NEW YORK, N.Y. – Cal Hastings, a longtime educator who has led the New York City Department of Education Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI) for the past three years, has joined Generation Ready as senior director of middle school literacy.
The MSQI is one of the largest research-based middle school reading initiatives in the United States, impacting an estimated 49,000 New York City students. Generation Ready has been a close partner with Hastings and the New York City Department of Education on the project, which has resulted in significant gains for at-risk readers, said Generation Ready’s CEO Justin Serrano.
“What we have learned in partnering with the MSQI schools is that literacy, and specifically reading, is the critical challenge our young people face in the path toward high school graduation and beyond,” Serrano said. “Cal is uniquely suited to lead our efforts as we share the successful approach of Generation Ready’s own Middle School Literacy Initiative with schools around the country.”
Hastings said that the research is pretty clear that a student graduating eighth grade and reading at the sixth- grade level or below has a poor chance of succeeding in high school. He noted national data indicating that less than a third of adolescents from low-income communities graduate from middle school reading at grade level.
“The time is now to double down on middle school reading,” Hastings said, adding that he looks forward to the opportunity to share what he and partner schools in New York City have learned with educators in other states.
“When you are working so hard on a particular project such as MSQI, it’s hard to find the time and space to share that what you are learning,” he said. “I am excited about the opportunity working with Generation Ready will give me to help support schools, districts and communities around the country in their quest to ensure that middle school is a bridge to high school, college and career success.
Hastings began his education career as a middle school teacher and received his master’s degree from Columbia University Teachers College. Prior to his role at the New York City Department of Education, he served as associate director for the Academy for Educational Development’s Middle Start National Center in New York City. He also served as senior director at MOUSE, Inc., a New York non-profit organization that provides technical education, and as dean of middle school at The Dwight School, also in New York City.
About Generation Ready
Generation Ready is the only national provider of leader and teacher professional learning services that uniquely combines deep instructional job-embedded expertise, innovative technology tools, and a targeted digital content library that ensures sustained professional growth and improved student learning. For the past 20 years, our primary focus has been improving instructional practice in the classroom. Our professional learning services are experienced, evidence-based, collaborative and customized. Created through acquisition by Weld North Holdings LLC in September of 2012, Generation Ready combines the deep expertise and resources of two long-renowned education organizations – Editure/AUSSIE Professional Development and JBHM Education Group. Our mission is to support teachers and school leaders in order to educate a stronger, more vibrant generation of students prepared to meet life’s challenges. For more information, visit www.generationready.com.
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Celina Fabrizio Becky Mazzanobile
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