131 Education Luminaries Coalesce Around a Simple Idea to Form the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences

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The possibilities of “cross-discipline” recognition capture the imagination and support of the education community.

Today it was announced that 131 of the nation’s most prominent education leaders have joined the newly formed Academy of Education Arts and Sciences. This radically diverse and influential group has coalesced around a single, simple purpose: to promote “cross-discipline recognition” of excellence across every sector of the education field. Based on the notion that it takes a village to raise a child, the Academy will host the Bammy Awards to identify, recognize and celebrate excellence in education throughout the entire field -- from teachers, principals and superintendents to school nurses, support staff, advocates, researchers, early childhood specialists, education journalists, facilities maintenance staff, special needs professionals, school board members, parents and more.

The Bammy Awards were created in response to the tremendous national pressure on educators and education leaders to improve student outcomes and the intense scrutiny that today's educators face as a result. The Bammy Awards acknowledge that teachers can't educate children alone and don't do it alone. The awards aim to foster cross-discipline recognition for the vital role played by every member of the education village, encourage collaboration and respect across the various domains, elevate education and education successes in the public eye, and raise the profile and voices of the many undervalued and unrecognized people who are making a difference in the field every day.

Modeled on the broad scope of the Oscars, Grammys and Emmys, the Bammy Awards will accept nominations in dozens of disparate categories, select nominees for awards and hold a red-carpet awards event that will bring together constituents from the entire education community to recognize the honorees. The nominations and first round of voting will be done online at http://www.bammyawards.com. The scope of the disciplines involved in the Bammy Awards and the breadth and intensity of support that the initiative has received is what makes the effort extraordinary and noteworthy.

"Education is a complex field with many people engaged in various roles, the totality of which adds up to provide quality services for our children. It is right and appropriate to select individuals for recognition by the entire education community, not just the particular sector they represent. That is what the Bammy Awards are about," said Dan Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators and charter member of the Academy Board of Governors.

Charter members of the Academy include a profoundly eclectic cadre of persons involved in education, including Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, professor of education at Stanford University; Diane Ravitch, former Assistant Secretary of Education; Nancy Poliseno, president of the National Association for Middle Level Education; Dr. Mark Ginsberg, former head of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and now dean of the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University; Jay Mathews, veteran education columnist at the Washington Post; Dennis J. Randolph, executive director of the National School Plant Management Association; Donna Mazyck, executive director of the National Association of School Nurses; and Rosemarie T. Truglio, Ph.D., vice-president of research and education for Sesame Workshop.

"Educators have the ability to change education, but we keep beating them down. This kind of public recognition could change everything," said Gail Connelly, executive director of the National Association of Elementary School Principals and charter member of the Academy Board of Governors.

Academy members have begun making nominations, and a public call for nominations will go out to the general education community within the next few days.


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Jeannette Bernstein
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