Forum to discuss how to fundamentally improve youth education

A handful of teachers and education professionals will discuss "The Education and Schools our Children Deserve" at the 14th-annual Educational Law and Social Justice Forum at Western Washington University next month.

The forum will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 2, at the Center for Education, Equity and Diversity in Miller Hall Room 005.

All panelists authored articles in the current issue of Woodring College of Education's Journal of Educational Controversy. They are:

  • Francisco Rios, dean of Woodring College of Education
  • Susan Donnelly, head of Whatcom Day Academy
  • David Carroll, Woodring Elementary Education Faculty
  • Annie Parker, third grade teacher
  • Vale Hartley, teacher, Whatcom Day Academy
  • Paul Shaker, professor emeritus and former dean at Simon Fraser University

At the forum, the panelists and audience will engage in a conversation about practical ways to create new visions of schools our children deserve, addressing the following controversy from the Journal of Educational Controversy:

The politicizing of education at the national level has centered on issues of standards, accountability, global competitiveness, national economic growth, low student achievement on worldwide norms, and federally mandated uniformity.

There has been little discussion of the public purposes of our schools or what kind of education is necessary for an individual’s development and search for a meaningful life. There is a paucity of ideas being discussed at the national level around topics such as: how school practices can be aligned with democratic principles of equity and justice; how school practices can promote the flourishing of individual development as well as academic achievement; what skills and understandings are needed for citizens to play a transformative role in their society.

Without conversation at this deeper level about the fundamental purposes of education, we cannot develop a comprehensive vision of the kinds of schools our children deserve. We invite authors to contribute their conceptions of the kind of education our children deserve and/or the kinds of schools that serve the needs of individuals and of a democratic society.

For more information, call CEED at (360) 650-3827.