2022 Charlotte Frank, Shaper of New York City Curriculums, Dies at 93


Charlotte Frank, who blazed a profession path starting as a fourth-grade instructor in New York Metropolis to turn into a policymaker codifying bold curriculums for thousands and thousands of scholars, died on Could 26 at her house in Manhattan. She was 93.

The trigger was issues of Alzheimer’s illness, her son Harlan Frank mentioned.

The daughter of an unschooled Japanese European immigrant, Dr. Frank was recruited in 1980 to supervise curriculum and instruction for the New York Metropolis college system by Chancellor Frank J. Macchiarola.

She was credited with bringing new considering to the instructing of studying and math, serving to to modernize intercourse schooling and supporting the instruction of evolution by barring science textbooks that taught creationism — all inside a traditionally hidebound Board of Training.

“She developed and created curriculum and instruction that made a distinction in studying outcomes whereas navigating a forms that was reluctant to alter,” mentioned Jerald Posman, a former New York Metropolis deputy faculties chancellor, in an e mail.

Throughout her tenure, Ms. Frank argued for common full-day kindergarten and initiated summer time packages to instruct lecturers in any respect ranges in the best way to counter racial prejudice in school rooms.

And although she was lively in efforts to make use of math as a software to encourage cognition, she discovered that “the flexibility to resolve issues and assume clearly transcends issues in arithmetic,” she advised The New York Occasions in 1981.

“Considering abilities are frequent to all of the disciplines,” she mentioned, “whether or not a pupil is considering the causes of inflation in social research, doing a movement drawback in math or making an attempt to grasp Shakespeare.”

After 9 years because the director of curriculum and instruction, and after confronting what she believed was a glass ceiling for girls on the Board of Training, she joined the academic publishing firm McGraw Hill in 1988 as senior adviser for analysis and growth. She grew to become senior vice chairman in 2002 and retired in 2018, when she was 87.

“Charlotte was distinctive, given that in her interval of service, whereas most lecturers had been feminine, few principals and even fewer in management roles at college headquarters had been girls,” mentioned Stanley S. Litow, one other former deputy New York Metropolis faculties chancellor.

In 2000, Ms. Frank was appointed to the New York State Board of Regents, which presides over the State College of New York and the state’s Training Division.

“She was a pioneer in curriculum growth, instructor schooling and professionalizing the profession pathways for younger educators throughout town,” mentioned Merryl H. Tisch, chairwoman of the board of the State College of New York and a former chancellor of the Board of Regents. “Charlotte devoted her life and her life’s work to the idea of fairness lengthy earlier than it grew to become a well-liked motion.”

Charlotte Kizner was born on April 5, 1929, within the Bronx to Jewish immigrants from Ukraine. Her father, Abraham, labored with a cousin, a glazier, in his auto glass store within the Bronx. Her mom, Rose (Blivis) Kizner, was a homemaker.

Charlotte grew up within the Parkchester part and graduated from Monroe Excessive Faculty. She earned a bachelor’s diploma in enterprise from Metropolis Faculty in 1950, a grasp’s from Hunter Faculty in 1966 and a doctorate in schooling from New York College in 2000.

She began instructing in 1963, assigned to a fourth-grade class at P.S. 62, throughout the road from her father’s store. She later served as district head of testing after which labored in class publishing for the Olivetti firm earlier than transferring to the Board of Training.

In 1950, she married Sidney Frank; he died in 1988. In 1989, she married Marvin Leffler, who survives her together with three kids from her first marriage, Harley and Matthew Frank and Anne Frank-Shapiro; two stepchildren, Bruce Leffler and Nancy Berman; 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Dr. Frank gained greater than 70 awards throughout her profession as a instructor and administrator and was by no means reticent about advancing a trigger or a curriculum with out awaiting unanimous consent.

“She championed her dedication to high quality public schooling loudly and proudly in her well-known ‘cafeteria voice,’” mentioned Jennifer Raab, president of Hunter Faculty, which inducted Dr. Frank into its Corridor of Fame.

Ms. Frank, who made some extent of reaching out to district superintendents and college principals, championed not simply college students but additionally lecturers.

“We all know the lecturers are efficient after they consider in what they’re doing and really feel a way of belonging,” she advised The Occasions in 1984. “However we additionally found different traits of the habits of sure efficient lecturers. One was that good lecturers outlined the duty at hand early on within the college 12 months and defined to children what was going to occur, as if there was then a contract between instructor and youngster.”

After which, she mentioned, lecturers needed to be each supportive and resolved. “They needed to be each sympathetic and insistent that youngsters be taught,” she mentioned.


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