In Same Building:  One NYC School Lives and Another Dies!

Dear Commons Community,

In the past dozen years or so, one approach of many urban school districts has been to reorganize high-enrollment schools. A major policy of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and continued under Mayor Bill de Blasio was to reorganized a large school in one building into smaller schools or “houses”.  Some of these schools have progressed while others have not.  The New York Times has a featured story today on two schools in the same building in the South Bronx where one is succeeding while the other is getting ready to be closed.  Here is an excerpt:

“What is the distance between progress and failure?

At 1000 Teller Avenue in the South Bronx, it is two flights of stairs and a few points on the annual state exams — the gap between the New Millennium Business Academy Middle School, on the second floor, and Junior High School 145 Arturo Toscanini, on the fourth.

Both schools teach children from poor families, including large numbers of recent immigrants. Both are in the de Blasio administration’s Renewal program, which has provided nearly $400 million in social services and academic assistance to the city’s most struggling schools. At both, the percentage of children who pass the English and math exams each year is in the single digits or low double digits.

But the city’s Education Department sees New Millennium as on the rise. Its test scores have ticked up, however slightly. Enrollment is steady. The schools chancellor recently paid a visit and praised the school’s gains.

Just up the stairs, it is a different story. The Education Department said in January that J.H.S. 145 would be one of six Renewal schools that would be closed for not making sufficient progress. This school year is likely to be J.H.S. 145’s last.

At a hearing at the school in January, a parent asked the superintendent who oversees the school, Leticia Rodriguez-Rosario, why it hadn’t improved.

 “We don’t know,” Ms. Rodriguez-Rosario said. “The formula didn’t work.”

But in several visits to the building and in interviews with teachers at both schools, it became clear that decisive leadership can make or break a school’s turnaround efforts: At New Millennium, a longtime principal has united the staff in a sense of optimism and purpose. At J.H.S. 145, a rapid succession of principals, along with other blows, has sown frustration and mistrust. One sign of that mistrust: Some staff members believe that the city is closing the school primarily to give its space to a charter school that moved into the building in 2015.

“It’s very, very hard not to be a complete and utter cynic when it comes to this,” James Donohue, a longtime English teacher at the school, said. Ms. Rodriguez-Rosario’s assertion that the closing “has absolutely nothing to do with the charter school” is nonsense, he said.

Until 2004, J.H.S. 145 occupied the whole building, with more than 1,600 students, and it struggled academically. The Bloomberg administration divided the building into three schools, believing that smaller schools would perform better. The most senior teachers stayed at J.H.S. 145, while some of the more junior ones went to the two new schools, New Millennium and the Urban Science Academy, which is also in the Renewal program.

But dividing the school didn’t improve things.”

The article goes on with interviews of staff to provide insights into the two schools.  Bottom line is that there is no simple formula for “reforming” a school.  A number of things have to come together with good, stable leadership at or near the top of the list.


David Leonhardt:  To Fix Schools – Go to the Principal’s Office!

Dear Commons Community,

David Leonhardt has an article in today’s New York Times  highlighting the role of the principal in improving schools.  Using a high school in Chicago as an example, he describes and lays out a strategy for how to improve a school that starts with the principal.  Here are several excerpts:

“Virtually every public school in the country has someone in charge who’s called the principal. Yet principals have a strangely low profile in the passionate debates about education. The focus instead falls on just about everything else: curriculum (Common Core and standardized tests), school types (traditional versus charter versus private) and teachers (how to mold and keep good ones, how to get rid of bad ones). You hear far more talk about holding teachers accountable than about principals.

But principals can make a real difference. Overlooking them is a mistake — and fortunately, they’re starting to get more attention. The federal education law passed in 2015, to replace No Child Left Behind, puts a new emphasis on the development of principals. So have some innovative cities and states, including Denver, New Orleans and Massachusetts.

There is no better place to see the difference that principals can make than Chicago. I realize that may sound surprising, given the city’s alarming recent crime surge.

And yet: Chicago’s high school graduation rate has climbed faster than the national rate. The city’s teenagers now enroll in college at a rate only slightly below that in the rest of the country. Younger children have made big gains in reading and math, larger than in every other major city except Washington, which has a far better known success story. Chicago’s good news is not limited to the three R’s, either. Students are also spending more time studying art, music and theater….

The progress has multiple causes, including a longer school day and school year and more school choices for families. But the first thing many people talk about here is principals.

“The national debate is all screwed up,” Rahm Emanuel, Chicago’s mayor, told me. “Principals create the environment. They create a culture of accountability. They create a sense of community. And none of us, nationally, ever debate principals.”

He added, “We ask too much of teachers.”…

Chicago has turned to a mix of principals with and without traditional backgrounds. Armando Rodriguez, who runs a new science high school in a modest neighborhood near Midway Airport, used to be an engineer at Motorola. Gregory Jones, a Chicago native, was a teacher and assistant principal, before taking over Kenwood, a neighborhood school that also accepts students from elsewhere in the city through a lottery.”

This piece is well-done!



CUNY/SUNY TeachNY Event at CCNY’s Great Hall!

Dear Commons Community,

Yesterday, I attended the CUNY/SUNY TeachNY event at the Great Hall of City College, a cathedral-like space that seats over 1500 people.  If you have not been to the Great Hall, it is one of the more interesting rooms in New York City.  Designed by the architect, George Post, it houses a huge mural by Edwin H. Blashfield’s titled The Graduate, sixty-foot high stain-glass windows, and the polished remains of two, twenty-foot high pipe organs. 

The CUNY/SUNY TeachNY was an afternoon of discussions regarding teacher education.  It was remarkable to see CUNY Chancellor J.B. Milliken, SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, and NYS Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia in the same room, all giving talks about teacher education.  Topics included clinical practice, the teacher profession, and future directions. It was the sense of many of us attending that the NYS Department of Education is getting ready to roll out new initiatives aimed at strengthening teacher education programs.

It was a worthwhile afternoon in a great setting.  My congratulations to University Dean Ashleigh Thompson and all those who coordinated the day’s activities.


New Study on Adaptive Learning at U of Central Florida and Colorado Technical U!

Dear Commons Community,

Adaptive learning is moving into the mainstream of higher education.  We are moving beyond the hype of companies that market instructional software and beginning to see bonafide research on the implementation of adaptive learning at colleges and schools.  One such study:  Dziuban, Charles; Moskal, Patsy; Johnson, Constance; and Evans, Duncan (2017) “Adaptive Learning: A Tale of Two Contexts,” Current Issues in Emerging eLearning: Vol. 4 : Iss. 1 , Article 3, is available as a free download at:

The summary abstract reads as follows;

“This paper presents the results of student reactions to adaptive learning at two universities with considerably different contexts: a large public institution and a for-profit, professional university. A student response protocol developed by and administered at the University of Central Florida (UCF) was also distributed to students at Colorado Technical University (CTU). Demographic comparisons of the two responding sample groups indicated considerable differences in student characteristics, especially with respect to age and work status. However, a factor invariance comparison revealed that students at both universities evaluated the adaptive climate similarly though the lens of learning environment, guidance path and progression. When the factor scores for the institutions were compared, CTU students responded more favorably to the guidance component of adaptive learning while UCF students perceived that the adaptive learning system provided a more effective learning environment. Students who were clustered by whether or not they would reengage with adaptive courses, showed a positive and somewhat more ambivalent group. The authors concluded that adaptive learning with its flexibility and variable time component is a possible solution to the scarcity problem in our educational system, addressing students with too many needs and too few resources. The authors contend that adaptive learning could help to level the educational and economic playing fields in our society.”

I found the article quite useful in bringing me up to date on adaptive learning. The research procedures used in this study were first-rate.

Give it a read!


Diversity Lags at Selective New York City High Schools!

Dear Commons Community,

It was decision day for many New York City children yesterday as the New York City Education Department told eighth graders where they had been accepted to high school.

Despite a push to increase the number of black and Latino students at the city’s most competitive high schools, the specialized schools, the number of those students who were offered seats for the fall was essentially unchanged from last year, according to the Department.  As reported by the New York Times:

“Entry to eight specialized high schools is based entirely upon a single standardized test, and the schools have long been criticized for the demographic makeup of the students who are admitted.

Only about 10 percent of offers from those schools were extended to black and Latino students, though those students make up about 68 percent of the school system.

The Education Department has begun several initiatives that aim to alter that balance, including trying to increase the number of students who take the test, starting by targeting particular districts, and expanding the free DREAM program that helps prepare students for the exam.

Will Mantell, a spokesman for the department, said those initiatives had had encouraging results. An increased percentage of eighth graders took the exam in all the districts targeted last fall, and 33 percent of students in the DREAM program were offered seats at specialized schools.

Nonetheless, the number of offers made to black and Latino students went from 530 last year to 524 this year.”

The NYC Education Department appears to have its heart in the right place but some things just never change!


The Nation Goes Red for International Women’s Day!

Dear Commons Community,

Yesterday was marked by marches, protests, strikes, and speakouts as women and men across the country supported International Women’s Day.   

Also themed as a “A Day Without Women”,  rallies were held from Alaska to Rhode Island  which organizers described as a day of “economic solidarity.” 

Women took the day off to “highlight the economic power and significance that women have in the U.S. and global economies,” Women’s March organizers said. Many people wore red to show their support for the movement

The strikes were similar to last month’s A Day Without Immigrants, a nationwide protest against President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown. 

The strike in New York City began as early as noon, starting in locations all over the City, moving first to the Trump International Hotel, and later to Washington Square Park.

Here at the CUNY Graduate Center, students in our own PhD Program in Urban Education organized a speakout right on its front steps at 34th Street and Fifth Avenue at 12:30 noon and then marched to Washington Square Park at 4:00 pm.

Lots of red yesterday!




Rep. Jason Chaffetz to Low-Income Americans:  Your iPhone or Health Insurance?

Dear Commons Community,

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) is proposing a way for low-income Americans unable to afford coverage under President Donald Trump’s newly proposed health care law: Don’t buy an iPhone.  As reported in The Huffington Post:

“The American Health Care Act, unveiled by House Republican leaders Monday, offers less financial assistance to low-income people than former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, so it would likely result in millions of Americans losing the health coverage they have today.

But the Republican chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said Tuesday that Americans who might struggle to afford insurance under the GOP plan simply need to make the choice to “invest in health care.” 

“Americans have choices, and they’ve got to make a choice,” Chaffetz said Tuesday on CNN. “So rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest in their own health care. They’ve got to make those decisions themselves.”

Having to choose between a smartphone and health care coverage is a scenario Chaffetz likely can’t relate to. With a net worth of at least $320,000 in 2014, he makes less than many of his colleagues in Congress and was only the 301st wealthiest lawmaker based on financial disclosures that year. But he still lives well above the median income in America (about $56,500 in 2015) and enjoys comprehensive health care benefits afforded to members of Congress. 

CNN host Alisyn Camerota asked Chaffetz if Americans might have more health care access but less coverage under Trump’s new health care bill.

“Well, yes. I think that’s fair,” Chaffetz said. “We just saw the bill as of yesterday. We’re just starting to consume it. We will have to look at how that analysis moves forward.”

Chaffetz later attempted to clarify his comments on Fox News. 

“What we’re trying to say — and maybe I didn’t say it as smoothly as I possibly could — but people need to make a conscious choice, and I believe in self-reliance,” he said. “They’re going to have to make those decisions.”

“We want them to have their communication equipment too, but it’s frustrating,” he added.

As millions of low-income Americans struggle to keep their health insurance, wealthy people and corporations would enjoy massive tax cuts under the new law. The AHCA would also scrap protections for more vulnerable Americans by raising premiums for older people and rolling back the expansion of Medicaid, which provides health care for families and individuals with limited economic resources.

On Monday, a handful of Republican senators wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) warning they couldn’t support legislation that would cut federal money for Medicaid expansion.

Sens. Rob Portman (Ohio), Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), Cory Gardner (Colo.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) ― all from states that have expanded Medicaid ― wrote that the new health care legislation “does not provide stability and certainty for individuals and families in Medicaid expansion programs or the necessary flexibility for states.”

The legislation is split into two complementary bills, which the House Ways and Means Committee and House Energy and Commerce Committee will begin reviewing Wednesday.”

So now our Republican Congress that is obsessed with the federal government’s infringements on states rights, is telling families how to manage their budgets.  



U.S. Supreme Court Will Not Hear Transgender Case – Setback for LGBTQ Community!

Dear Commons Community,

The U.S. Supreme Court announced yesterday that it would not decide whether a transgender boy in Virginia could use the boys’ bathroom at his high school.

The decision not to take his case, which came as the court is awaiting the appointment of a ninth member, means there will be no ruling on the highly charged issue of transgender rights this term. The issue will almost certainly return to the Supreme Court, probably in a year or two.

Until then, lawsuits in the lower courts will proceed, the political climate and public opinion may shift, and the court’s composition will almost certainly change.  As reported in the New York Times:

“Monday’s development was a setback for transgender rights advocates, who had hoped the Supreme Court, which established a constitutional right to same-sex marriage two years ago, would aid their cause. 

Instead, in a one-sentence order on Monday, the Supreme Court vacated an appeals court decision in favor of the student, Gavin Grimm, and sent the case back for further consideration in light of the new guidance from the administration.

The Supreme Court had agreed in October to hear the case, and the justices were scheduled to hear arguments this month. The case would have been the court’s first encounter with transgender rights, and it would probably have been one of the biggest decisions of a fairly sleepy term.

“Thousands of transgender students across the country will have to wait even longer for a final decision from our nation’s highest court affirming their basic rights,” said Sarah Warbelow, the legal director of the Human Rights Campaign.

Kerri Kupec, a lawyer with Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian group, welcomed Monday’s development.”

This is not a good sign in that the Court will likely move to the right on social issues with new appointments such s Neil Gorsuch in the not too distant future.


Turner Classic Movies Host, Robert Osborne, Dead!

Dear Commons Community,

For those of us who have enjoyed watching Turner Classic Movies are saddened to hear that the long-time host of the channel, Robert Osborne, died yesterday.  To hear him introduce or describe a movie like Casablanca, On the Waterfront,  or Lawrence of Arabia was a treat.  Many of us will also miss his genial smile.  Below is his obituary from the New York Times.



Robert Osborne, Turner Classic Movies Host, Dies at 84

Robert Osborne, a onetime actor who turned his lifelong love of old films into a starring role as the marquee host of Turner Classic Movies, died on Monday at his home in Manhattan. He was 84.

David Staller, a longtime friend, confirmed the death.

For the last 23 years, the silver-haired Mr. Osborne brought a sophisticated, gentlemanly air to TCM, where he turned his savant-like familiarity with films, their back stories and their stars into absorbing intros, outros and interviews.

He typically introduced 18 movies a week, as well as marathons and special presentations, that provided an escape into a golden age when Fred and Ginger were dancing, Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman ruled and Marlon Brando was transforming acting.

And, it turned out, his presence and storytelling helped turn TCM into a prime destination for movie buffs.

 “I get stopped on the street all the time,” he said in an interview with The New York Times in 2014. “People say: ‘You got me through cancer last year. You got me past unemployment. You take me away from my troubles.’ Exactly what movies did in the ’30s and ’40s.”

Mr. Osborne appealed as much to moviemakers as he did to moviegoers. In a statement, Steven Spielberg said, “He got us excited and reawakened to the greatest stories ever told with the most charismatic stars in the world.”

Mr. Osborne was a fan and historian with a special fondness for leading ladies like Olivia de Havilland, Gene Tierney, Kim Novak, Barbara Stanwyck and Bette Davis, some of whom became his friends.

“I love those people,” he told “CBS Sunday Morning” last year. “They were so interesting to be around. These were people that once ruled the world.”

Ben Mankiewicz, another host on TCM, said he had witnessed the affection that actresses like Debbie Reynolds, Eva Marie Saint, Cher and Liza Minnelli showed Mr. Osborne.

“There was a trust between them,” he said in a telephone interview. “You spend 20 seconds with Robert, you know you could trust him. They knew that he appreciated the legacy they were part of. They could let their guard down. He was the exact right caretaker of these movies that mean so much to so many people.”

But, Mr. Mankiewicz added, “He’d talk to you as much about Douglas Fairbanks, Tyrone Power and Cary Grant.”

In his West Side apartment at — yes, the Osborne — he kept a memorabilia collection that included a heart-shaped pincushion from one of Elizabeth Taylor’s birthday parties; ashtrays from show business landmarks like the Brown Derby in Hollywood and the Stork Club in New York; two Golden Globe awards and the statuette used in the awards ceremony scene in “All About Eve,” which Ms. Davis gave him as a gift.

Robert Jolin Osborne Jr. was born on May 3, 1932, in Colfax, Wash. His father was a high school principal and coach; his mother, the former Hazel Jolin, was a homemaker.

Robert discovered his love of Hollywood when, in 1941, his mother brought him a copy of Modern Screen magazine with Lana Turner on the cover. He became so engrossed that he began jotting down, in a notebook, the details of every first-run movie he could find — a kind of human precursor to the Internet Movie Database.

His love of movies led to his working as a young man at the Rose and Roxy Theaters in Colfax. (He later invested in another Rose Theater, in Port Townsend, Wash., which was renovated in the 1990s.)

He studied journalism at the University of Washington and started acting after graduation, working for 20th Century Fox and for Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s Desilu Productions. His screen credits were modest: uncredited roles (one in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho”) and a guest appearance on the 1960s sitcom “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

Ms. Ball liked him and encouraged him to give up acting to write about Hollywood. And former stars in particular — untethered from the studio system, rarely working and often forgotten — welcomed him.

“They were cut off like people on a desert island,” he told The Times. “Paulette Goddard, I got to know. Hedy Lamarr, I got to know really well. Nobody gave a damn about Hedy Lamarr back then.”

His book, “Academy Awards Illustrated” (1965), with an introduction by Ms. Davis, led to his becoming a critic and columnist at The Hollywood Reporter. His television appearances led to his being hired as a host on The Movie Channel before he moved to TCM in 1994.

Mr. Osborne’s love of movies led him to invest in the Rose Theater in Port Townsend and he became instrumental in the growth of its film festival, now entering its 18th year. “With his connections, he brought us Eva Marie Saint and other stars,” said Rocky Friedman, the majority owner of the Rose Theater there. “They’d come and do interviews with Robert — and he was so gracious with the public.”

Mr. Osborne left no immediate family survivors.

Mr. Freidman said he saw Mr. Osborne last month in Manhattan.

“He was just Robert, with countless stories about Hollywood,” he said. “And he told me something I had never known. That every Sunday for 40 years, he has spoken to Olivia de Havilland.”


Conference Encourages Reparations for Harvard’s Ties to Slavery!

Dear Commons Community,

Harvard University hosted a conference last Friday entitled, Universities and Slavery: Bound By History, that opened up some of Harvard’s past involvement with slavery that is not well known or understood.    In 1976, archivists at Harvard’s natural history museum opened a drawer and discovered a haunting portrait of a shirtless enslaved man named Renty, gazing sorrowfully but steadily at the camera. Taken on a South Carolina plantation in 1850, it had been used by the Harvard biologist Louis Agassiz to formulate his now-discredited ideas about racial difference.

Last Friday, Harvard’s president, Drew Gilpin Faust, stood at a lectern under a projection of Renty’s face and began a rather different enterprise: a major public conference exploring the long-neglected connections between universities and slavery.  An article published in the Harvard Crimson that provides a review of this conference appears below.

American universities would do well to follow Harvard’s example and try to come to some understanding of their ties to slavery. 



Conference Encourages Reparations for Harvard’s Ties to Slavery

By CLAIRE E. PARKER, Harvard Crimson

March 5, 2017

A conference on universities and slavery brought Harvard’s extensive and long-obscured historical connections to slavery into sharp relief Friday, with some participants encouraging the University to consider monetary reparations.

The conference, entitled “Universities and Slavery: Bound By History” and sponsored by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, is the latest in a series of efforts Harvard has taken to confront its ties to slavery. A year in the making, the daylong event featured historians and representatives from several universities, and a keynote address by The Atlantic writer Ta-Nehisi Coates. University President Drew G. Faust announced plans for the conference in March 2016.

In her opening remarks, Faust called slavery “an aspect of Harvard’s past that has been rarely acknowledged and poorly understood.”

“Harvard was directly complicit in slavery from the College’s earliest days in the 17th century,” Faust said. “This history and its legacy have shaped our institution in ways we have yet to fully understand. Today’s conference is intended to help us explore parts of the past that have remained all but invisible.”

Repeatedly describing slavery and racial discrimination that arose from it as “plunder” in his keynote address, Coates urged attendees to recognize the scope of slavery and the “systems of plunder that haunt us to this very day.”

Coates, a famous proponent of monetary reparations, laid out that case for attendees Friday, arguing that progress on racial issues requires institutions to repay their debts to enslaved people.

“I think every single one of these universities needs to make reparations,” he said to wide applause. “I don’t know how you get around that, I just don’t. I don’t know how you conduct research that shows that your very existence is rooted in a great crime, and just say ‘well,’ shrug—and maybe at best say ‘I’m sorry’—and you walk away. And I think you need to use the language of ‘reparation.’ I think it’s very, very important to actually say that word, to acknowledge that something was done in these institutions.”

History professor Sven Beckert, who has previously investigated Harvard’s ties to slavery, opened a panel Friday afternoon by reiterating this message.

“We cannot successfully move forward as a university, as a nation, or as citizens, without acknowledging this history, and making it important to the understanding of our present,” Beckert said. “And to be meaningful, that acknowledgement will have to have economic and political consequences; it cannot be purely symbolic or rhetorical.”

In a question-and-answer session in the afternoon, an audience member asked Beckert if he supports Harvard paying reparations.

“There is a responsibility to address these past injustices and also to address them in material terms,” Beckert responded. “What this exactly looks like, I can’t tell. But I think the importance is to acknowledge this and then to have a conversation in a community—for example, a university community—to see what the proper steps are that should be taken.”

In recent years, universities across the country have begun to delve into their historical ties to slavery and take action in response. Emory University’s Board of Trustees released a formal statement of regret, Brown University dedicated a slavery memorial in 2014, and Georgetown University agreed to offer preferential admissions status to the descendants of slaves the university sold in 1838.

At Harvard, the process of unearthing this history began in 2007 with a seminar on Harvard and slavery led by Beckert. Over the ensuing ten years, Beckert’s students uncovered stories of the slaves who worked on campus under two Harvard presidents, donations from wealthy slave-owners, and endowment investments linked to the slave economy. One of Beckert’s students, who presented the findings of her senior thesis at the conference, found that Harvard used the Caribbean plantation of a formerly slaveholding benefactor as a research station until 1961.

Slavery shaped the intellectual history of Harvard as well. Professor Louis Agassiz conducted research to support polygenism—a theory that grounded racial differences in genetics—and the photograph of a South Carolina slave he studied as a specimen stared out at the audience Friday from the cover of the conference’s program.

But the piece of Harvard’s past that first galvanized students and brought Harvard’s connection to slavery into the national spotlight was encapsulated by the three sheaves of wheat that used to adorn the Law School’s seal. The sheaves formed the family crest of Isaac Royall, Jr., a Medford slave owner who derived his wealth from a sugar plantation in Antigua. Royall’s 19th century bequest helped establish the Law School in 1817.

In 2015, a group of Law School activists began calling for the seal’s removal—a request a Law School committee granted in March 2016. After approval from the Harvard Corporation, the Law School removed the Royall crest from its premises.

The movement sparked University-wide conversations about Harvard’s connections to slavery. In April 2016, Faust dedicated a plaque to the four enslaved persons who worked at Wadsworth House, and appointed the faculty committee to brainstorm and recommend further initiatives. A new exhibit at Pusey Library explores the relationship between Harvard and slavery, and Faust has pledged to provide funds for a researcher to continue looking into this relationship.

But Faust has stopped short of offering reparations. After Georgetown announced it would provide an admissions advantage for the descendants of former slaves, the ambassador from Antigua and Barbuda wrote a letter to Faust, calling on Harvard to offer preferential admission to Antiguans and provide funds to construct universities in Antigua—a proposal the University rejected.

In an interview in fall 2016, Faust said efforts like Georgetown’s program would not be appropriate for Harvard, since the University did not directly own slaves.

“I am not aware of any slaves that were owned by Harvard itself, and slavery was much less of a presence and an economic force in New England than it was in Washington, D.C., and the South,” Faust said. “Mostly slave records were kept as economic records, business records, and the records we have of slaves at Harvard are much scarcer and less complete.”

In Coates’s view, however, adequately recognizing a past tied to slavery requires some form of financial reparations.

“Let me be very clear about something: I do think it involves a payment of money,” Coates said in a conversation with Faust at the conference.

The faculty committee will continue to examine Harvard’s connection to slavery and plans to release a set of recommendations to the University, Beckert said in an interview with The Crimson Wednesday.