The 16th annual Indiana Urban Schools Association summer conference on urban education is gathering experts from across the country and many from the Indiana University School of Education at IUPUI to examine the many factors impacting students, families, and educators this Wednesday, June 18. The conference, whose theme is “Schooling and the Ripple Effect: Emotional, Intellectual, Physical,” starts at 8:30 a.m. at the Chapel Hill 7th and 8th Grade Center in Indianapolis. Among the presenters are several Indiana school teachers and program leaders. They will share the latest program developments in place for the state’s urban schools.
The conference sessions and topics will focus on a variety of factors affecting K-12 education in urban schools. Some of the sessions will address meeting expectations in the midst of environmental distractions, how well students learn, and nutrition and physical well-being factors impacting student learning. “The ripple effect of schools reaches everyone, not simply students,” said Chuck Little, executive director of the Indiana Urban Schools Association (IUSA) and clinical professor or educational leadership at the IU School of Education at IUPUI. “At this conference, we will engage topics like health, instruction, politics, and teacher evaluation, all of which impact and shape the future.”
The keynote address will be delivered by James Earl Davis, professor of educational leadership and interim chair of the department of Teaching and Learning at Temple University. Davis is the author of Uneasy Ties: Race and Gender in Urban Education Reform. His research expertise covers gender and schooling outcomes, masculinity, sociology of higher education, and applied research methods.
The guest speaker for the conference is Dr. Virginia Caine, director of the Marion County Health Department and associate professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine’s Infectious Disease Division. Caine has served on many professional boards, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Elimination of Health Disparities through Translation research panel, and the Council on Education for Public Health.
Also presenting at the conference is Doug Martin, an Indiana writer and educator who released his book Hoosier School Heist earlier this year. The work makes the case for what he calls the private corporate takeover of Indiana’s public schools. Martin says legislation and an extensive net of interlocking relationships have allowed this to happen, promoting private sector interests at the expense of public schools.
The IU School of Education at IUPUI will be part of several presentations throughout the day. Hardy Murphy, a research scholar with the School of Education, will be a panelist on two panels dealing with teacher evaluation, one focusing on how teacher evaluation is evolving and the other about developing a rubric for teacher evaluation standards. Murphy is conducting a statewide research project on Indiana’s teacher evaluation system. Three students from the Urban Education PhD program will present. Aly Elfreich and Brandon Currie will conduct two sessions of “School Counselors as Participatory Action Researchers in Urban High Schools,” one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Tiffany Kyser will present “Design Shift, System Shift: a Design Thinker’s Brief Multimodal Approach to Urban Education.” Additionally, Dean Gerardo Gonzalez will provide opening remarks for the conference.
The Indiana Urban Schools Association was established to serve the needs of urban school children in Indiana by supporting a positive legislative agenda, providing a forum for considering urban school needs, cooperating with other organizations interested in urban school children, providing services and programs designed for urban schools, and supporting other programs designed to benefit all children in Indiana schools. More about this week’s conference is available here.