Rhode Island Leaders Come Together for Education Awareness Week
Monday, March 31, 2014
The event, hosted by Junior Achievement (JA) and Teach for America, kicks off on Monday at the State House with a student-centered celebration where Governor Lincoln Chafee will officially announce Education Awareness Week. State legislators, including Lt. Gov.Elizabeth Roberts, Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo will also be in attendance.
Education Awareness Week is designed to bring prominent leaders throughout the Rhode Island community into the classroom as guest teachers. The volunteer teachers are brought in to support educational excellence in Rhode Island by teaching lessons from their life experiences.
“We’re excited about the broad range of leaders participating in Education Awareness Week this year,” said Heather Tow-Yick, executive director of Teach For America–Rhode Island. “By sharing their expertise in classrooms across our state, these accomplished individuals will make a lasting impression on hundreds of students and help focus attention on the importance of providing all children with the educational opportunities they deserve.”
Education Awareness Week is just one of many collaborations between Junior Achievement and Teach for America, combining Junior Achievement’s Leaders Day where community leaders teach students important money-management concepts, and Teach for America Week where guest teachers lead lessons in corps members’ classrooms throughout the week.
“Education Awareness Week demonstrates the importance of the work teachers do in the classroom every day,” said Lee Lewis, president of Junior Achievement of Rhode Island. “Junior Achievement and Teach For America are committed to providing Rhode Island youth with an education that will position them for success as adults. Our teachers do this every day by providing students with a critical foundation in core subjects. JA programs complement school curricula by helping students see the relevance of their education to their lives as successful adults.”
Confirmed Guest Speakers
Tuesday, April 1
State Sen. Juan Pichardo - Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts: 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Lisa Churchville, Principal, LGC Advisors - Blackstone Valley Prep Middle School: 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Jim Vincent, President, NAACP Providence - Blackstone Valley Prep Middle School: 11:05 a.m. – 11:55 a.m.
Lisa Levesque, Senior Vice President, Customer Service Strategy, Fidelity Investments - Achievement First Providence Mayoral Academy: 2:10 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Wednesday, April 2: JA Leaders Day - All guest teachers today will be at Carl Lauro Elementary School
James Burchfield, Jr., Partner, D’Amico-Burchfield
Sherri Carrera, Client Services Advisor, Commerce Rhode Island
Robert A. D’Amico II, Managing Partner, D’Amico-Burchfield
Peter DiFilippo, Senior Vice President, RBS Citizens
Kenneth DiSaia, Sr. Vice President, Enrollment Management, Johnson & Wales University
Kristin Fraser, Managing Partner, KPMG
Mayor Allan Fung, City of Cranston
Christopher Graham, Co-Partner In-Charge, Edwards Wildman Palmer
Peter Kilmartin, State Attorney General
State Rep. Joseph McNamara
Janet Raymond, Senior Vice President, Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce
William Schwab, Human Resources Officer, Amica Mutual Insurance
Mark Shamber, Vice President, United Natural Foods
Richard V. Simone III Vice President of Event & Special Projects, Alex and Ani
Neil Steinberg, President & CEO, The Rhode Island Foundation
Vic Vetters, Vice President & General Manager, WJAR/NBC10
Thursday, April 3
Nancy Carriuolo, President, Rhode Island College - Blackstone Valley Prep Middle School: 11:05 a.m. – 11:55 a.m.
Laurel Bowerman, Vice President, Washington Trust Company - Blackstone Valley Prep Middle School: 11:55 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Shaun McGinty, Senior Vice President, Technology, Fidelity Investments - Blackstone Valley Prep Middle School: 2:15 p.m. – 3:05 p.m.
Friday, April 4
Neil Steinberg, President, Rhode Island Foundation - Highlander Charter School: 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Joanna Davis, Education Advocate - Blackstone Valley Prep ES1: 11:20 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.
Bernie Beaudreau, Executive Director, Serve Rhode Island - Mount Pleasant High School: 11:50 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Sen. Jack Reed - Gilbert Stuart Middle School: 12:55 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Xaykham Khamsyvoravong, Vice President, Webster Bank - Mount Pleasant High School: 1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Time and Location To Be Announced
Anna Cano-Morales, Director, Latino Policy Institute
Related Slideshow: RI Experts on the Biggest Issues Facing Public Education
On Friday November 22, the Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership at Bryant University, the Latino Policy Institute of Roger Williams University, the Rhode Island Association of School Committees, the Providence Student Union, and RI-CAN: Rhode Island Campaign for Achievement Now will host Rhode Island leaders in the public and nonprofit sectors for a symposium on "the civil rights issue of the 21st century, adequacy and equity and the State of Education in Rhode Island."
Weighing in on the the "three biggest factors" facing education in the state today are symposium participatnts Gary Sasse, Founding Director of the Hassenfeld Institute for Leadership; Christine Lopes Metcalfe, Executive Director of RI-CAN; Anna Cano-Morales, Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees, Central Falls Public Schools and Director, Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University; Tim Duffy, Executive Director, RI Association of School Committees; and Deborah Cylke, Superintendent of Pawtucket Public Schools.
"Provide a state constitutional guarantee that all children will have access to an education that will prepare them to meet high performance standards and be successful adults.
Bridge the gap between the educational achievement of majority and minority students. This will require the implementation of a comprehensive agenda for quality education in Rhode Island’s inner cities."
"Set high expectations and raise our standards across the state for anyone that contributes to the success of our students. From adopting the Common Core to discussing rigorous teacher evaluations, conversations around creating a culture of high expectations have to be at the center of the work."
"School facilities - with an aging infrastructure, underutilized buildings and the need to provide fair funding for school facilities for all public school students regardless of the public school they attend, this needs to be a top issue tackled by the RI General Assembly in 2014."
"Providing adequate funding is critical -- and there are going to be pressures on the state budget, which mean stresses to meet the education funding formula. With the predictions of the state's projected loss of revenue with the casinos in MA, education funding could be on the cutting board, and we need to ensure that it's not. Do we need to look at strengthening the language of the constitution to guarantee funding?"
"Issue one is quality. Your quality of education should not be dependent on your zip code. And the reality is, certain cities are distressed, or whose property values are not as high, I know each town has a different capacity to fund education. There's an absolute, clear relationship between the quality of public schools, and economic development of states. There's irrefutable evidence that quality public schools can make states more competitive."
"Issue two is equality. In West Warwick and Providence, the per pupil spending is around $16K. In Pawtucket it's $12.9. What's wrong with that picture? If I'm in charge of overseeing that my students are college ready, they need to be adequate funding. A difference of $3000 per pupil? We're talking in the tens of millions of dollars -- more like $25 million in this case. An exemplary school district is Montgomery County, MD -- they have roughly the same number of students, around 145,000 -- there's one funding figure per pupil. There's equitable funding for all kids."
"Issue three is Infrastructure. A critical issue is whether the state is going to lift its moratorium in 2014 for renovations for older schools, ore new construction. If that moratorium is not lifted, and those funds are not available, it is critical to us here in Pawtucket. The average of my schools is 66 years, I've got 3 that celebrate 100 years this year. These old schools have good bones, but they need to be maintained. These are assets -- and this is all interrelated with the funding formula."
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