New York City Department of Education Region 10

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4360 Broadway New York City, New York
July 8, 2004
To Whom It May Concern:

I have worked with Susan Radley over the past four years and have been impressed with her ability to plan and implement coherent professional development at both the district (big picture) and school levels. She is equally effective at working with administrators and practitioners, largely drawing on her vast experience in education. Her specialty is turning around low performing schools and her track record is stellar. For example, in the five schools where she provided in-class and school-wide support, the test scores rose steadily and dramatically.

Ms. Radley also designed a district-wide Literacy Initiative for the Chancellor’s District. She facilitated bi-monthly sessions focused on developing the capacity of Principals, Assistant Principals, and Coaches, to support the work of teachers as they implemented writing process practices in their second literacy block. These ongoing workshops gave the administrators a foundation in the pedagogical content knowledge and theory underpinning the effective instruction of literacy.

Susan develops professional learning communities that build on the strengths of educators and students and encourages everyone to work to their highest potential. She provides thoughtful, rigorous units of study and scaffolding for teachers through collaboratively planning and modeling lessons as they work to effectively implement the materials in ways that address the needs of a wide range of students. The work samples that even our most struggling students produced have met or exceeded national standards. Susan uses them across the country in her keynote addresses and institutes.

Ms. Radley has continued to work with us in Region 10. She established collaboration sites in which she planned demonstration lessons at every grade level with the classroom teachers and coaches; invited teams of teachers from other schools to observe and debrief the lessons; provided future lessons for the unit of study; and collectively analyzed student work samples provided by the participating teachers. Research shows that the examination of student work is essential in helping develop teacher pedagogical and content knowledge on the way to differentiating instruction; and this has been our experience as evidenced by the growth of the participating teachers.

She also provided support to our Local Instructional Superintendents, Regional Instructional Specialists, and school administrators. A quote that summarizes the essence of Susan’s work was stated by one of our LIS’, "Not only do you teach and inspire us, but you also respect us." Another LIS commented, "In the session with you, I took more notes and learned more than in any other session with anyone this year." With great enthusiasm and confidence I wholeheartedly endorse Ms. Radley to create appropriate professional development initiatives in any context.

Lucille Swarns