The Education Funders Research Initiative (EdFunders) is a project of Philanthropy New York supported by 16 funding organizations that have pursued a diverse array of education reform strategies.
These and other private foundations have invested over $2 billion in New York City public school reform efforts over the last decade and have been crucial to many of the reform strategies pursued both by the Department of Education and by other education support organizations. Now, they have come together to engage New Yorkers and focus our leaders on new research targeting how we can best prepare students for college and 21st-century careers, driven by one question: How can we improve on what's working in NYC?
This program is the Initiative’s second in-person event. Our first in-person event on October 8th drew 150 participants and featured a renowned panel of speakers who set a high standard of thoughtfulness for our ongoing work, including our ongoing public discussions. This event will launch the third EdFunders research paper, highlighting the “priorities for the next new administration” that flow out of it.
The Initiative’s research identified six priority areas on which the new leadership of the Department of Education should focus to build on the achievements of the current administration and develop new ways to address long-term racial and socio-economic achievement gaps among students. This event is the occasion on which we will publicly announce and, for the first time, discuss these six priority areas. Our goal for the day’s proceedings is to concentrate on these priority areas, with particular attention to those in which a shift in policies may be involved.
Our key question to date has been: how can we improve on what's working in NYC? Now we will re-center attention to how to move change throughout the system.
- Within the priority areas, which broad policies must be changed? Why? How?
- How can the next administration make sure the policies set at the top are implemented as anticipated — and with the anticipated impact — throughout the system?
Our panel will include two current or former superintendents who have successfully achieved system change as well as a speaker who can address potential systemic changes in New York City from a broad community perspective. We are in the process of confirming our final presenter, but the confirmed panelists are:
- Garth Harries, Superintendent, New Haven Public Schools
- Pedro Noguera, Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education, New York University
- Shael Polakow-Suransky, Chief Academic Officer and Senior Deputy Chancellor, NYC Department of Education
- David Steiner (Moderator), Dean, Hunter College School of Education; Founding Director, CUNY Institute for Education Policy
- Ocynthia Williams, Parent Leader, Coalition for Educational Justice; Community Organizer, Highbridge Community Life Center
The event will feature introductory remarks by Merryl H. Tisch, Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents.