Sunday, March 4, 2012

Shep Barbash Delivers Keynote at Winter PD Conference

Journalist Shepard Barbash delivered a moving keynote address on teaching and the importance of Direct Instruction at BCP's Winter 2012 Professional Development Conference at Hampstead Hill Academy on January 26, 2012.

Below is an excerpt from Barbash's keynote address:

You at BCP are really lucky and I mean it. You have Direct Instruction - the most powerful teaching method ever invented. You have the leaders who are committed to that method - to help you learn it when no one else saw fit to teach you; to celebrate your competent hardworking teachers when no one else saw fit to praise you; and to stay the course with DI in a City and a State and a Nation that either cares nothing about it or knows nothing about it.

DI has the best track record of anything in education; and BCP has the best track record of anyone in DI. So I’m honored to be here because I appreciate, probably even more than you do, just how exceptional you are.

Researchers around the country who’ve studied the number find that BCP is the only place in America; the only cluster of schools in America that have closed the achievement gap between rich and poor. The only place. So you’re not only lucky, you’re good. Better than good, you’re the best. You’ve made history and no one can tell you otherwise.

Siegfried Engelmann, the man who created Direct Instruction, keeps a list of all the places that tried DI, got great results with their students, and then abandoned it when a new regime came to town. Last I heard the list was up to 200 places. So BCP is unique in another way. As far as I know you’re the longest running DI implementation in the world. That’s important because kids from poor homes need at least five years with a good program if they hope to catch up to their more fortunate classmates.
View a video of his keynote at:

About Shepard Barbash

Barbash has been a writer for thirty years. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Smithsonian Magazine, City Journal, Education Next and other publications. He is former bureau chief of the Houston Chronicle in Mexico City and is the author of five books, including Clear Teaching, published in January by the Education Consumers Foundation.