Elizabeth Warren: Opportunities for Urban Education in the New Federal Law

MON, MAR 14, 2016 (1:31:10)

United States Senator Elizabeth Warren outlines her views on federal education policy in Clark University's sixth annual Gurel Lecture. As a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Senator Warren played an influential role in the passage of the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act.

After Senator Warren's keynote remarks, a panel of leading education experts share their perspectives on the range of skills students will need to thrive in the future, and their views on how the new federal law positions urban communities to provide the deeper learning experiences-in the classroom and beyond-that their students will need to gain a full complement of these 21st century skills.

Panelists: - Nick Donohue, President and CEO, Nellie Mae Education Foundation - Dr. Ronald Ferguson, Kennedy School of Government and Director of the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University - Dr. Dianne Kelly, Superintendent, Revere Public Schools - Gene Wilhoit, Executive Director, National Center for Innovation in Education

Moderator: - Dr. Katerine Bielaczyc, Director of the Hiatt Center for Urban Education and Associate Professor of Education, Clark University

(Photo: Flickr/Ben Wikler, image cropped)

+ BIO: Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren Warren is the junior U.S. Senator for Massachusetts. She made her life's work the fight for middle class families and became an expert on bankruptcy and an outspoken critic of consumer lenders. She is widely credited for the original thinking, political courage, and relentless persistence that led to the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Warren spent nearly 20 years as a professor of law at Harvard University, She is the author of several books including, The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke.

+ BIO: Nicholas C. Donohue

Nicholas C. "Nick" Donohue is the President and CEO of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, where he leads efforts to reshape New England's public education systems to be more equitable and more effective for all learners. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2006, Donohue was a Special Master at Hope High School in Providence, where he oversaw implementation of the Rhode Island Commissioner of Education’s Order to reconstitute the school; he has also been Commissioner of Education in New Hampshire.

As a sought after thought leader in education transformation, Donohue has worked tirelessly to promote equitable learning opportunities and close the achievement gap. Throughout his career Nick has championed innovative approaches to expanding access to high quality learning opportunities for all learners, especially for those who are underserved. His leadership in education reform challenges traditional notions of schooling to respond to our changing world and prepare all learners to contribute to a thriving democracy.

In 2015, Donohue was named as one of the "50 People Shaping the Future of K-12 Education" by Getting Smart, a mission-driven organization and online community focused on accelerating and amplifying innovations in teaching and learning. Additionally, he serves on the Boards of Directors for the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) and Grantmakers for Education (GFE).

Donohue holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE).

+ BIO: Ronald Ferguson

Ronald F. Ferguson is an MIT-trained economist who focuses social science research on economic, social, and educational challenges. He has been on the faculty at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government since 1983, after full time appointments at Brandeis and Brown Universities. In 2014, he co-founded Tripod Education Partners and shifted into an adjunct role at the Kennedy School, where he remains a fellow at the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy and faculty director of the university-wide Achievement Gap Initiative (AGI).

During the 1980s and ’90s Ron focused much of his attention on economic and community development. That work culminated in the social science synthesis volume Urban Problems and Community Development (1999), which remains an important text in graduate policy courses.

By the late 1980s, he had begun to study education and youth development because academic skill disparities were contributing to growing wage disparity. During the 1990s and early 2000s, his writings on the topic appeared in publications of the National Research Council, the Brookings Institution, the U.S. Department of Education, and various books and journals. In December 2007, Harvard Education Press published his book Toward Excellence with Equity: An Emerging Vision for Closing the Achievement Gap. A February 2011 profile of Ron in the New York Times wrote, “there is no one in America who knows more about the gap than Ronald Ferguson.”

Ron’s current focus as AGI director is an initiative entitled the Boston Basics that is spreading to other cities in a Basics National Network. It takes a socio-ecological saturation approach, collaborating with many partners to reach extended families with caregiving advice for infants and toddlers. In addition, Ron is co-authoring a book with journalist Tatsha Robertson on the ways that highly successful people were parented. Ron holds an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and a Ph.D. from MIT, both in economics. He has been happily married for 39 years and is the father of two adult sons.

+ BIO: Dianne Kelly

Dr. Dianne Kelly is the Superintendent of Revere Public Schools in Revere, MA.

+ BIO: Gene Wilhoit

Gene Wilhoit is the Executive Director of the National Center for Innovation in Education at the University of Kentucky. He has led the Council of Chief State School Officers and National Association of State Boards of Education in Washington, D.C., and served as a state education commissioner in both Arkansas and Kentucky. Wilhoit is a well-recognized voice for high expectations, responsive accountability systems, and innovation in student learning experiences and outcomes. He began his career as a teacher, and his work continues to focus on the inspiration and empowerment gained from new knowledge and skills.

+ BIO: Katerine Bielaczyc

Katerine Bielaczyc is the Director of the Hiatt Center for Urban Education and an Associate Professor of Education at Clark University. Before joining the faculty at Clark in 2012, she was Deputy Head of the Learning Services Lab at the National Institute of Education in Singapore, Assistant Professor at Harvard University jointly in Teacher Education and Technology in Education, a Senior Scientist at Bolt, Beranek, and Newman, and Director of the Learning Communities Research Group at Boston College. She has also collaborated on educational projects in Europe and South America.

Dr. Bielaczyc's research involves collaborating with students, teachers, and school communities to investigate new approaches to teaching and learning. Her work focuses on developing both technological and social infrastructures to support participants in working together as a knowledge building community to create knowledge regarding personal, pedagogical, and systemic transformation.

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