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Conversations 2014-2015

  • School Turnarounds: What has Worked and What Has Failed

    January 9, 2017

    Our panel of researchers and practitioners addressed this question by examining both the current state of research and on-the-ground efforts at school improvement that have worked. Watch the conversation video.

  • The Role of School Organization, Social Capital and Collaboration in the Improvement of Teachers and Teaching. From Research Findings to Policy Proposals

    March 20, 2017

    Current education policies haven’t sufficiently leveraged the organizational and interpersonal aspects of schools which can benefit educators and students collectively. Instead, the focus has been primarily on technical and individual-level approaches. However, a focus on individuals seems insufficient and limited; a simultaneous and equally strong focus on strengthening the organizations where teachers work appears sorely needed.

  • Lunch Discussion with Paweł Zyzak

    May 19, 2017
    Former Shanker Institute Fellow and author of the new book, "Domino Effect: Did the USA Overthrow Communism in Poland?" June 8, 2017, noon to 1:30, 555 New Jersey Ave, NW, Washington, D.C. Registration required.
  • "TEACHER STRIKE!" Book Discussion & Reception

    May 19, 2017

    A wave of teacher strikes in the 1960s and 1970s roiled urban communities. Jon Shelton illuminates how this tumultuous era helped shatter the liberal-labor coalition and opened the door to the neoliberal challenge at the heart of urban education today. Join us for a book discussion and reception on Tuesday, June 27, 2017, 4:30 -6:30 pm. 555 New Jersey Ave, NW, Washington, D.C. Register Here.

  • Is the Promise of ESSA Being Actualized?

    August 7, 2017

    Now that the states have completed and submitted their first ESSA plans, it is an appropriate time to ask if the promise of ESSA is being realized. Which states and districts have used this new freedom to draw back from testing overreach, establishing more balanced approaches to student promotion, teacher evaluation and school accountability? Are states and districts using ESSA to provide the needed resources and supports to struggling schools, almost all of which serve students with the greatest needs? If ESSA’s promise is not being realized, why not? What, if any, role has a Trump/DeVos Department of Education played in the first fruits of ESSA? Our panelists addressed these questions among others. Watch the video.

  • Teaching Democratic Citizenship When Democracy is at Risk

    August 7, 2017
    Today, the U.S. finds itself in a crisis of democracy, in which the future of our liberties and our republican form of government hang in the balance. Almost daily, we see attacks against the rights of citizenship, especially on the right to vote, and against the rule of law, an independent judiciary and a free press. Demagogic attacks are regularly launched against “other” Americans—immigrants and refugees, people of color, Muslims and Jews, and LGBTQ people. What role should American education play in responding to this crisis of democracy? How should we teach democratic citizenship in our schools and universities to ensure that the “whole mass of the people” can see that it is their interest to preserve the republican government established by the founders to sustain liberty and democracy? How can America’s educators ensure that their classrooms and lecture halls are places where students learn to recognize demagoguery, oppose bigotry and resist tyranny? Two of our nation’s leading public intellectuals, Harvard professor Danielle Allen and Yale professor Timothy Snyder, joined AFT President Randi Weingarten to discuss these questions. . Watch the video.
  • Austerity Politics and American Education

    August 7, 2017
    Soeakers: Ivy Bailey, Michael Fabricant and Gary Miron. Watch the video.
  • 2013-2020 Conversations

    August 7, 2017

    Co-Sponored by the Shanker Institute and the AFT, they are held the second Wednesday of the month during the school year from noon to 2:00 pm at 555 New Jersey Ave, NW. Watch all the conversation videos 2013-2018..

  • Vouchers and Education: What Do History and the Research Tell Us?

    August 7, 2017
    As Congress considers the Trump-DeVos proposals for a national voucher program, what can we learn from the history of vouchers and from the research on the performance of voucher systems? From a variety of perspectives, our panel addressed this question. Panelists: Martin Carnoy, Vida Jacks Professor of Education, Stanford Graduate School of Education; Leo Casey, Executive Director, Albert Shanker Institute; John Jackson, President and CEO, Schott Foundation for Public Education; and Ning Rui, Senior Study Director, Westat. (Full bios.). Watch the video.
  • Academic Freedom in an Age of Political Polarization

    August 7, 2017
    Academic freedom is best understood, John Dewey once wrote, as freedom of education: the freedom of students to learn the knowledge and skills of citizenship in a democratic society and the freedom of teachers to teach in ways that cultivate these skills and knowledge. As such, academic freedom is not only indispensable for the educational mission of the university, but vital to the safeguarding of freedom in the larger society. Dewey’s vision of academic freedom as a public good, essential for democracy itself to flourish, has come under attack in recent years. In a hyper-partisan moment, when issues as different as climate change and gun violence have been crudely polarized and politicized, academic freedom too has been targeted by those who believe that the university should not be teaching critical and independent thinking, but propagating a particular political ideology. Provocateurs now use public events to spark disruption, initiate violence and attack intellectual diversity on campus, rather than engaging in productive dialogue and mutual learning. From a variety of different perspectives, our panel addressed the issues raised by the need to defend academic freedom in an age of political polarization. Watch the video.

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