Nadine Chin Santos
Dr. Lorraine Maxwell
Dr. Robert McClintock
||UEF-NE Chapter Created
UEF21-NE was officially approved by CEFPIs Board of Directors at the
recently concluded international conference in Vancouver, BC. UEF21-NE thus became
CEFPIs 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
Teachers College and with help from a number of concerned professionals in the NE
region, they created "USF21" whose members met several times over the 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.
What is an "Urban" School?
The U.S. Department of Educations 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
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
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
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.
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 ODonnell
Communications: Prakash Nair
& Dan Nauke
Nadine Chin Santos
Joyce Lee, AIA
Sponsors & Grants: Jonathan
Epps, Jody Sampson
|The mission of UEF is to promote the development
of urban educational facilities that provide the best possible learning environment for
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
More conference notes are coming soon to UEF's page in Design
|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
> Millions of urban children fail to meet even the minimum standards on national
> 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
> 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.