College Readiness Symposium to feature talk on urban education crisis Dec. 7

Program sponsored by R.I. Office of Higher Education, URI

KINGSTON, R.I., – November 27, 2012 – A former teacher and national expert on improving urban education will be the keynote speaker at the College Readiness Symposium, Friday, Dec. 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the University of Rhode Island.

Christopher Emdin, an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University, will speak at 12:15 p.m. on “The Crisis in Urban Education.”

The entire program, which is supported by a College Access Challenge Grant from the Rhode Island Office of Higher Education, will be held at the University of Rhode Island’s Memorial Union, 50 Lower College Road. The program is free and open to the public.

Emdin, who also serves as director of Secondary School Initiatives at Columbia’s Urban Science Education Center, is also an expert on the intersection of hip-hop and education, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education, politics, race, class, diversity, and youth empowerment.

The professor writes the provocative “Emdin 5” series on a number of contemporary social issues for The Huffington Post and draws on his extensive experience as a former physics and chemistry teacher, school administrator, and urban education researcher to write about topics that range from school bullying and student protests to parental involvement and the political landscape of urban America. He is the author of the recently released, award-winning book Urban Science Education for the Hip-Hop Generation.

The daylong symposium will provide an opportunity for college arts and sciences faculty, teacher education faculty and teachers statewide to discuss and explore the impact of the Common Core State Standards for mathematics and English language arts and the associated high-stakes assessments, known as The Partnership for the Assessment of College and Career Readiness. The assessments will measure student achievement in grades 3 through 12 on the Common Core State Standards in mathematics and English language arts beginning in Fall 2014 and will be tied to student graduation and teacher evaluation.

Faculty representatives from all of Rhode Island’s colleges and universities, public school teachers, and teacher candidates will engage in a series of discussions to foster deeper collaboration and understanding between kindergarten through 12 educators and higher education. Professors Cornelis de Groot and Diane Kern of URI’s School of Education, will facilitate the symposium.

The event agenda follows:

University of Rhode Island

Higher Education Initiative for College and Career Readiness

Friday, Dec. 7, 2012

8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

URI Memorial Union, 50 Lower College Road, Kingston, R.I.


8:30-9:00, Continental breakfast

9:00-9:30, Welcome

9:30-10:25, Session I: College Readiness Round Tables

10:35-11:30, Session II: K-12 Teacher Panels

11:30-12:15, Lunch

12:15-1:15, Keynote Address: Dr. Christopher Emdin. “The Crisis in Urban Education.”

1:25-1:55, Session III: Building K-16 Bridges

2:00-2:30, Session IV: Teacher Education and the Common Core

2:40-3:00, Closing comments