OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL: Pursuing Educational Equity in Michigan

is an opportunity to join together and put our students first. Through expert panels and conversations, we will explore existing inequities in Michigan public education and how we can overcome these challenges.

The event is free, but registration is required.

 

WHEN

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 16

9AM – NOON

WHERE

CHARLES H. WRIGHT MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY

315 E. WARREN AVE.

DETROIT, MI 48201

WHO

PARENTS, EDUCATORS, COMMUNITY LEADERS & EQUITY ADVOCATES

SCHEDULE

 TENTATIVE

9:00 AM WELCOME & OPENING REMARKS
9:15 AM PANEL: “Our struggle is for genuine equality;” Opportunities and Challenges around  an equitable public education in Michigan
 
 
10:00 AM KEYNOTE: JOHN B. KING, JR
   
10:30 AM INTERVIEW / Q&A WITH SECRETARY KING
 
  • John B. King, Jr., The Education Trust
  • Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press
 
10:55 AM PANEL: “The fierce urgency of now;” Putting Michigan on the path toward overcoming inequities
 
  • John B. King, Jr., The Education Trust
  • Nikolai Vitti, Detroit Public Schools Community District
  • Moderator: Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press

Additional Panelists To Be Announced

 
11:40 AM A CALL TO ACTION FOR EDUCATIONAL EQUITY & CLOSING REMARKS

Speakers

Additional Speakers to be Announced

John B. King, Jr.

John B. King Jr. is the president and CEO of The Education Trust, a national nonprofit organization that seeks to identify and close opportunity and achievement gaps, from preschool through college. King served in President Barack Obama’s cabinet as the 10th U.S. Secretary of Education. In tapping him to lead the U.S. Department of Education, President Obama called King “an exceptionally talented educator,” citing his commitment to “preparing every child for success” and his lifelong dedication to education as a teacher, principal, and leader of schools and school systems.

Before becoming education secretary, King carried out the duties of the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education, overseeing all policies and programs related to P-12 education, English learners, special education, and innovation. In this role, King also oversaw the agency’s operations. King joined the department following his tenure as the first African American and Puerto Rican to serve as New York State Education Commissioner.

King began his career in education as a high school social studies teacher in Puerto Rico and Boston, Mass., and as a middle school principal.

King’s life story is an extraordinary testament to the transformative power of education. Both of King’s parents were career New York City public school educators, whose example serves as an enduring inspiration. Both of King’s parents passed away from illness by the time he was 12 years old. He credits New York City public school teachers — particularly educators at P.S. 276 in Canarsie and Mark Twain Junior High School in Coney Island — for saving his life by providing him with rich and engaging educational experiences and by giving him hope for the future.

King holds a Bachelor of Arts in government from Harvard University, a J.D. from Yale Law School, as well as a Master of Arts in the teaching of social studies and a doctorate in education from Teachers College at Columbia University. King serves as a visiting professor at the University of Maryland’s College of Education and is a member of several boards, including those for The Century Foundation, The Robin Hood Foundation, Teach Plus, and the American Museum of Natural History. He also serves on several advisory boards, including Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative, the Rework America Task Force, the GOOD+ Foundation’s Fatherhood Leadership Council, and the National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement at the University of California.

King lives in Silver Spring, Md., with his wife (a former kindergarten and first-grade teacher) and his two daughters, who attend local public schools.You can follow King on Twitter via @JohnBKing.

Nikolai Vitti

Dr. Nikolai Vitti was appointed as Superintendent of Detroit Public Schools Community District on May 23, 2017. During Dr. Vitti’s first year, he immediately worked closely with the Detroit Board of Education by implementing a 100 day plan to evaluate, build a leadership team and begin the task of serving children and families of Detroit under a newly elected board for the first time in almost 15 years. Upon initial evaluation, the process of crafting and implementing a new strategic plan to build a foundation of processes and systems that are designed to improve the district, stabilize and increase enrollment and teacher recruitment, and raise student achievement are underway. Blueprint 2020, DPSCD’s Strategic Plan, provides the pathway, oversight and commitment made by Dr. Vitti, Board of Education, and all staff and faculty of the district.

Before arriving in Detroit, Dr. Vitti led Duval County Public Schools (DCPS), the 20th largest school district in the nation with approximately 130,000 enrolled students in 200 schools, and a fiscal budget of $1.7 billion. During his four and a half years at DCPS, the district ranked among the first to fourth highest performing urban districts in the nation on the National Assessment for Education Progress. In addition, the district’s graduation rates increased from 67 percent in 2012 to 78.8 percent in 2016, surpassing all Florida urban districts in African-American graduation rates. Under Dr. Vitti’s tenure, DCPS has been recognized for its expansion of the arts, foreign languages, innovative school programming, and mental health and progressive discipline strategies. Dr. Vitti also successfully secured more than $40 million in local philanthropy to transform the district’s historically lowest performing schools with a focus on human capital and technology infusion.

Dr. Vitti was previously chief academic officer of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, assistant superintendent for the Miami-Dade district and deputy chancellor at the Florida Department of Education. He also served children as a principal, dean of students, and teacher. He received a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in education from Wake Forest University. He also holds a master’s degree and a doctorate in education from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.