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Askwith Education Forum

Fall 2016 Askwith Forums and Debates Announced

The Askwith Forums, a Harvard Graduate School of Education series of public lectures dedicated to conversations on the challenges facing education, invites you to participate in its fall 2016 season. New this year is Askwith Debates, where experts with opposing views converse on controversial topics.

Hanan Al Hroub, winner of the 2016 Global Teacher Prize, kicks off this semester’s Askwith Forums on September 22 and will share her experiences as a Palestinian educator and her unique approach to instruction. On September 27, policymakers, parents, and educators will join together for the first event of the Askwith Debates series on the future of charter schools in Massachusetts, an issue voters will weigh in on this coming November.

Other highlights include Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Suskind speaking about his book Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism; a conversation with former governor of Florida Jeb Bush, chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education; and a discussion of 15 years of the DREAM Act and Congressional inaction. Many of this fall’s forums are planned in conjunction with Fulfilling the Promise of Diversity, an ongoing conversation and set of cohesive experiences bringing the HGSE community together around topics central to our work as educators and individuals.

The full fall schedule of events follows:

September 22: Education as a Human Right: An Evening With Hanan Al Hroub, Winner of the 2016 Global Teacher Prize. Al Hroub will be introduced by Dean James Ryan and joined by Professor Fernando Reimers, Ed.M.’84, Ed.D.’88, director of the International Education Policy Program and the Global Education Innovation Initiative at HGSE. 5:30-7 p.m.

September 27: More Charter Schools? The Massachusetts Vote and the National Debate. In this inaugural of the Askwith Debates, proponents and opponents will square off on the Massachusetts charter school referendum. This HUBweek event will feature Tito Jackson, District 7 city councilor and chairman, Committee on Education, Boston City Council; Marc Kenen, founder and executive director Massachusetts Charter Public School Association; Michael Robinson, former charter school parent, and current parent of a student in Mansfield (Massachusetts) Public Schools; and LaTasha Sarpy, a parent of a student at Brook Charter School in Mattapan, Massachusetts, and associate professor at Bunker Hill Community College. They will be joined by moderator Professor Paul Reville. 5:30-7 p.m.

October 6: Life, Animated: Autism, Ableism, and Educators with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind, author of Life Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism. Suskind will be joined in conversation by Michael Stein of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability, and Professor Tom Hehir. 5:30-7 p.m.

October 13: A Conversation with Jeb Bush. Bush, chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education and former governor of Florida, will address the new opportunities for state leadership on K-12 education policy, what it will take for governors and other state officials to capitalize on those opportunities, and the challenges of maintaining bipartisan support for education reform in a time of heightened polarization. He will be introduced by Dean James Ryan and joined by Associate Professor Martin West. 5:30-7 p.m.

October 19: Education and the 2016 Election. HGSE faculty weigh in on education in the 2016 election, addressing questions such as: Why has education been largely absent from the discussion? What are the likely implications of education policy depending on the outcome of the election? Should educators be focusing more on who controls Congress rather than the White House? Professor Paul Reville will moderate a discussion between Professors David Deming and Meira Levinson, Associate Professor Martin West, and Assistant Professor Roberto Gonzales. 5:30-7 p.m.

October 25: Assessing the DREAM and 15 Years of Congressional Inaction, with Donald E. Graham, co-founder of TheDream.US and chairman of the District of Columbia College Access Program; Angela Maria Kelley, from the Center for American Progress Action Fund; and journalist, filmmaker, and founder of Define American, Jose Antonio Vargas. Assistant Professor Roberto Gonzales will moderate. 5:30-7 p.m.

December 8: What is a Good Citizen and How Do You Create One? In the wake of the 2016 election, panelists will discuss the challenges that confront American society and its struggles with diversity, divisive politics, digital democracy, and a growing need for a more global perspective. Callie Crossly from WGBH; Michelle Fine, distinguished professor at City University of New York; and Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University will reflect on this issue. 5-6:30 p.m.

All events are held in Askwith Hall at the Longfellow building on Appian Way in Cambridge and are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted on the calendar description. Schedule and titles are subject to change. Check back for updated information at:

Askwith Forums and Debates also will be streamed live on the HGSE website and archived events can be viewed at:

To join the conversation online, follow HGSE on Twitter and use the #Askwith hashtag.

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