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2015 NABJ Media Institute on Education
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When: Thursday, April 16, 2015
Where: Central Piedmont Community Community College
3216 CPCC Harris Campus Drive
Harris Conference Center
Charlotte, North Carolina  28208
United States
Contact: Scott Berry

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2015 NABJ Media Institute on Education

Central Piedmont Community Community College
Harris Conference Center
3216 CPCC Harris Campus Drive
Charlotte, NC 28208

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Dedrick Russell
NABJ Vice President of Broadcast

NABJ is pleased to announce the inaugural Media Institute on Education on April 16, 2015 at the Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC.

This one-day conference will cover important topics in educational policy, including advancing educational equity and ensuring educational opportunities for poor and minority students, accessing higher education, closing gaps in educational quality, and how supporting communities directly impacts the quality of education our children receive.

The NABJ Media Institutes offer quality web seminars and hands-on professional development, entrepreneurial guidance, and technical training at events around the country. The Media Institutes seek to educate and inspire member journalists on topics that directly affect the communities that they serve. These educational sessions are developed to connect journalists with frontline stakeholders, researchers, policy makers, and other journalists to exchange ideas and information about the topics that matter the most.


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





Register Today and Save!

Registration Rates Pre-Registration
by April 10

NABJ Member



(Total includes a $3.00 administrative fee)


Sheraton Charlotte Airport
3315 Scott Futrell Drive
Charlotte, NC 28208

Tel: (301) 405-7520
Call Scott Berry to make your reservation.

Rate: $142 per night

*Shuttle service is provided from airport to hotel


Thank You

2015 NABJ Media Institute on Education


 Partner/Sponsor opportunities are available by reaching out to Development Director Denise Brooking at or 301-405-6986.


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