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Engaging Communities in Education Renewal

Nov. 11, 2008 – “Teaching and leading for social justice are not just about what teachers do in classrooms and schools, but also how they think about their work, how they interpret what’s happening, and how they raise questions and pose problems of practice,” says Marilyn Cochran-Smith.

Cochran-Smith, who is the John E. Cawthorne professor of education and director of the doctoral program in curriculum and instruction at Boston College, is a nationally renowned scholar on teacher education. She will deliver a keynote address titled “Teaching for Social Justice: What’s Accountability Got to Do with It?” at the Utah Education Policy Forum, to be held Nov. 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the 23rd Floor Event Center in the Wells Fargo Center, 299 S. Main St. in Salt Lake City. Media are welcome. See below for an agenda.

The forum, which is co-hosted by the Utah Education Policy Center (UEPC) and the Utah Council of Education Deans (UCED), will include research panelists discussing a range of important topics, including: promoting success in the early years; increasing and diversifying the teacher and leadership workforce; sustaining the preschool through college pipeline; and promoting innovative strategies to support student learning and achievement. Panel participants on these issues include experts and researchers from across Utah’s Higher Education institutions and the State Board of Regents. Christine Kearl, deputy for education, will also share Governor Huntsman’s priorities for education in the state.

“The forum provides a unique opportunity for education scholars across the state to engage with state and local policy makers, educational, business and civic leaders, and practitioners to discuss timely and relevant educational policy issues in ways that promote collaboration and innovation,” says Andrea Rorrer, director of the UEPC. The UEPC’s role is to inform educational policy in Utah and the region by identifying relevant issues related to educational access and equity both in public and higher education and engaging in timely and rigorous research, evaluations and analysis. “The UEPC bridges research, policy and practice. To do this, the Utah Education Policy Center serves as a resource on current educational issues and provides research-based evidence for educational leaders, policy makers and other organizations interested in informing and improving educational policy and practice,” notes Rorrer.

The Utah Education Policy Forum is the second annual event for the UEPC and UCED and will feature Marilyn Cochran-Smith as the keynote speaker.

Marilyn Cochran-Smith is the John E. Cawthorne professor of education and director of the doctoral program in curriculum and instruction at Boston College. An active researcher and participant in the national and international educational research communities, Cochran-Smith is the immediate past-president of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and co-chair of AERA’s National Panel on Research and Teacher Education. Cochran-Smith has written many award-winning articles and books on diversity in teaching and teacher education, teacher research, teacher learning and competing agendas for education reform, including: Policy, Practice and Politics in Teacher Education: Editorials from the Journal of Teacher Education (2006); Walking the Road: Race, Diversity and Social Justice in Teacher Education; and Inside/Outside: Teacher Research and Knowledge (2003), which was the winner of the 1995 AACTE Award for Excellence in Professional Writing in Teaching and Teacher Education.

8:00 – 8:30

Registration and Check-In

8:30 – 8:45

Welcome and Introductions: Andrea Rorrer and Carol Strong

8:45 – 9:00

Governor Huntsman’s Priorities: Christine Kearl, Governor Huntsman’s deputy for education

9:00 – 10:00

Keynote: Marilyn Cochran-Smith

10:00 – 10:30

Question and Answer

10:30 – 10:45


10:45 – 11:45

Panel: Promoting Success in Schools

11:45 – 12:00

Lunch Break

12:00 – 1:30

Lunch Panel and Discussion Activity: Increasing and Diversifying our Teacher and Leadership Workforce

1:30 – 1:45


1:45 – 2:45

Panel: Sustaining the Educational Pipeline

2:45 – 3:00


3:00 – 4:00

Panel: Promoting Innovative Strategies to Support Student Learning and Achievement


Closing Remarks