The New York Times: Want to Ruin Teaching? Give Ratings

By DEBORAH KENNY Published: October 14, 2012 As the founder of a charter school network in Harlem, I’ve seen firsthand the nuances inherent in teacher evaluation. A few years ago, for instance, we decided not to renew the contract of one of our teachers despite the fact that his students performed exceptionally well on the… Read more »

The Oprah Magazine: Deborah Kenny named to Oprah’s Power List

By SARA CORBETT Published: October 2010 Nine years ago, after her husband’s early death left Deborah Kenny searching for her life’s purpose, she set out to radically reenvision public school education. “I decided to help children who didn’t have any way, other than education, to extricate themselves from the cycle of poverty,” she says. So… Read more »

The Washington Post: The Right Curriculum for Kindergarten: Play

By DEBORAH KENNY Published: March 10, 2013 Last year, as Harlem Village Academies prepared to open new elementary schools, our principals visited dozens of kindergarten classrooms. The upper income schools focused mostly on active play, interesting discussions and crafts, including papier-mache projects that delighted children for hours. In the lower income schools we saw regimented… Read more »

The New York Times: An Industry of Mediocrity

By BILL KELLER Published: October 20, 2013 Image: Nicholas Blechman Whoever coined that caustic aphorism should have been in a Harlem classroom last week where Bill Jackson was demonstrating an exception to the rule. Jackson, a 31-year classroom veteran, was teaching the mathematics of ratios to a group of inner-city seventh graders while 15 young… Read more »

The Wall Street Journal: Why Charter Schools Work

By DEBORAH KENNY Published: June 24, 2012 Accountability for results and freedom from union rules attract the best teachers into the profession. Twenty years ago, the country’s first charter school opened in Minnesota. This is a momentous anniversary not just for the two million families who now send their children to public charter schools, but… Read more »

TIME: Charting a New Course

By KERRY FRIED Published: June 25, 2012 In her late 30s, Deborah Kenny seemed to have everything. She and her soul mate, her husband Joel, were living in the suburbs outside New York City so that her three young children could take advantage of the local public schools; he was en route to academic success;… Read more »

Esquire: Best & Brightest features Deborah Kenny

By THOMAS KELLY Published: November 20, 2007 Spend time with Deborah Kenny and you walk away knowing that one day her name will be engraved in bronze. As we climb the stairs to the fourth floor of PS 194 in Harlem, she points out where she and President Bush paused on a landing to wait… Read more »