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Noted Movie Director Prescribes Cure For Philadelphia’s Schools

(NIGHT SCHOOL:   Hollywood movie director M. Night Shyamalan, at the Loews Hotel in Philadelphia, providing his prescription for the Philadelphia school district.  Photo by Mike DeNardo)

(NIGHT SCHOOL: Hollywood movie director M. Night Shyamalan, at the Loews Hotel in Philadelphia, providing his prescription for the Philadelphia school district. Photo by Mike DeNardo)

Mike DeNardo Mike DeNardo
Mike DeNardo, a veteran of KYW Newsradio for more than 25 years,...
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By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Movie director (and now education author) M. Night Shyamalan today shared his strategy for school reform at a conference sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

Shyamalan’s book, I Got Schooled, outlines the five practices he says data show will improve school performance:

  • let principals teach teachers and create a school culture,
  • have smaller schools,
  • keep kids in class longer,
  • jettison the worst teachers, and
  • give teachers information on what works.

 

But the key, he says, is, you have to do all five.

Shyamalan, who was raised in Penn Valley, says he sees a window of opportunity to try it in Philadelphia schools.

“I have not met someone who has been resistant to trying as a pilot thing, a city — implementing just what the data says, (and) taking all of our opinions off the table and doing just what the data says, as if it was a evidence-based field like medicine.”

Shyamalan joked that you shouldn’t listen to celebrities on social issues.   But in this case, he says, it’s the data talking.