Q&A: Math, Diversity & the Common Core

Nneka Sutherland, a student in Bank Street’s Leadership in Mathematics Education program, is an experienced teacher and a veteran of both public and charter schools in New York City and Montreal. In addition to pursuing a master’s degree at Bank Street, she is a full time teacher at a public school in the high needs area of Brownsville, Brooklyn.
Nneka, this year’s recipient of the Priscilla E. Pemberton Memorial Scholarship, attended the Pemberton Society’s “Lend a Hand for Scholarship” reception at the Michael Rosenfeld Gallery in New York City on November 19. The Pemberton Society is the College’s affinity organization dedicated to promoting diversity in its student body and in the field of education. Since its inception, the group has raised $340,000 for student scholarships.
What brought you to Bank Street?
Nneka Sutherland: In my career, just about everybody I’ve been impressed with in this field came here. That’s what pointed me in this direction. There’s a more genuine interest in children’s learning, and having them explore different ways of learning, and meeting them where they are.
Where are you in your degree program?
I’m nearing the beginning of my last semester. This will be my third summer (it’s a three-July program). But I’ll still come back often because I can’t imagine not being part of this.
This semester’s been the most difficult because we’ve had a lot of work over the year. We’re doing a case study of a student, and we do action research for both years. It can be overwhelming at times, but

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