Rhode Island Foundation Occasional Speaker Series: Building a 21st Century Education System in Rhode Island

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A series of eight forums hosted by the Rhode Island Foundation and co-sponsored by AISR organized to examine local and national best practices in a particular area and to discuss their implications for policy, practice and advocacy, including ways to promote progress and remove barriers in RI communities. This Occasional Conversation series is designed to bring a national speaker in to seed a local discussion on a major issue facing public education in Rhode Island.

56 AISR Executive Director Warren Simmons describes the purpose of the forum series, the outcome of the first forum, and the theme of the second forum in the series.

764 Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - Eighth Forum

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Gregory Hodge, an Oakland-based social change activist and organizational development expert, keynoted the eighth Rhode Island Foundation Forum, April 29, 2014 at Brown University. Hodge serves as a consultant at Khepera Consulting, which assists people and organizations strategically think, connect and act in the relationships that spark transformative change. His presentation, titled "Cross-Sector Coalitions for Smart Education Systems: Deepening Grass-Roots Engagement," addressed how collaborative, non-profit organizations can improve the engagement of community-based groups to strengthen its efforts both politically and technically.

643 Monday, December 9, 2013 - Seventh Forum

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Eileen de los Reye, the district leader who led the effort to transform education for 17,000 English Language Learners in the Boston Public Schools (BPS) keynoted the seventh Rhode Island Foundation Forum. Her presentation, titled “Innovation In Educational Equity for English Language Learners,” reflected her work with BPS teachers, the ELL Task Force and the Department of Justice to organize and implement a massive overhaul of the services offered to students, including training approximately 3,000 teachers and launching new programs for students beyond the traditional school day.

450 Thursday, May 16, 2013 - Sixth Forum

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Andy Hargreaves, author of The Fourth Way: The Inspiring Future for Educational Change, underscored in keynote remarks at the Rhode Island Foundation on May 16, 2013, that successfully implementing the Common Core State Standards at scale will depend on building “professional capital” within the teaching profession, versus the prevailing “business capital” or technically simple perspective.

424 Thursay, March 21, 2013 - Fifth Forum

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A nationally recongnized leader in education policy and standards based reform, Michael Cohen, former special assistant to President Clinton for Education Policy, led a discussion about college readiness and the common core-implications for urban schools. Achieve is an independent, bipartisan, non-profit education reform organization that helps states raise academic standards and graduation requirements, improve assessments, and strengthen accountability so all students graduate ready for college, work, and citizenship.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - Fourth Forum

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Jeannie Oakes, director of Educational Opportunity and Scholarship programs at the Ford Foundation, will discuss the reinvention of public schools in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty through more and better learning time, at The Rhode Island Foundation (One Union Station) at 5-7pm on Tuesday, October 23. Co-sponsored by the Civic Leadership Fund at The Rhode Island Foundation, and Brown University’s Annenberg Institute for School Reform (AISR), Oakes’ presentation will focus on the Ford Foundation’s efforts to make extended learning time in the U.S. the "new normal" in underserved communities by matching the school day and year to the learning needs of students and the lives of working families. 


213 Thursday, May 3, 2012 - Third Forum

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Don Shalvey, Deputy Director, Education, Bill &Melinda Gates Foundation addressed the topic of charter/district collaborations. The panel discussion featured Fran Gallo, Superintendent, Central Falls; Jill Cote, teacher, The Learning Community; Sue Lusi, Superintendent, Providence Public Schools; and Steve Smith, President, Providence Teachers Union.

Dr. Freeman Hrabowski

Feb. 2, 2012 - Second Forum

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Featuring University of Maryland, Baltimore County President Freeman Hrabowski, who addressed the topic of college readiness. Panelists included  Sixcia Devine: Johnson and Wales University, Anna Cappucino: Brown University Admission specializing in Math and Science, Todd Flaherty: College Crusade of RI, Victor Capellan: Deputy Superintendent of School Transformation, Central Falls, and Lloyd Matsumoto: URI faculty.




Oct. 20, 2011 - First Forum

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Presentation by Robert Balfanz, "Building a Grad Nation: Rhode Island 2011-2020." Panelists included Colleen Callahan, director of Professional Issues at the RI Federation of Teachers & Health Professionals; Victor Capellan, deputy superintendent for Transformation at CFHS; Julie Nora, director of the International Charter School in Pawtucket; and Nkoli Onye, executive director of Providence high schools.