Teaching America: How Charter Schools Can Help Close the Civic Achievement Gap
AEI Program on American Citizenship and the Civic Education Initiative
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High-performing charter schools have forged a positive culture for their students defined by college-going and career success. However, this healthy emphasis on personal achievement has come with the inadvertent consequence of neglecting students' civic education. Have efforts to cultivate "vocational" citizenship skills failed to satisfy the broader obligation of schools to cultivate the next generation of citizens and civic leaders? Join charter school leaders Mike Feinberg (KIPP), Seth Andrew (Democracy Prep), and Juan Rangel (United Neighborhood Organization), along with Robin Lake from the Center on Reinventing Public Education, as they discuss how charter schools understand their civic-education mandate. This event is sponsored by the AEI Program on American Citizenship in conjunction with the Civic Education Initiative and its new volume, Teaching America: The Case for Civic Education (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011).
Agenda
8:30 AM
Registration and Breakfast

9:00 AM
Introduction:
DAVID FEITH, Civic Education Initiative

9:10 AM
Discussants:
SETH ANDREW, Democracy Prep Public Schools
MIKE FEINBERG, KIPP Schools
JUAN RANGEL, United Neighborhood Organization
ROBIN LAKE, Center on Reinventing Public Education

Moderator:

FREDERICK M. HESS, AEI


10:30 AM
Adjournment
David Feith is an assistant editorial features editor at The Wall Street Journal, where he edits op-eds and writes mainly about foreign policy and education reform. He was twice a Robert L. Bartley Fellow at The Wall Street Journal and later worked as an assistant editor at Foreign Affairs magazine. Feith chairs the Civic Education Initiative, which he cofounded while in college to promote a national agenda for strengthening civics knowledge. He graduated with a BA in history from Columbia University in 2009.

Seth Andrew is founder and superintendant of Democracy Prep Public Schools in New York, NY. Democracy Prep is a network of no-excuses schools in Harlem that accepts students by random lottery and prepares them to be citizen-scholars ready for success in the college of their choice and a life of active citizenship. After teaching and serving as a special education administrator, Seth completed the Building Excellent Schools Fellowship, where he studied and learned best practices from the highest performing schools and school leaders in the nation.
 
Having attended NYC public schools K-12 with a learning disability, Mr. Andrew has become a nationally recognized advocate, speaker, and consultant for inclusive special education as well as the importance of authentic civic education, both of which are unique aspects to Democracy Prep’s rigorous academic program. Seth earned his A.B. in Education and Public Policy & American Institutions from Brown University and an Ed.M. in School Leadership & School Development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education where he now teaches leadership as an adjunct member of the Harvard faculty.

Mike Feinberg currently serves as superintendent of KIPP Houston. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1991, Mr. Feinberg joined Teach For America and became a fifth grade bilingual teacher in Houston ISD. In 1994, Mr. Feinberg co-founded the Knowledge Is Power Program along with fellow TFA corps member Dave Levin; in 1995, he founded KIPP Academy in Houston.
Mr. Feinberg was named an Ashoka Fellow in 1994, awarded to leading social entrepreneurs with innovative solutions and the potential to change patterns across society, and along with Dave Levin was awarded The Thomas B. Fordham Prize for Excellence in Education and the National Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service by a Private Citizen in 2006.

Juan Rangel is the chief executive officer for the United Neighborhood Organization (UNO), metropolitan Chicago’s largest Hispanic community-based organization. Since becoming CEO in 1996, Juan has greatly increased the scope and impact of UNO, expanding activities within the city of Chicago, as well as among the quickly-growing suburban Hispanic communities, building on the success that UNO had reached in its first decade of community organizing. In 2001, Juan co-developed the Metropolitan Leadership Institute (MLI), aimed at engaging young Hispanic professionals in the public arena, including political, corporate, governmental and non-profit spheres. The MLI is a year-long training program which incorporates UNO’s 20-plus years of community organizing experience towards the development of Hispanic leaders within metropolitan Chicago.

Among his accomplishments as CEO, Juan opened the Octavio Paz Charter School in 1998, successfully demonstrating that all children can indeed learn given an environment of high expectations and accountability for students, faculty, and staff alike. Since then, UNO has opened a total of nine campuses including its first high-school and its first campus outside of Illinois in New Orleans, LA.

Robin Lake is Associate Director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education, where she specializes in charter school research and policy development that focuses on effective accountability policies, scale and supply, and school district use of chartering as a reform strategy. She is also Executive Director of the Center’s National Charter School Research Project (NCSRP), which was established in late 2004 by a consortium of funders in an effort to improve the balance, rigor, and application of charter school research. Lake has authored numerous studies and technical assistance reports on charter schools. She is co-author, with Paul Hill, of Charter Schools and Accountability in Public Education (Brookings Press) and editor of Unique School Serving Unique Students: Charter Schools and Children with Special Needs and the annual report, Hopes, Fears, & Reality: A Balanced Look at American Charter Schools.

Frederick M. Hess is a Resident Scholar and Director of Education Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute. An educator, political scientist, and author, he studies a range of K-12 and higher education issues. He is the author of influential books on education including The Same Thing Over and Over, Education Unbound, Common Sense School Reform, Revolution at the Margins, and Spinning Wheels, and pens the Education Week blog "Rick Hess Straight Up."  His work has appeared in scholarly and popular outlets such as Teachers College Record, Harvard Education Review, Social Science Quarterly, Urban Affairs Review, American Politics Quarterly, Chronicle of Higher Education, Phi Delta Kappan, Educational Leadership, U.S. News & World Report, The Washington Post, and National Review. He has edited widely-cited volumes on education philanthropy, stretching the school dollar, the impact of education research, and No Child Left Behind.  He serves as executive editor of Education Next, as lead faculty member for the Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program, on the Review Board for the Broad Prize in Urban Education, and on the Boards of Directors of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, 4.0 SCHOOLS, and the American Board for the Certification of Teaching Excellence. A former high school social studies teacher, he has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, Rice University, and Harvard University. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University as well as an M.Ed. in Teaching and Curriculum.

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