Fuhrman Will Lead Columbia Teachers Unit
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Almost a year after the president of Columbia University’s Teachers College announced that he was stepping down, the school is scheduled to announce his replacement today.
The dean of the graduate school of education at the University of Pennsylvania, Susan Fuhrman, will assume the post at the nation’s largest education program this summer.
While Teachers College isn’t slated to announce Ms. Fuhrman’s appointment until this morning, the student newspaper at the University of Pennsylvania posted the news on its Web site last week.
“While this is a great loss for Penn, it is an extraordinary opportunity for Susan who will take the helm of an institution that has contributed a vast amount to the field of education,” the article quoted an e-mail from Penn’s president and provost, Amy Gutmann and Ron Daniels, as saying.
A spokesman at Teachers College yesterday declined to comment.
Arthur Levine, who served as president since 1994, was named president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation in Princeton, N.J. He announced last year that he planned to step down this summer.
Ms. Fuhrman served as head of Penn’s education school for 12 years. She received a doctorate from Columbia in political science and education in 1977 and taught at Teachers College.
As dean, Ms. Fuhrman paid close attention to Philadelphia’s troubled schools and spearheaded efforts to run several public schools.
“As an education dean, she been very much involved in K-to-12 education,” the dean of NYU’s education school, Mary Brabeck, said.
“I think Teachers College is really fortunate – and I think her appointment is good news for New York City’s schools,” she said.
Ms. Fuhrman is known for her extensive research and policy work.
Before taking the helm at Penn, Ms. Fuhrman was a professor of education policy at Rutgers in New Jersey. She sits on the board of trustees of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Coca-Cola Foundation’s Council for Corporate and School Partnerships.
Her books include “Redesigning Accountability Systems for Education” and “The Public Schools.” She is currently a principal researcher on a large project measuring responses to accountability pressures among high schools in six states. Columbia’s Teachers College ranked second among education programs in the most recent U.S News and World Report ranking. Penn’s program placed seventh.
Teachers College has turned out a number of influential educators over the years.The city’s public school system recently converted to a balanced literacy program to teach reading and writing. The program was the brainchild of Lucy Calkins, the founder of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project.
During his tenure at Teachers College, Mr. Levine worked to triple the school’s endowment, helped lead the ongoing Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit to increase spending on the city’s schools, and advocated for education equity.