With 300 participants and 38 presenters, the Guardians of Equity: Improving the Educational Opportunity for Children conference was a great success. New York State Board of Regent at Large Dr. Lester W. Young Jr. welcomed attendees and highlighted the importance of the equity in our schools with 3 points of remedying the achievement gap. Dr. Rebecca Cort, Associate Commissioner of the New York State Education Department’s (NYSED) P-12 Education, Office of Special Education spoke of the importance of directly addressing issues of disproportionality and reminded attendees that the roots of disproportionality start in general education. With her moving keynote, Dr. Margaret Beale-Spencer, Professor, University of Chicago, expressed the importance of protective factors for students and the need to build resiliency in our children and our teachers.
Watch video of the whole morning session:
In the afternoon, Dr. Pedro Noguera, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education, spoke at lunch on the 3 pitfalls schools must avoid when supporting students, as well as the importance of finding solutions from exemplars. Dr. Noguera also moderated the afternoon panel discussion. The panelists; Dr. Lauren Katzman, Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz, Dr. Shondel Nero and Dr. Joshua Aronson discussed ways that schools should address the positive emotional development of students to help increase their resilience in the face of everyday micro-aggressions. To end the day, Alan Ripp, the director of TACD, reminded attendees that they must empower themselves to be the guardians of equity that all students deserve.
Watch video of the afternoon session:
Watch selected photos of the whole day’s event (Photo credit: Kimi Shao)