McGraw-Hill Holds First Education Summit
In a nod to the rising demand for school reform, the McGraw-Hill Research Foundation recently held its first Innovation in Education Summit, which emphasized the need for ideas to help drive student achievement.
Held at the McGraw-Hill headquarters in New York City, educators and intellectual leaders discussed ways to save failing schools, the purpose of high school, the role of technology in higher education and other issues.
Approximately only 70 percent of American students receive a high school diploma, reported the EPE Research Center, a division of the non-profit organization Editorial Projects in Education.
“I’m absolutely convinced our nation is in peril because of what’s happening in our public schools,” said keynote speaker Geoffrey Canada, president and CEO of Harlem Children’s Zone. “We can no longer accept the status quo of the last 30 years. The situation today demands increased accountability for the success of our students.”
Canada shared with the audience his experiences as an education reformer and how his organization used social innovation and a data-driven educational approach to transform one of New York City’s most troubled neighborhood schools. Canada, whose Harlem Children’s Zone serves as a national model for educational reform, is featured in the documentary about the state of the American education system, “Waiting for Superman.”
The summit consisted of a series of panel discussions and breakout sessions focused on the role of leadership in school turnarounds and the purpose of high school, as well as K-12 instruction and assessment, the adoption of Common Core State Standards, and the use of teaching and learning technology in higher education.
The panelists included Carol Carter, national and international student success author and speaker; Christopher Cerf, a key creator of Sesame Street; Yvonne Chan, principal of the Vaughn Next Century Learning Center charter school in California and James P. Comer, professor of child psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine’s Child Study Center.
Also on the panel were Jordan Goldman, founder and CEO of Unigo, a Web site that allows students to rate and review colleges; N. Gerry House, president and CEO of the Institute for Student Achievement, and Larry Rosenstock, CEO and founding principal of High Tech High, a network of charter schools.
“Meeting student needs, providing training and precise teacher evaluations as well as involving parents and the community is what helped us to be successful,” said Chan who converted a public school into a successful charter school that serves 2,500 pre-school through 10th grade students living in poverty. “Think of it as the wheels on a car. If you take away any of the wheels, the car won’t run.”
Arthur Griffin, Jr., who served as the moderator for the panel discussion on turning around underperforming schools, noted the increasing need for improvements to the U.S. school system. “We all recognize that the situation involving America’s most challenged schools is quickly approaching a crisis,” said Griffin, who is senior vice president of the Urban Advisory Resource for McGraw-Hill Education and co-director of the new Center for Comprehensive School Improvement. “We also appreciate the federal government’s commitment to turn around 5,000 of the nation’s lowest performing schools within five years and to lead the world with the most college graduates by 2020. That said, we need to turn our attention to innovative solutions that begin and end with strong district-wide leadership and involve clear goal-setting, a rigorous curriculum, the use of digital and data-driven instruction and the implementation of measurable outcomes.” #