New York City's teachers get a fair amount of bad press. Scandals get front page treatment. Union maneuvers earn editorial board scorn. Unlike many other city employees, teachers' personal work evaluations are public records. With concerns about overcrowding, student poverty and the value of standardized testing pushed to the sidelines of the education debate, teacher quality—or its absence—is increasingly in focus.
But the Fund for the City of New York and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation found some good news when they looked at teacher quality when they announced on Tuesday the recipients of the fourth annual Sloan Awards for Excellence in Teaching Science and Mathematics. Fund president Mary McCormick said the winners "are role models and leaders in their field."
"They share a common drive, enthusiasm, and passion for inspiring their students to love math and science. They make learning interesting and challenging and push every student to do their best,” she added.
At left is Michelle Persaud, who teaches Living Environment, Earth Science, Forensic Science, Bio-Med Tech, Chemistry, Anatomy & Physiology, Research Methods and Psychology at Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers. The award committee found that she was "A wellspring of innovation," adding: "Ms. Persaud is constantly crafting new science courses to appeal to the Bergtraum student body. In addition to standard courses in Earth Sciences and Chemistry, Persaud has pioneered courses in Anatomy & Physiology, Biomedical Technology, Psychology, and Forensic Science, stressing the applications of scientific knowledge in the outside world."
“Her classes made me want to go to college to study science, and maybe go to medical school," a current junior told the committee