Introducing Herm Card’s new education column
This week, The Eagle introduces a new column by longtime contributor and photographer Herm Card, who first began writing and taking photographs for our previous city publication, City Eagle, in 2006.
Herm’s column, “School Is In,” will appear biweekly in The Eagle and will focus on the New York State public education system with emphasis on the Syracuse City School District.
A little about Herm:
Herm Card is a retired English teacher, with an extensive background in education: 32 years of classroom teaching and more than 20 years of professional development consulting and motivational speaking.
He has received numerous awards and grants for his teaching and innovative classroom programs, including being named a New York State Educator of Excellence. He served 10 years each on the boards of New York State English Council and the Central New York Teacher Center, and is a former editor of The English Record, the professional journal of the New York State English Council.
Herm has published three books of his poetry and has credits for numerous articles, poetry and photography in education journals throughout the country. He has received a cover photography award from the National Council of Teachers of English.
For five years he served as a consultant with CTB-McGraw Hill and the New York State Education Department on the development, evaluation, implementation and scoring of the current series of New York State ELA assessment tests, and authored Barron’s New York State Grade 5 Test Preparation Manual.
He is currently an educational consultant at The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and a board member of the Syracuse Poetry Poster Project.
He is currently working on two books on his teaching career and on the current state, and future, of education.
Questions for Herm? Email inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or post them directly to our wall at facebook.com/theeaglecny.
In Syracuse, school is always ‘in’
It may seem a bit late in the year to begin a column on education, but, as we enter New York State’s “testing season,” a two-month run of standardized testing designed to measure the success of our education system, what better place to begin?
This is the time of year when measurement is king – when psychometricians (read: educational number crunchers) take over where professional educators leave off. This is the time of year that real estate agents and chambers of commerce gear up to publicize their communities based on test scores. It is the time of year when “teaching to the test” becomes the ill-advised mantra in public schools and “test prep” becomes part of the curriculum.
It is the time of year that the rest of us need to concentrate on the positive aspects of education – the things that are not measured by statistics and percentiles – the things that can’t be measured and graphed and charted.
The concept that “school is in” will be the focus. We will focus on the things being done to make education better – not just make test scores higher. We will look at teachers, administrators, volunteers, students, staff and all the others tied to our schools.
We will look at the governments that provide the funding and, in many cases, the policies that drive our system. We will look at a city and county that value education – frequently to the point of putting politics aside for the betterment of our youth in order to provide the long term benefit to all.
We will talk to some of the elected officials that fight the battle in Albany to bring much needed, and deserved, funding to our area.
We will look at a landmark educational partnership that has put Syracuse at the forefront of modern urban education systems. We will look at an urban school system, the Syracuse City School District, that is aware of its problems and taking remarkable steps to solve them.
We will speak with retiring Syracue City School District superintendent Dan Lowengard, and incoming superintendent Sharon Contreras about the progress the district has made and the plans to keep the progressive energy flowing.
We will look at students and educators who do exceptional things under trying circumstances.
We will look at parents who understand the value of education and provide support for their children and the children of others through sharing their own time and energy and commitment.
We will look at the spirit that overcomes deficiencies in facilities and funding, and come to understand that Syracuse is truly a community of educators.
Ultimately, we will understand that school is in.
Herm Card’s column appears in alternating issues of The Eagle, and online at theeaglecny.com Reach him at email@example.com.