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Perspectives Plus with Spence Alumna Jamie Davidson ’04

Jamie Davidson ’04, a teacher, reading and literacy curriculum innovator and active advocate for children, returned to Spence as the featured speaker for this year’s first Perspectives Plus.

A member of a team who is founding an NYC arts-based charter school, Davidson shared in her talk, entitled “New Reforms in School Reform,” her innovative tactic to harness the power of the arts in positively transforming the learning outcomes of elementary, middle and high school students. As a former instructional leader at the Bronx Preparatory Charter School, Davidson witnessed firsthand “the powerful impact the arts have on student and family engagement in school and the potential arts study holds to facilitate deeper learning.”

After graduating from Barnard College in 2008, Davidson taught at a public school in Harlem and then at Brownsville Collegiate Charter School for three years before starting her M.Ed. in Language and Literacy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). During that time, she participated in an HGSE study looking at teacher quality and reading related outcomes as well as a Harvard Business School education reform consultancy team.

Upon completing her studies, Davidson returned to New York, working at Bronx Preparatory Charter School before partnering with the Artistic and Theater Directors from there who are both a part of the team working on the development of the New York City Charter School of the Arts. Also known as “City Arts,” the Grades 6-12 arts-based school is proposed to open in the fall of 2016.

Senior Clara Baselga-Garriga ’15, who serves as a student intern for Davidson, moderated the presentation, while also sharing her own experience working alongside Davidson. More than 50 students, teachers and alumnae joined the provocative and timely discussion, actively participating in the conversation with their important questions and thoughts. 

Perspectives Plus is a series of informative talks by members of The Spence School community. Our speakers generously share their expertise and insights with parents, faculty, administrators and students. With a focus on a range of stimulating topics, Perspectives Plus offers an opportunity to share with one another the richness of resources within our community.