Manhattanville Reid Castle In the Spring

Former U.S. Assistant Secretary to Talk About Widening Education Gap In Neighborhood Schools
Thursday, 19 September 2013 12:49


Susan B. Neuman, Ed.D., former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary EducationSeptember 17, 2013, Purchase, NY --  “Giving Our Children a Fighting Chance” is the pressing topic of this year’s Distinguished Lecturer Series at 4:20 p.m. on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at Manhattanville College, to be delivered by nationally-known author Susan B. Neuman, Ed.D., former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Dr. Neuman will talk about the vast “knowledge gap” that she found exists between children educated in schools located in impoverished neighborhoods and children educated in privileged neighborhoods, and how this divide is becoming more profound in the digital age as computers replace books and printed material.

Dr. Neuman, currently a professor of childhood and literacy education at New York University, spent ten years thoroughly investigating the knowledge gap between the impoverished Badlands neighborhood and the wealthy Chestnut Hill neighborhood in Philadelphia. Her findings were published last year in an influential book, Giving Our Children a Fighting Chance: Poverty, Literacy, and the Development of Information Capital.

In her book, Dr. Neuman first documents several patterns that create the  knowledge gap.  One such pattern is the huge disparity in reading resources -- 358 reading resources for 7,000 children in a poor neighborhood vs. 16,453 reading resources for a privileged children population of 1,200.  She warns that such gaps create severe hurdles for poor students’ future economic prosperity and social mobility.   Dr. Neuman will share her experiences and interviews with parents and children in Philadelphia and offer solutions to close the gap by providing more resources and support to students in poor neighborhoods. 

The Distinguished Lecture Series is free of charge and is co-sponsored by Manhattanville College School of Education, Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES, and the Teacher Center of Central Westchester.  A raffle will be held at the end of the lecture to give out Dr. Neuman’s book. Call 914.323.3153 or email for more information.

About Manhattanville College:

Manhattanville College ( is an independent, co-educational liberal arts institution dedicated to academic excellence and social and civic action. Manhattanville prepares students to be ethically? and socially responsible leaders in a global community. Located just 30 minutes from New York City, Manhattanville serves 1,700 undergraduate students and 1,000 graduate students from more than 50 countries and 30 states. Founded in 1841, the College offers more than 50 undergraduate areas of study in the arts and sciences, and offers graduate programs in Education, Business, Creative Writing, as well as Continuing and Executive Education programs.