When Courtney Sale Ross, the widow of Steve Ross, the former C.E.O. of Time Warner, and the founder of the Ross Global Academy, a charter school in the East Village, was told, last month, to expect a 9 A.M. phone call from the outgoing New York City schools chancellor, Joel Klein, she feared that it would not bring good news. Her academy, which was founded five years ago amid considerable fanfare—it promised a so-called spiral curriculum, encompassing the history of civilization across all cultures, and also offered instruction in eating organically and yoga—recently had the distinction of getting the worst progress report of any charter school in the city, with seventy-five per cent of its students failing English and seventy per cent of them failing math. The school, into which Ross and members of her board have poured eight million dollars of their own money, has had six principals, has occupied three locations, and lost three-quarters of its teachers last year; its charter is up for renewal this month. At eight-thirty on the appointed morning, Ross’s phone rang; on the line was Marc Sternberg, a deputy chancellor. “He said the most extraordinary thing,” Ross recalled last week. “He said, ‘I am informing you that the Department of Education is going to recommend a non-renewal.’If only someone would say the same to my district's "department of curriculum."
The New Yorker
by Rebecca Mead
January 17, 2011
And see: The Trouble with Math by Ralph Abraham (pdf file)
And so much more: multiple intelligences, spirals, innovation, the whole child.... The Concept of Spiral Curriculum at Ross School
Educating the Whole Child for the Whole World: The Ross School Model and Education for the Global Era