Thursday, April 16
Central Piedmont Community College - Harris Conference Center
3216 CPCC Harris Campus Drive, Charlotte, NC
7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Registration
7:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:00 a.m. - 8:10 a.m. Opening Remarks
Dedrick Russell, Chair, Media Institute on Education and Vice President - Broadcast, National Association of Black Journalists
8:10 a.m. - 8:15 a.m. Welcome
James Ford, Garinger High School (Charlotte, NC), 2014 Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year
8:15 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. Providing Emotional and Social Support for our Students - Powered by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has set a district-wide goal of educating every child, every day. For some students, this means also working to remove barriers to learning – the social and emotional blocks that can interfere with success in the classroom. Educators from this North Carolina district known for innovation and excellence – the district won the Broad Prize in 2011 – will discuss how CMS has aligned social and emotional teaching and learning with the more traditional academic kind, and how this approach is helping the district close achievement gaps.
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Working Together for Success: Leveraging Public/Private Partnerships in Education - Powered by Project L.I.F.T., the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Foundation for the Carolinas
The community of Charlotte raised over 55 million dollars to support the nine most challenged schools in Mecklenburg County. This overwhelming show of support from communities and private partners is a model for how public/private partnerships can be leveraged to promote greater educational outcomes at a community level. This panel will discuss the successes and challenges of public/private partnerships like Project L.I.F.T..
Timisha Barnes Jones, Co-principal, West Charlotte High School
Kristin Ward, Teacher, Project LIFT Academy
Dornell Elli, Student, Project LIFT Academy at West Charlotte High School
Denise Watts, Project LIFT Community Superintendent
10:30 a.m. - 10:50 a.m. The Re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the President’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative
Alise Marshall, Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Education
10:55 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. Ensuring All Children Have Equitable Access to School Resources and Preventing Unfair School Discipline Practices
Saba Bireda, Senior Counsel for the Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Breaking News Plenary: The Atlanta Cheating Scandal
Eleven of 12 former Atlanta Public Schools educators who were accused of participating in a test cheating scandal were convicted of charges relating to a conspiracy to cover up poor performance by Atlanta public school students on statewide standardized tests. Charges included conspiracy, racketeering, theft by taking, influencing witnesses and making false statements. Join NABJ as we discuss the case and the issues surrounding the scandal.
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Professional Development Luncheon: Future of Higher Education for Students of Color
Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, United Negro College Fund
1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Ending the School-to-Prison Pipeline: How Schools and Communities are Working Together to Boost Opportunities for Black Students - Powered by the Broad Center
In an effort to boost security after the Columbine High School massacre, schools began instituting “zero-tolerance” policies for student behavior – but not without damaging consequences for some students. For a disproportionately large percentage of black students, the confluence of these zero-tolerance policies and historic biases in disciplinary actions pushed them out of school and into the juvenile justice system. Some school districts, however, are working hard to reverse these trends, creating new policies and systems that build strong school cultures and connections – helping to keep students learning in the classroom, where they belong. This workshop will feature a conversation with school superintendents who are leading the way on this issue, both inside and outside their school systems, and strategies for journalists to identify these trends in their own communities.
Dakarai Aarons, Director of Strategic Communications, Data Quality Campaign; Board of Directors, Education Writers Association
Robert Runcie, Superintendent, Broward County Public Schools, Fla.
Antwan Wilson, Superintendent, Oakland Unified School District
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Breaking the Glass Ceiling of Achievement for Low-Income Students and Students of Color - Powered by Education Trust
Efforts to close the achievement gap have often focused solely on the lowest performing students, and results from national assessments suggest that American schools have made a lot of progress — results for African-American, Latino and low-income students have improved faster than at any time since 1980. But there hasn’t been nearly as much progress in moving students of color to the highest level of achievement. This lack of focus has very real consequences for students. Every year, more than 60,000 black and Latino students enter high school already performing at the very top of their class. But, according to research from The Education Trust, their experiences through high school often don’t challenge, support, and encourage them to maintain this level of success, which has far-reaching consequences beyond graduation. Certainly, efforts to bring the bottom students up must continue, but maintaining and raising the achievement levels of already high-achieving students cannot be ignored. Efforts to close long-standing gaps between groups will never succeed without a focus on students at all points on the achievement spectrum.
Christina Theokas, Director of Research, Education Trust
Nicole Young, Associate Director of Social Justice at The College Board
John Capozzi, Principal, Elmont Memorial High School (Elmont, N.Y.)
Harold Ekeh, 2015 Elmont Memorial High School Salutatorian