Andres Alonso, CEO of Baltimore City Schools, spoke and received his medal at the first of two master?s degree ceremonies on Tuesday, May 17th.? Alonso, who arrived in the United States at age 12 from Cuba, speaking no English, holds four Ivy League degrees. In his late 20s, he left a promising law career to teach in Newark, and eventually became deputy chancellor of New York City?s public school system. Three years ago, he accepted the top schools post in Baltimore, where more than four-fifths of all students live in poverty and the school system has long been known as one of the nation?s most dysfunctional .? Under his leadership, students across all categories have achieved their highest-ever outcomes on state exams, highest-ever graduation rate and lowest-ever dropout rates. Baltimore?s dropout rate has fallen by half, and for the first time in decades, the city?s public school system is gaining students instead of losing them.
Teachers College, Columbia University is an institution with a rich and distinguished record in the field of education. Decade after decade, since its founding in 1887, the College has anticipated concerns and acted with initiatives to advance educational reforms and issues. With its tradition of innovation and insights, the College is one of the leading schools of education in the country, if not the world, embracing three fields: education, psychology and health.