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UEF Intro page 1
UEF Intro page 2
Columbia Workshop

Design Share Home

Committee Reports:
Sustainable Buildings
Sponsors & Grants
Technology & Training
Building Assessments

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Ed Kirkbride

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Prakash Nair

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Walter Kunz

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Laura Wernick

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Jody Sampson

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Jonathan Epps

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Nadine Chin Santos

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Dan Nauke

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Dr. Lorraine Maxwell

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Sean O'Donnell

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Dr. Robert McClintock

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David Anstrand

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John Stana


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UEF-NE Chapter Created
UEF21-NE was officially approved by CEFPI’s Board of Directors at the recently concluded international conference in Vancouver, BC. UEF21-NE thus became CEFPI’s newest chapter.

The creation of UEF recognizes that urban school facility problems are not only larger and more complex than those affecting suburban and rural schools, they are also vastly different.

Efforts to create a professional organization to address the unique problems of urban school facilities began in earnest in late 1997 when Ed Kirkbride, then President-Elect of the NE region, began his campaign to garner support for this worthy cause. Working with Prakash Nair, CEFPI Governor for NY State, with support from Columbia University Teacher’s College and with help from a number of concerned professionals in the NE region, they created "USF21" whose members met several times over the spacer7w.gif (62 bytes)past 12 months. Subsequently, after discussions with the CEFPI leadership and Tom Kube, its Executive Director, a decision was made to change the name to UEF-21NE and become a prototype CEFPI chapter.

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What is an "Urban" School?
The U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Educational Statistics defined an "urban" school district as one in which 75% or more of the households served are in the central City of a metropolitan area.
     By this definition, there are 575 "urban" school districts in the United States.

UEF's "A.R.T." Program
A.R.T. stands for Advocacy, Research and Training. These are the main goals that UEF will address.

Advocacy: It is important for UEF to serve as an effective voice for the pressing needs of urban school facilities. This can only be accomplished by encouraging urban leaders to support quality educational

facilities as an integral part of a quality educational program. UEF will support the highest professional standards for school design and provide assistance for comprehensive educational planning.

Research: While there is an abundance of research on urban education, there is very little research on the effects of urban school conditions on student performance. UEF needs to look at how school design can be improved to better serve the emotional, physical and social needs of young children. UEF will also disseminate available research on urban educational facilities.

Training: UEF will sponsor official workshops, publications conferences, Internet bulletins and sharing of innovative ideas from all around the country. Through its efforts in this area, UEF can help train facility planners, educators, parents and others interested in improving urban schools.

Officers of UEF
In ratifying the UEF-NE Chapter, the CEFPI Board approved the following office holders:
Pres.: Ed Kirkbride, R.A.,REFP
Vice-President: Prakash Nair, R.A.
Secretary: Carole Kirkbride
Treasurer: Walter Kunz, AIA

Additionally, the following Committee Chairs are proposed:
Advocacy: Laura Wernick, AIA Research: Dr. Lorraine Maxwell Training: Sean O’Donnell Communications: Prakash Nair
      &  Dan Nauke
      Nadine Chin Santos
Sustainable Schools:
      Joyce Lee, AIA
Sponsors & Grants: Jonathan
       Epps, Jody Sampson

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The mission of UEF is to promote the development of urban educational facilities that provide the best possible learning environment for children

Vibrant UEF Workshop in NYC
UEF's first conference at Columbia University, NYC, on November 7, 1998, was attended by a lively group of educators, planners, architects and consultants.  Dr. Robbie McClintock welcomed the group and Prakash Nair presented an in-depth analysis of the problems, along with a strategy for success.
    Ed Kirkbride instructed the group to tap their pencils on the furniture if anyone resorted to negative thinking. Attendees responded gleefully, showing no mercy in their pursuit of solutions.
    The conference was remarkable in its cross-fertilization of ideas. Dan Nauke, technology coordinator for a children's museum in New Jersey shared his thoughts about learning kiosks for kids who'd rather play than study.  Nadine Chin Santos, Senior Manager at the NYC School Construction Authority, picked up the thought, and told Randy Fielding, Design Share's editor, that she felt the kiosks may be a good solution in New York.
     More conference notes are coming soon to UEF's page in Design Share.

The Need for UEF

Eleven million American children (one out of every four) attend urban schools. 43% of urban school children are minority.

> Most urban kids attend schools in which more than half of the students are poor and that are predominantly or completely minority.

> Millions of urban children fail to meet even the minimum standards on national tests.

> In the poorest school districts, up to two-thirds of students achieve below "basic" levels on national tests.

> Urban schools are larger, have higher truancy, double the violence and less parental involvement than non-urban schools.

> Big-city districts are twice as likely to use non-licensed teachers than non-urban districts.

> Of the 49 urban districts responding to an Education Week survey, 15 reported that it would take $500 million or more to restore their buildings to good condition. New York City estimates that over $15 billion is needed to restore its 1,200 school buildings to a "state of good repair."

Even as urban achievement drops, demands on school buildings has been increasing. Not only must many older buildings be made technology ready, they need to fulfil many new roles as community centers.

UEF is interested in developing real solutions to these problems. By working with local communities, all levels of government and the private sector, it is possible to mobilize action and increase funding for urban school facilities. However, getting money is only part of the solution. Through its research and training programs, UEF can ensure that available funds are spent wisely.

UEF can give urban kids a chance to succeed – a chance that millions of children do not now have.

Poverty Vs. Urban
While urban kids generally fare much worse than their suburban counterparts in all tested subjects, poverty seems to have a particularly devastating impact on urban student performance. The problem is not with "urban" because rich kids in urban areas actually outperform their non-urban counterparts. However, the combination of the urban condition with poverty seems to create the worst environment for education

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