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Michael Haberman
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Michael Haberman is the former President of the New York City-based nonprofit organization PENCIL, the leader in creating innovative and impactful models of collaboration between business and public schools. PENCIL forges and guides relationships between business and school leaders, who bring their collective energies to address critical school needs that improve school and student performance. After beginning his career as a journalist, Michael served in New York City government, was Director of Government and Community Relations at New York University, and worked on the rebuilding of Ground Zero before joining PENCIL in January 2007 and retiring in January 2014. He writes regularly for a variety of blogs and speaks at conferences and other forums on a range of issues, particularly those related to business engagement and volunteerism in public education. He has chaired and served on the boards of several New York City-based non-profit organizations. Michael currently serves as a Member of the Briarcliff Manor Board of Education in Westchester, New York.

To find out more about PENCIL's leadership transition, see this letter from the Chairman of our Board of Directors.

Entries by Michael Haberman

School-Business Collaboration as a Model for Supporting Public Education

(0) Comments | Posted December 23, 2013 | 11:10 AM

As we come to the end of this whirlwind year in education reform, leading education blogger Alexander Russo recently summarized The Most Notable Education Stories of 2013. There was plenty of fodder for the list, including the debates over Common Core, teacher evaluation and standardized testing,...

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Note to New NYC Mayor: Continue Bloomberg's Focus on Our Schools

(4) Comments | Posted October 14, 2013 | 2:56 PM

As the Bloomberg era comes to a close and we prepare to welcome a new mayor, New Yorkers are all rushing to define Michael Bloomberg's legacy.

Much of that conversation is focused on the mayor's education record. That's due in no small part to the mayor's own urging: when...

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Fixing the School-Business Breakdown

(14) Comments | Posted July 18, 2013 | 9:57 AM

Last week, New York Times blogger and entrepreneur Bryan Burkhart wrote that if he were ever asked to deliver a commencement address, he'd say the following to graduates: "Congratulations. You've just earned your college degree... Despite your newly obtained degree, you don't know anything. You have no skills."...

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Millenials, Baby Boomers, and Why You Should Get Involved: Celebrating National Volunteering Week

(3) Comments | Posted April 19, 2013 | 2:12 PM

Sunday, April 21 marks the beginning of National Volunteering Week, and as the president of a nonprofit organization, it's an important time for me to thank the hundreds of school and business volunteers who team up and make a difference on some of the most endemic problems facing students and...

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Why School Culture Matters, and How to Improve It

(9) Comments | Posted April 10, 2013 | 9:52 PM

From elementary school to high school, school choice is an integral part of U.S. urban education today. In New York City, eighth graders just learned if they'd been accepted into one of their top high school selections, and in the coming weeks, families will learn where their children will be...

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Businesses Can Create a Better Economy by Teaching More Than Job Skills

(4) Comments | Posted December 20, 2012 | 11:32 AM

Over the last few months, I've participated in several conferences all exploring the same issue--how business can help improve our public education system.

That's good news, as there is no doubt that business must be an important player in our schools if we are truly going to prepare our...

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How NYC Businesses Help Local High School Students Get to Work

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2012 | 3:33 PM

Successful businesses understand that it's best to make investments early. And that's why so many of New York City's top firms are investing in local high school students through the PENCIL Fellows Program: investing in our students now and developing their talents today means a better, more productive...

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Why Volunteering Is Good for your Business

(1) Comments | Posted September 5, 2012 | 10:10 AM

As students return to school across the country this week, our education system continues to face a myriad of complex challenges, including training teachers for the new Common Core standards, preparing students with the academic and life skills needed to succeed in the 21st Century, evaluating teachers and developing strong...

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You Never Know Where A Job Will Take You

(0) Comments | Posted August 3, 2012 | 7:27 PM

Shyam Nooredeen knows that you can never tell where a job will take you.

In 2010, Shyam was a high-potential high school senior when he was accepted to the PENCIL Fellows Program, which provided him with career readiness training and helped him secure a paid summer internship...

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Students Leaving School for Summer, Teachers Leaving for Good

(13) Comments | Posted June 26, 2012 | 5:37 PM

Across the country, students and teachers are saying farewell for the summer. Yet, the reality is that in far too many cases, they are actually saying goodbye for good.

Approximately half of New York City's teachers leave their classrooms after the first year, and that trend extends...

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National Volunteer Month: Celebrating the "New" Volunteerism

(0) Comments | Posted April 10, 2012 | 5:09 PM

I'm willing to bet that while many people know that February is Black History Month and March is Women's History Month, not many people know that April is National Volunteer Month. I, for one, think that's too bad. While undoubtedly, the time we spend reflecting in February and March is...

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Meet Our New President of External Relations

(0) Comments | Posted October 27, 2011 | 1:27 PM

For years, education experts have been critical of the amount of time that principals spend on menial administrative tasks. Principals have better things to do than spend their days worrying about when buses are arriving, trying to repair dilapidated bathrooms, or making sure forms are filled out properly.

Instead, the...

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Opening Doors and Closing the Gap: Workforce Development for Urban Youth

(1) Comments | Posted August 16, 2011 | 6:51 PM

Last week, Mayor Bloomberg announced a major new initiative to address the chronic and blatant disparities between thousands of African American and Latino young men and their peers in New York City. A New York City-commissioned study that drove recommendations for the initiative found that across the five...

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Help Needed: Workforce Development and What the Ordinary Citizen Can Do

(3) Comments | Posted May 6, 2011 | 1:42 PM

Shyam is a 19-year-old NYC public high school graduate and college freshman at City College of New York. After waking up at 3 a.m., enduring a two-hour commute to Manhattan from Queens and attending classes all morning, he goes on to work at his part-time job at Meringoff...

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Principal CEO

(4) Comments | Posted February 15, 2011 | 10:20 AM

What do a public school principal and a CEO have in common?

For those outside the world of education, it might almost sound like the beginning of a joke. But the answer, it turns out, is: A LOT.

Many recent studies show that a principal's leadership is just as integral...

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Are Volunteers Overwhelming Our Schools?

(5) Comments | Posted January 7, 2011 | 2:09 PM

There is a call going out around the country for volunteers to help our public schools. During Education Week, President Obama called upon Americans to get involved in their local public schools. In New York City, Mayor Bloomberg recently launched Alumni for Public Schools to enable the city's graduates to...

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Getting Smart About Education: When The Private Sector Goes Public

(2) Comments | Posted December 3, 2010 | 4:38 PM

Eight years ago, PS 153 had a 25 percent teacher attrition rate, disengaged student and parent populations, was considered failing by basic measures of achievement, and had five principals in five years. Yet by 2007, the school had an attrition rate of 3 percent, markedly higher school spirit and school...

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