Harlem Village Academies (HVA) are public charter schools. HVA's vision is help students become intellectually sophisticated, wholesome in character, avid readers, independent thinkers and compassionate individuals who make a meaningful contribution to society.
We are deeply committed to the ideals and rich tradition of progressive education, which was conceived to promote an equitable and democratic society. Our philosophy is informed and inspired by the great progressive thinkers, from John Dewey to Ted Sizer, as well as by our own conviction that all children deserve an education of the finest caliber.
We want our students to become intellectually sophisticated, wholesome in character, avid readers, fiercely independent thinkers and compassionate individuals who make a meaningful contribution to society. As such, we agree with Martin Haberman's denunciation of the pedagogy of poverty: "overly directive, mind-numbing, mundane, useless, anti-intellectual acts" such as isolated drill, test prep, worksheets, control and compliance, and rote learning. We hold ourselves accountable for creating learning experiences that foster creativity, independence, imagination, hard work, discovery, and tenacity. When walking into a classroom, we ask ourselves: what level of cognitive demand is required to answer the questions and complete the tasks of the lesson?
Of course, we want our children to be well-prepared to attend fine universities and to enter the world of work. But that is not our goal. We see the purpose of schooling as the nurturing of a strong, skeptical mind, a kind heart, and an abiding interest in advancing the greater good.