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Wayne State University College of Education hosts lecture and community conversation featuring professor, policy advisor and author David L. Kirp

October 3, 2016


Is it possible to revive public education? Can struggling districts create high-performing schools and boost student achievement?

The educational leadership and policy studies program in the Wayne State University College of Education invites educators, parents, and business and community leaders to discuss these issues and more during “Achieving Education Success: Lessons from the Front,” a lecture and panel discussion to be held on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, in Wayne State’s Community Arts Auditorium.  

The discussion will feature David L. Kirp, the James D. Marver Professor of Public Policy at the University of California-Berkeley, senior fellow at the Learning Policy Institute, and a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. Kirp is the author of 17 books, including Improbable Scholars: The Rebirth of a Great American School System and a Strategy for America’s Schools (2013), Kids First: Five Big Ideas for Transforming Children’s Lives and America’s Future (2011), and The Sandbox Investment: The Preschool Movement and Kids-First Politics (2007). During the event, Kirp will share information about programs and practices that are getting positive results in high-need public school districts in the United States. Panelists include Michael F. Addonizio, professor, Wayne State University College of Education; David Arsen, professor, Michigan State University College of Education; Sue C. Carnell, superintendent, Westwood Community School District; Michele A. Harmala, superintendent, Wayne-Westland Community Schools; and Alycia Meriweather, superintendent, Detroit Public Schools Community District. Alicia Nails, director of the Journalism Institute for Media Diversity at Wayne State, will serve as moderator.

“Our mission is to produce educators who are not only culturally competent, creative, compassionate and committed to ensuring all children in their classrooms are prepared for college and careers, but who also collaborate with their co-workers, parents and the community to continuously improve teaching practices so that students can succeed in spite of any challenges they may face,” said R. Douglas Whitman, dean of the College of Education. “We are excited about bringing David Kirp, a noted education policy expert and scholar, to our campus and Detroit. We hope this event will generate more conversation about what we can do to engage with educators, parents and the community to ensure equity and excellence in public education.”

During the program, which is supported by the Dr. June G. and Irvin H. Yackness Endowed Lectureship Series and the Leonard Kaplan Education Collaborative for Critical Urban Studies at Wayne State University, participants will have opportunities to network with panelists and educators, ask questions, and learn how to implement strategies for addressing challenges faced by today’s public schools. According to a recent report released by the state of Michigan, 58 of the 124 lowest-performing schools are in Detroit.

“Our goal is to provide educators, parents and advocates with strategies they can use to improve their schools and student achievement,” said William Hill, assistant dean of the Division of Administrative and Organizational Studies in the College of Education. “Our speakers will share case studies, research and other examples about approaches that have worked. Our hope is that participants will take ideas back to schools in their communities, develop plans for implementing them, and create partnerships and practices to improve the effectiveness of schools and help students achieve academic success.”

Registration and a reception will begin at 5 p.m. The lecture and panel discussion will take place from 6 to 7:45 p.m. The event is free and open to the public; registration is required. Guests are asked to reserve their space online at specialevents.wayne.edu/achieving-education-success. The Community Arts Auditorium is located at 450 Reuther Mall in Detroit.

For more information, contact Tracy Walker at 313-577-0260 or tracy.walker@wayne.edu.

About the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program

The Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program seeks to prepare reflective, innovative educators who will reaffirm their commitment to a diverse society. Graduate degree programs use integrated, research-based methods to develop the knowledge and skills needed to be a successful educational leader in a rapidly evolving field. For more information, visit coe.wayne.edu/aos/ed-leadership/index.php.

About the College of Education

For more than a century, the Wayne State University College of Education has prepared effective urban educators who are reflective, innovative and committed to diversity. Its Teacher Education Division boasts one of the most comprehensive, well-established programs in the country, and all four academic divisions offer a range of undergraduate and graduate degrees in nearly 40 program areas, including learning design and technology, leadership and policy, kinesiology, sport administration, education evaluation and research, health education and educational psychology, and counseling. To learn more, visit coe.wayne.edu.   

About the Leonard Kaplan Education Collaborative for Critical Urban Studies

The Leonard Kaplan Education Collaborative for Critical Urban Studies was founded in September 2014 to honor the lifework and vision of Leonard Kaplan, an uncompromising advocate for the social and affective well-being of the “whole child” in America's schools. The Kaplan Collaborative will carry forward his legacy by producing high-quality and interdisciplinary locally relevant research for community organizations, educational stakeholders, regional education reporters, educational policy makers and peer-reviewed journals. A founding principle of the Kaplan Collaborative is our belief that university faculty have a responsibility, as public servants, to enrich public dialogue in support of the public good.

The Dr. June G. Yackness and Irvin H. Yackness Endowed Lectureship Series

The Dr. June G. Yackness and Irvin H. Yackness Endowed Lectureship Series was created in 2015 in honor of June G. Yackness — a College of Education alumna and an adjunct professor in the Division of Theoretical and Behavioral Foundations — by her husband Irvin H. Yackness. Proceeds from the fund will support a visiting lectureship within the College of Education at Wayne State University on an annual basis.

About Wayne State University 
Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution of higher education offering more than 380 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 27,000 students. For more information, visit wayne.edu