Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Faculty, staff, and students participated in the latest Indiana University School of Education at IUPUI and Indiana Urban Schools Association (IUSA) Summer Conference on Urban Education, which once again brought some of education's biggest names to the state to discuss current issues and best practices for urban educators. The 14th annual conference on June 13 brought together administrators, teachers, education researchers, and others from around the state to discuss professional development, classroom success, and community partnerships.
The conference was organized by Chuck Little, clinical professor at IUPUI and Executive Director of the IUSA, and Brenda Roper, the IUSA Associate Director, who brought in two well-known education presenters to address the conference at the Lynhurst 7th and 8th Grade Center in Indianapolis. David Berliner, Regents Professor of Education at Arizona State University and best known as the co-author of The Manufactured Crisis, gave his take on the education reform efforts underway across the country in his opening keynote. Afterwards, he stayed to take questions from participants who asked about specific circumstances they face in Indiana.
The second keynote came from Julie Mead, a noted researcher on legal aspects of education and a department chair and faculty member in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her recent work has focused particularly on the groups influencing education reform. Her co-authored article, "A Smart-ALEC Threatens Public Education," has earned national attention because of its insight into groups such as ALEC, which stands for the American Legislative Exchange Council. Mead also stayed to answer one-on-one questions from participants.
Faculty and students from the School of Education were a part of many program sessions, which ranged from virtual education to mentoring educational leaders and the effects of involving the legal system in school discipline. Samantha Paredes Scribner, assistant professor in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (ELPS), and Brendan Maxcy, associate professor in ELPS, presented on "Preparing Leaders for Urban Schools" with former and current School of Education students Rocky Valdez, Sarah Gibson, and Hugh Boger. Clinical Associate Professor of Special Education Mary Jo Dare, Visiting Lecturer Donna Walker, and a student enrolled in the newly-started urban education Ph.D. program Jada Phelps, participated on the conference committee and volunteered at the event itself.