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Visiting Academy of the Pacific Rim



(Japanese text to follow)

Last Friday, three colleagues and I visited a very interesting charter school called Academy of the Pacific Rim. It has a unique mission statement:

Our mission is to empower urban students of all racial and ethnic backgrounds to achieve their full intellectual and social potential by combining the best of the East – high standards, discipline and character education with the best of the West – a commitment to individualism, creativity and diversity.

APR uses two Japanese words to describe the essence of the culture of the school: Kaizen and Gambatte. APR defines the words in the following way:


KAIZEN – is a Japanese principle meaning continual improvement of ourselves and our community. We engage in daily rituals and routines that help us grow as individuals and as a community.

GAMBATTE – is a Japanese word meaning “persist and never give up.” It is our belief that that our success is based on our effort not on luck.


I will have more to say about this very interesting and impressive school…. I’ll follow up soon so watch this space.


先日、ハーバード教育大学院の仲間3名と学校見学をしました。ボストン南部にあるチャータースクールでAcademy of the Pacific RimというGrades 5-12の学校です。名前にもPacific Rimとありますが、アジアのフィロソフィーをミッションステートメントに取り入れて「改善」や「がんばって」をモットーにしています。日本人が見るとちょっと不思議に思えるかもしれませんが、全校の先生方や生徒たちが一生懸命アジアから学ぼうとしている姿勢には感動しました。ちなみにここは、決して裕福ではない地域のパブリックチャータースクールで生徒の90%位がアフリカンアメリカンで、ラテン系と白人が若干名いますが、アジアの生徒は3%弱だそうです。なのに全校生徒が中国語を習っています。校内には、二宮金次郎のポスターが沢山見られます。能力テストの結果もボストンの平均とマサチューセッツ州の平均をだいぶ上回っていますし、卒業率も進学率もパブリックスクールの中ではとても高いそうです。とてもユニークな学校なのでまた報告します。

Books I’m Reading


by Tony Wagnerby Howard Gardner

I recently purchased Global Achievement Gap by Tony Wagner at the Coop. Tony, co-director of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, gave a talk at the Coop and signed my book.

Five Minds for the Future, by Howard Gardner, is one of my favorite books.  I had bought and read the book in 2006 and am now rereading it for a class – Inquiry: Educating for the Unknown, taught by David Perkins. Howard Gardner and David Perkins have worked together for more than three decades and were co-directors of Project Zero for most of that period. They are my heroes in education.

Neighborhood School


in a quiet neighborhood near Harvard SquareKeeping our neighborhood drug-free

Martin Luther King Jr. School is a K-8 public school right near Harvard Square. I do not know anything about it yet but pass by it on my walk with my dog. Since it is right in my neighborhood, I might find an opportunity to learn more in the near future.


Forum: Educating America: The Will and the Way Forward – Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings


the Will and the Way Forward at John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, Harvard

I was fortunate to hear Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings speak tonight at the Kennedy School. See press release. There was standing room only when I arrived. The address itself was short but the Q&A lasted for an hour. The secretary was not afraid to address any question and spoke with candor and a sense of humor.

Postscript: I’m adding this on Oct 7. What I liked about the forum: Margaret Spellings strongly encouraged young people to go into education and was supportive of organizations such as Teach for America. She is in favor of improving college access by simplifying FAFSA. She is aware of the need for children to be aware of the world outside America. Some things were less satisfying. The secretary asserted that NCLB has been successful. There is probably some set of data that will support such statement but do most people involved in education agree….? Also, some things were left unaddressed. For example, a college professor friend of mine pointed out that Margaret Spellings proposed to introduce standardized testing to measure what students learn in universities. My friend and her colleagues are concerned about this initiative because it would encourage professors to teach to the test instead of trying to develop other skills such as critical inquiry and research. This is true at any grade level (and the reason why I’m interested in the whole topic of efficacy of standardized testing) but having standardized testing at the post-secondary level, I think, is quite alarming. I do not know where the issue stands but am not surprised that Margaret Spellings did not choose to bring up this topic at the forum.

プレップスクール見学:The Loomis Chaffee School


先日、ルーミス・チェイフィー Loomis Chaffee というプレップスクールを訪問しました。生徒の半数以上が寮生活をしているボーディングスクールです。テンスクールズ (Ten Schools Admission Organization) の一校で日本の本や雑誌ではルーミス・シャフィーと紹介されていますが、現地ではルーミス・チェイフィーと呼ばれています。コネチカット州のハートフォードに近く、のどかな環境にあります。卒業生の中にはLBO案件で有名なKKR(コールバーグ・クラビス・ロバーツ)の創立者、ヘンリー・クラビスなどがいます。これから訪問する機会が多くなると思うのでこの学校の歴史やミッションについてはまた詳しく書きます。


Inspiration: Yo-Yo Ma’s commencement address 1998


I am taking a class taught by Prof. Janice Jackson called Proseminar: School Leadership. She shared with us the commencement address given by Yo-Yo Ma at Williams College on June 7, 1998. Mr. Ma describes his journey to find his voice after his mentor Leon Kirchner said he will need to take a long journey to find it. I find the last part particularly inspiring and I find myself reading it daily.

You remember that Leon Kirchner gave me a decade to find my voice? Well, I’m still looking for it. More than ever, though, I’m convinced that our capacity to love and work defines who we are and informs our voices. Or, to put it another way, our voices are found in how we combine and develop our academic, civic and personal virtues.

You …, with your breadth and compassion, will surely understand that the voices I have in mind are those that include service to our society and planet in ways that may be far removed from fame and fortune. You know there is no formula, although in each of the stages there is a common thread: the work is always toward a goal that is larger than oneself.

This is certainly true in the work that I do, the art form that I practice. The voice I seek draws from life itself. So if I can leave you with one thought, this is it: Think of your voice as your life, and live your life as your art form.

I really take this to heart. What a big man Yo-Yo Ma is… the role model for global citizenship. I hope I can be like him when I grow up.

About me…


I arrived from Tokyo a month ago and am now in the School Leadership Program at the Graduate School of Education. Since earning my undergraduate degree (Georgetown, School of Foreign Service) more than twenty years ago, I have worked as an investment banker and lawyer at places like Goldman Sachs, Clifford Chance and White & Case. About six years ago, I found my “voice” and decided it was time to try to make a difference in an area I really care about: education. I am a product of international education and am grateful for the opportunities it gave me. So, I’m particularly interested in the question – what can we do to educate global citizens of tomorrow?

In Tokyo, I established a dual language (English and Japanese) immersion school that offers after school and seasonal programs for both international and local students. Each year, the school expanded and now we have students from all over the world participate in our summer program. I’m very fortunate to have an excellent team of teachers and administrator looking after the programs in my absence while I study at Harvard. My objective is to learn as much as I can about school leadership and incubate ideas for launching a larger-scale school that can make an impact in promoting peace and understanding through global studies. It is my hope that children of the world benefit from this endeavor – not just Japanese children or American children – but the future citizens of the world.

日本語で自分のことを書くのが苦手ですが、ここでざっと自己紹介をします。ハーバード教育大学院のスクールリーダーシッププログラム Ed.M.(修士課程)に留学中です。20年以上前にジョージタウン大学 (School of Foreign Service)を卒業したので、アメリカでの留学は2回目です。(その間、イギリスのロイヤーの資格も取ったので留学は3回目です。)20代から30代にかけて、ゴールドマンサックスやドイツ銀行グループ、法律事務所のクリフォードチャンスやホワイト&ケースで勤めましたが、教育への強い思いがあったので6年前に東京でアフタースクールプログラムを提供するスクールを立ち上げました。今回の留学の目的は、教育、リーダーシップ、学校運営の知識を深めて次のステップに向かうことです。次のステップというのは、もっと大きな規模の学校を開発し、世界中に向けて情報発信して行くことです。


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