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Symposium on Advancing Equity through More and Better STEM Learning

Sixty years after Brown v. Board of Education, education in the United States remains separate and unequal for too many children of color, students with disabilities and those living in high-poverty communities. These children lack equal access to the most basic opportunities we know they need in order to graduate high school ready for college and family-supporting careers, including quality early childhood education, a challenging college-preparatory curriculum, qualified and effective teachers, and social and community supports. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is an area where the loss of so many children at every grade span not only threatens the promise of Brown, but is undermining national security and competitiveness. It is clear that the better-paying jobs now and in the future will require both postsecondary education and proficiency in one or more of the STEM fields.

STEM education can provide historically underrepresented populations with proven pathways for obtaining good jobs and a higher standard of living. Yet, according to the Obama administration's Federal STEM Education 5-Year Strategic Plan, today only 2.2 percent of Hispanics and Latinos, 2.7 percent of African Americans, and 3.3 percent of Native Americans and Alaska Natives have earned a first university degree in the natural sciences or engineering by age 24. Women represent less than 20 percent of bachelor's degree recipients in fields like computer science and engineering, and hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs.

It is time for the nation to examine where and how we are losing so many children along the K-16 STEM pipeline and to accelerate progress in closing both opportunity and achievement gaps that persist.

Please join The Leadership Conference Education Fund and Educational Testing Service (ETS) at a symposium on advancing equity in STEM education. A distinguished and diverse group of speakers will examine how to ensure STEM learning is inclusive, engaging and equally accessible to everyone -- including communities of color, high-poverty communities, women and girls, and people with disabilities.

Symposium on Advancing Equity through More and Better STEM Learning

  • When: Tuesday, May 27, 2014
  • Where: National Academy of Sciences, Keck Center, 500 5th St. NW, Washington, DC 20001
  • Time: 9 a.m.-3:45 p.m. (Light breakfast and coffee will be served at 8:30 a.m. Lunch will also be provided.)

AGENDA -

9:00 am                        Welcoming Remarks

  • Wade Henderson, President & CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund

9:10 – 9:30 am              Keynote Address

  • Catherine Lhamon, Assistant Secretary, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education

9:30 – 11:00 am             Panel 1: Addressing Disparities in STEM Education

  • Gwendolyn Boyd, President, Alabama State University  
  • David Coleman, President & CEO, College Board®
  • Richard Tapia, Director, Center on Excellence and Equity at Rice University
  • Valerie Wilson, Deputy Division Director, Division of Graduate Education, National Science Foundation
  • Moderated by Shirley Malcom, head of the Directorate for Education and Human Resources Programs of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

11:00 – 11:15 am           Break

11:15 am – 12:45 pm     Panel 2: Widening the STEM Pipeline

  • Tamara Jayasundera, Professor, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce
  • Lorilyn Owens, Director, Oracle Academy North America
  • Debra Joy Perez, Vice President, Research, Evaluation and Learning, Annie E. Casey Foundation 
  • Winslow Sargeant, Chief Counsel for Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration
  • Kristin Townsend, Senior Manager, Office of Corporate Citizenship, Verizon Foundation
  • Claus von Zastrow, Director of Research, Change the Equation
  • Moderated by Kavitha Cardoza, Special Correspondent, WAMU 88.5

12:45 – 1:45 pm            Lunch Keynote

  • David Johns,  Executive Director, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans

1:45 – 2:00 pm              Break

2:00 – 3:30 pm              Panel 3: Putting it All Together: Promising STEM Practices

  • Kena Allison, award-winning physics teacher, Thurgood Marshall Academy PCS
  • Marybeth Gasman, Director, The Penn Center for Minority-Serving Institutions
  • Maisha Moses, National Co-Director, Young People’s Project
  • Robert Moses, President and, Founder, The Algebra Project
  • Moderated by Michael Nettles, Senior Vice President, ETS 

3:30 pm                        Closing and Adjourn

  • Wade Henderson, President & CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund
  • Roberto Rodriguez,  Special Assistant to the President for Education at the White House Domestic Policy Council
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