School Choice?: Julian & Jitu vs. Petrilli & Shayne @ #EdSummit17

Fasten your seat belts because the #TruthTrain is about to roll into A Better Chicago #EdSummit17 conversation. A Better Chicago, a foundation that seeks to “empower high performing nonprofits that are dramatically improving educational opportunities for low income Chicagoans,” is hosting a debate at its annual education summit on Thursday May 18, 2017 at Venue SIX10 610 South Michigan Avenue Chicago, IL. The event is invitation only.

A Better Chicago’s Education Summit convenes “Chicago’s business, civic, and academic leaders to explore how philanthropy can accelerate change and deliver a world-class education to every Chicagoan.”

The opening keynote speaker will be Wes Moore, an author, veteran, Rhodes Scholar, founder of BridgeEDU and CEO of The Robin Hood Foundation.

After the keynote, #EdSummit17 will host a Cambridge-style school choice debate at 4 pm CST.

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The debate will be moderated by Margaret “Macke” Raymond, who has served as founder and director of the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University since its inception in 1999. (Yes, that CREDO)

The debtors for and against the motion “Choice is essential to improving education in the US” are:

Julian Vasquez Heilig (against the motion) is an award-winning teacher, researcher, and blogger. He is currently a Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and the Director of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership at California State University Sacramento. He is a former charter school board member, volunteer, educator, parent and donor.

Jitu Brown (against the motion), married and father of one child, is the national director for the Journey for Justice Alliance (J4J). Jitu Brown was born on Chicago’s south side and is a product of Chicago’s public school system. Jitu started volunteering with the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO) in 1991, became a board member in 1993 and served as the Board president for a number of years. He joined the staff as education organizer in 2006. Jitu has organized in the Kenwood Oakland neighborhood for over 17 years bringing community voices to the table on school issues.

Mike Petrilli (for the motion) is president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, executive editor of Education Next, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow for Education Commission of the States.

Shayne Evans (for the motion) is a Founder and Managing Partner of The Academy Group. The Academy Group is a new enterprise designed to prepare extraordinary young people from under-resourced communities to own and operate successful companies nationwide; reduce economic disparities and; serve as a human capital engine, built on a sustainable business model, to unlock human potential at scale.

After the debate, the closing keynote speaker will be John B. King, former US Secretary of Education.

The hashtags for the event are #ABetterChicago and also #EdSummit17. We also have something very special planned during the event for social media… stay tuned.

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  • Hilda Rodriguez-Guzman

    As a founding public charter school parent in South Los Angeles, CA for 23 years! I’m here posting this commentary to tell you that I HAVE BEEN BAMBOOZLED by “public school choice” and many others have been as well! Be cautious of this so-called thing “choice”! The moment you have a problem with the public charter school not meeting the needs of ALL thier students which they promised to provide. We concerned parents very quickly become the ENEMY and are reminded that we’re at a school of “choice”! So if we’re not happy with the “choice” we made then we can take our kiddos to another school! Oh NO not this PARENT!!! When the charter school founders came into our South LA neighborhoods recruiting students in 1994 they promised US that ALL of our children would receive a quality education something that according to them “LAUSD FAILED” to provide US!!! They were our “SAVIORS”!!! 🙌🏼 Well this parent/taxpayer made a “CHOICE” to hold them accountable to my South LA community every step of the way! You don’t come in to my community and not expect to be held accountable! It hasn’t been easy to say the least especially when you’re in battle with a Founding CEO that’s very well connected and is backed 100% by CCSA & National Charter Schools Association. My personal experiences and truths speaks for themselves and I wil not be silenced! As Americans/taxpayers we have the unequivocal RIGHT to demand and expect that publicly funded schools a system of education that WE THE PEOPLE fund provide ALL children with a quality public education in our own neighborhoods!!! With that said, handle your business and expose the truth about this so-called “public school choice” and the morally, unethical privitization of public education as it’s fundamentally flawed and doesn’t serve ALL children it touts!!!


    • Hilda Rodriguez-Guzman

      Sorry, I made a mistake in my previous commentary I meant to say The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools not National Charter Schools Association. Thank you!


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