculty doesn t know anything about. One of them is what is it like to teach in high school. That's one of the reasons I was attracted to it, and I'm still thinking about your question. I think it has been a tremendous thing when we see our common students, who are after all perhaps a summer apart when you find them at Cross or Hillhouse or Lee and then at Yale. Same student, same kid. One of the problems in education in this country is its discontinuous nature, you know, primary school, middle school, senior, junior, college graduate school, as if these hurdles were somehow not part of what ought to be construed either from the point of view of curriculum or a person s learning effort or a person's teaching effort as a much more continuous, seamless process. And one of the ways of making those gaps less awful for both student and teacher is to have the faculties working together. So that I m enormously grateful for the kind things that have been said about me, and I m proud of the Yale faculty, as it knows, but I think it is fair to say that the Yale faculty has ways of learning and things to learn and has done so through this program and will continue to as much as anybody else.

James R. Vivian

Others on the panel who wish to make any concluding remarks? Then, in conclusion I would simply add that I have always believed that the results of the Teachers Institute would be cumulative, that our ability to strengthen teaching and to improve learning in our schools would depend on the program s duration. That is why the new three-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, annual giving by local corporations, and renewed support from the New Haven Foundation are so crucially important. That is also, I think, the significance of our plans to raise operating and endowment support to give the Institute a secure future after the next three years.

May I express personal gratitude to all those on the panel and to all the rest of you who have come, and by coming have shown your interest in our work in this program, and invite you now to remain for our reception and help us celebrate today s good news. Thank you.


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