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Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College
Columbia University

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Stimulating Equity? The Impact of the Federal Stimulus Act on Educational Opportunity

2/8/2010 ~ 2/9/2010 at  Cowin Center, Teachers College.

The fifth annual equity symposium, “Stimulating Equity?: The Impact of the Federal Stimulus Act on Educational Opportunity,” to be held February 8 and 9, 2010 at Teachers College, will mark one of the first major national forums to analyze, in-depth, the impact of the ARRA ( the federal “stimulus bill” ) on educational equity and on educational opportunity.

The stated purpose of the ARRA education funds is to stabilize the education budgets of the states, allow states to continue to fund equity and adequacy initiatives in state funding formulae, and to “boost student achievement.” By accepting this funding, each state has committed to promoting four essential areas of reform: 1) improving teacher effectiveness; 2) making progress toward college and career-ready standards and rigorous assessments; 3) enhancing data systems to track educational practice; and 4) improving achievement in low-performing schools.

Through the Recovery Act, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) is expected to distribute approximately $100 billion over the next two years to states, school districts, and higher education institutions. The availability of this enormous increase in federal funding, and the fact that the USDOE has focused on four critical priority areas for the use of the funds, provides an extraordinary opportunity to advance educational equity nationwide. Yet, there remain five major potential obstacles to its effective implementation:

 

  • Governors, who have extensive discretion in how these funds are allocated, may use the stabilization funds to cover deficits instead of improving students’ opportunities in the four priority areas.
  • Although the overall aim is to eliminate achievement gaps, the funds may be distributed in a way that compromises, rather than enhances, equity.
  • USDOE has made clear that these funds as a one-time opportunity tied to economic stimulus. States must, therefore, use the funds in a way that promote significant reform without establishing on-going programs or raising expectations that this level of funding will continue.
  • The Act does not take into account educational funding realities and needs at the local level. Even if state education budgets are stabilized or increased, revenue problems and declining property tax bases may lead to severe budget shortfalls.
  • Historically, states and schools districts have not proved adept in efficiently and effectively utilizing large funding increases that are provided on short notice.

The February symposium will examine each of these issues by presenting nationwide analyses of how the stimulus funds have been used, case study examples of effective and ineffective uses of the funds, and explorations of the long-term implications of this massive spending experience on the role of the federal government in promoting educational equity and educational reform. We expect to do so by presenting broad-based policy research studies; academic research papers; and model approaches for promoting equity, advancing meaningful education reform, and “avoiding the cliff.”

___________________________________________________________
For more information, contact:

Michael Rebell, rebell@tc.edu or Jessica Garcia, jgarcia@tc.edu


Session Videos

The following are rough edits of the Symposium sessions.
These videos are being provided as near to end of each session as possible. Finalized video will be made available soon, with directions to view the video appearing here.

The video is being served as Quicktime MOV files. You will need a copy of the free Quicktime Player to download and view these videos.

  • Welcome & Conference Overview
    http://quicktime.tc.columbia.edu/users/CEE/session1.mov?KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=400&width=400
  • Keynote Address, Day 1
    Edward G. Rendell, Governor, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Susan Fuhrman, President of Teachers College
    http://quicktime.tc.columbia.edu/users/TCNEWS/Symposium2010/keynote1.mov?KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=400&width=400
  • The Impact of ARRA on Educational Equity and Innovation
    The Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) on Educational Equity and Innovation. Jack Jennings, President and CEO, Center on Educational Policy Jessica Wolff, Policy Director Daniel Yaverbaum, Researcher, Campaign for Educational Equity Luis Huerta, Associate Professor of Education, Teachers College
    http://quicktime.tc.columbia.edu/users/TCNEWS/Symposium2010/session1.mov?KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=400&width=400
  • Session 1 (continued)
    The Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) on Educational Equity and Innovation. Jack Jenings, President and CEO, Center on Educational Equity Jessica Wolff, Policy Director Daniel Yaverbaum, Researcher, Campaign for Educational Equity Bruce Baker, Associate Professor, Rutgers University David Sciarra, Executive Director, Education Law Center Luis Huerta, Associate Professor of Education, Teachers College
    http://quicktime.tc.columbia.edu/users/TCNEWS/Symposium2010/session1.mov?KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=400&width=400
  • Challenges and Promising Practices: Voices from Across the Nation
    Challenges and Promising Practices: Voices from Across the Nation. Joseph Martin, Executive Director, Georgia School Funding Association Timothy Mitchell, Superintendent, Chamberlain School District 7-1, South Dakota Candace Cortiella, Director, Advocacy Institute Michele McNeil, Assistant Editor, Education Week
    http://quicktime.tc.columbia.edu/users/TCNEWS/Tisch.mov?KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=400&width=400
  • Handling Budget Shortfalls in New York State: The Impact of Budget Cuts, CFE, and ARRA
    Handling Budget Shortfalls in New York State: The Impact of Budget Cuts, CFE, and ARRA. Photeine Anagnostopolous, Chief Operating Officer Alison Avera, Deputy Chief Operating Officer New York City Department of Education Dan Lowengard, Superintendent, Syracuse City School District Mary Anne Schmitt-Carey, President, Say Yes to Education Glynda Carr, Executive Director, Education Voters of New York Geri Palast, Executive Director, Campaign for Fiscal Equity Moderator: Jennifer Medina, Reporter, The New York Times
    http://quicktime.tc.columbia.edu/users/TCNEWS/Symposium2010/session3.mov?KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=400&width=400
  • Keynote Address, Day 2
    Keynote Address, Day 2 Russlynn Ali, Assistant Secretary, Office for Civil Rights, United States Department of Education
    http://quicktime.tc.columbia.edu/users/TCNEWS/Symposium2010/keynote2.mov?KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=400&width=400
  • The Changing Federal Role in Education
    The Changing Federal Role in Education. Maris Vinovskis, Professor of History, University of Michigan Carl Kaestle, Professor Emeritus of Education, History and Public Policy Brown University Elizabeth De Bray, Associate Professor, University of Georgia Thomas James, Provost and Dean, Teachers College, Columbia University
    http://quicktime.tc.columbia.edu/users/TCNEWS/Symposium2010/session4.mov?KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=400&width=400
  • Safeguarding Progress toward Educational Equity and Opportunity in Hard Times
    Safeguarding Progress toward Educational Equity and Opportunity in Hard Times. Michael Rebell, Executive Director, Campaign for Educational Equity Jamienne Studley, President and CEO, Public Advocates, Inc. Ted Shaw, Professor of Practice in Law, Columbia Law School
    http://quicktime.tc.columbia.edu/users/TCNEWS/Symposium2010/session5.mov?KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=400&width=400
  • Maintaining Educational Opportunity in the Hard Times Ahead: Federal and State Perspectives
    Maintaining Educational Opportunity in the Hard Times Ahead: Federal and State Perspectives. Mitchell Chester, Commissioner of Education, Massachusetts Jack Jennings, President and CEO, Center on Educational Policy John Merrow, President, Learning Matters, & Education Correspondent, PBS NewsHour
    http://quicktime.tc.columbia.edu/users/TCNEWS/Symposium2010/session6.mov?KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=400&width=400

  • Visitor Information

    http://www.tc.edu/users/visitors.htm

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