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Symposium Asks: Can School Equity Be Created Without First Overcoming the Effects of Poverty?

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November event hosted by TC’s Campaign for Educational Equity includes Geoffrey Canada, Arne Duncan, Helen Ladd and Carl Hayden 

On Monday and Tuesday, November 17-18, 2008, The Campaign for Educational Equity of Teachers College, Columbia University, will host its fourth annual Equity Symposium, “Comprehensive Educational Equity: Overcoming the Socioeconomic Barriers to School Success.”

The premise of the symposium is that to overcome achievement gaps and promote academic proficiency for all children, the nation must address a range of issues that affect students beyond the classroom, including concentrated poverty, health, home environment, and community. 

Presentations at the two-day event will include analyses of the experiences of such major comprehensive equity demonstration as the Harlem Children’s Zone, the Rochester Surround Care Community Corporation and the community schools movement. Researchers will also present a concrete analysis of the actual costs of providing a range of the most essential services to children from birth through age 18, mapping current federal, state and local spending in these areas, and making specific proposals for legislative action to better coordinate existing services and provide additional necessary services on a sustained basis to meet children’s comprehensive needs.

A panel of TC faculty members also will present papers on the state of practice in areas such as early childhood education, parental involvement and family supports, out of school programming, and mental and physical health services in at-risk communities.

Speakers at the symposium include Arne Duncan, Superintendent of Chicago Public Schools; Geoffrey Canada, President and CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone; Helen Ladd, Edgar T. Thompson Distinguished Professor of Public Policy Studies at Duke University; Carl Hayden, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York (SUNY); Lucy Friedman, Executive Director of The After-School Corporation (TASC) and Milbrey McLaughlin, David Jacks Professor of Education and Public Policy at Stanford University.

Teachers College faculty members presenting at the symposium include Michael Rebell, Executive Director of The Campaign for Educational Equity: Henry Levin, William H. Kilpatrick Professor of Economics and Education at Teachers College; Sharon Lynn Kagan, Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Early Childhood Policy at Teachers College; Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Child Development and Education at Teachers College; and Edmund W. Gordon, Richard March Hoe Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Education.

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