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ERIC Number: EJ880054
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar-10
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
N.Y.C. School Marches to Unorthodox Schedule
Sawchuk, Stephen
Education Week, v29 n24 p1, 12-13 Mar 2010
Superficially, the Brooklyn Generation School, in the Flatbush area, looks a lot like the other six small public high schools that share space in this tall building, the former South Shore High School. What's noticeably different about it, though, is the strength of the relationships among staff members. Teachers can be seen running across the hallways to each other's rooms. They tease each other good-naturedly in staff meetings. Most importantly, the tenor of staff conversations is markedly different. This article discusses the public school's novel way of differentiating teachers' roles and staggering their schedules. At Brooklyn Generation, teachers instruct only three classes a day, get two hours of common planning with colleagues each afternoon, and have a highly reduced student load--as few as 14 students per class. Yet the restructured scheduling costs no more to operate than a traditional schedule. When the visionary behind this school model, Furman Brown, began devising it more than a decade ago, he did so with an eye to using time in new ways so that both students and teachers had opportunities to learn. Mr. Brown spent more than a decade toying with the pieces of teacher schedules at hand, trying to "get the colors of the Rubik's cube to line up." With early startup money, he and business partner Jonathan Spear founded the Generation Schools Network, a nonprofit dedicated to furthering their vision. Amid that work came the added puzzle of persuading city officials to actually implement the model in a small public high school, a task that took three years. The United Federation of Teachers, the local American Federation of Teachers affiliate, provided key support in helping to craft a side addendum to the teachers' contract to set the new school calendar, while allowing most of the model's core features to be fleshed out using the "school-based option" agreement in the city contract. With the smaller class sizes and more support, the school's leaders expect teachers to engage each student in the school's college- and career-bound culture. The flexibility of the model also allows staff members to regroup students according to need.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York