April 25 event to discuss 'Urban Education: Insights From America's Most Progressive Districts'

April 25 event to discuss ‘Urban Education: Insights From America’s Most Progressive Districts’

“Urban Education: Insights From America’s Most Progressive Districts” is the theme of the 10th annual Julian Parker Lecture hosted by the University of St. Thomas School of Education. Featured speakers and a panel discussion will begin at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 25, in Thornton Auditorium of Terrence Murphy Hall on the university’s campus in downtown Minneapolis

Guest speakers are Dr. Arlene Ackerman, former superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District, and Dr. Joseph Scherer, a former Minneapolis teacher who co-founded the District Management Council.  Their presentation is followed by a panel discussion by superintendents from three of the largest urban school districts in the Twin Cities metropolitan area: Dr. Meria Carstarphen, St. Paul Public Schools; Dr. William Green, Minneapolis Public schools; and Dr. Dennis Peterson, Minnetonka Public Schools. The panelists will react to the lecture and discuss opportunities and challenges facing Minnesota’s districts today. Calvin Walker, education chair of the Minneapolis NAACP, will moderate the discussion.

Ackerman, who has served in public education for more than 30 years, is a professor of practice and Christian A. Johnson Endowed Chair at Columbia University’s Teachers College. As superintendent of San Francisco schools she was credited with rising student achievement and renewed fiscal health in the public school system. She was named Superintendent of the Year by the National Alliance of Black Educators in 2005. She also had served as superintendent of the Washington, D.C., public schools.

In 2004 Scherer, a teacher and longtime school administrator, co-founded the District Management Council, an organization dedicated to helping school to districts discover practical results, showcase best practices and create opportunities for superintendents to learn from one another. A St. Thomas alumnus, he has been selected for the School of Education’s Wall of Fame.

The UST School of Education’s Julian Parker Lecture Series is named for the longtime chair of the Education Department and dean of the graduate school at Xavier University in New Orleans. Parker was a national leader on urban education and race relations. In the 1960s, he was instrumental in dealing with issues of race and diversity when he worked at St. Thomas in an exchange program between the nation’s historically black colleges and Minnesota’s private colleges.

The event begins with a 6:30 p.m. reception and a 7 p.m. presentation of the Minnesota Alliance of Black School Educators’ Excellence in Diversity Award and Azell Smith Memorial Scholarships.

The evening is free and open to the public, but reservations are requested. Make reservations online at https://www.stthomas.edu/education/events/julianparker  or call (651) 962-4983.