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Listening Sessions

The culminating objective of the first phase of the Education Funders Research Initiative, which ended in January 2014, was to meet with the new leadership of the New York City Department of Education and present the initiative’s three research papers and Six Priorities. Leaders of EdFunders had their first meeting with Chancellor Fariña in February 2014. It focused on the Six Priorities and their alignment with the reform strategies of the Department, which were still being formulated at the time.

Over the next six months, Chancellor Fariña and members of her leadership team communicated regularly with Philanthropy New York. PNY hosted an informal discussion with the Chancellor and key deputies in the Spring of 2014, welcoming dozens of funders in an open forum for all PNY members (beyond the group of 16 funders associated with the EdFunders project). 

Over the following months, the EdFunders group continued discussions with DoE leaders and determined that the most positive contribution the initiative could have over the coming year would be to facilitate substantial, structured conversations among education practitioners (principals, teachers, education support and advocacy organization leaders, and parent leaders), Department of Education staff, funders and education experts about the Six Priorities. These “Listening Sessions” aimed to provide an opportunity for practitioners to come together and talk frankly about how they are meeting the challenges they face daily and to inform funders and policymakers about their perceptions, needs and insights from the ground. 

Following months of planning, two Listening Sessions occurred in the Fall of 2014, and a third Listening Session occured in January 2015. Each was moderated by Robert Hughes, President of New Visions for Public Schools.

 

October 7, 2014 – Listening Session #1: College and Career Readiness

Key Takeaways and Actions to Consider
Full Meeting Notes

Discussion leaders: 
Lisa Castillo Richmond, Executive Director, Graduate NYC!
Susan Knight, Founding Director of College and Career Services at Urban Assembly School for Law and Justice, panelist
James O’Neal, Co-founder and Executive Director, Legal Outreach, Inc., panelist
Hilary Pennington, Vice-president of the Ford Foundation
Jon Roure, Director, CBI, Young Women’s Leadership Network, panelist
Robert Hughes (moderator), President of New Visions for Public Schools

Resources:

 

November 12, 2014 – Listening Session #2: Common Core

Key Takeaways and Actions to Consider
Full Meeting Notes

Discussion leaders:
Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education, Stanford Graduate School of Education
Chris Hernandez, Science Teacher, Robert F. Wagner Middle School, panelist
Patrick McGillicuddy, Principal, East Brooklyn Community High School (EBCHS), panelist 
Rosemery Milczewski, Math Teacher, Flushing International High School, panelist
Allison Newman, Director, SCO Family of Services at East Brooklyn Community High School, panelist
Pedro Noguera, Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education, New York University
James Short, Director, Gottesman Center for Science Teaching and Learning, American Museum of Natural History, panelist
Claire Sylvan, President, International Network for Public Schools, panelist
Robert Hughes (moderator), President of New Visions for Public Schools

Resources:

 

January 21, 2015 – Listening Session #3: Literacy and Early Learning

Key Takeaways and Actions to Consider
Full Meeting Notes

This Listening Session is in the planning stages. Confirmed discussion leaders include:
Nell Duke, Professor of Literacy, Language and Culture, University of Michigan
Sarah Walzer, CEO, Parent-Child Home Program
Bernadette Fitzgerald, Principal, P.S. 503: The School of Discovery
Chanda Hill, Assistant Executive Director Program Services, SCO Family of Services
Tala Manassah, Deputy Executive Director, Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility

Resources:

 

If you are an education practitioner, funder or policy leader working on education issues and want to learn about future EdFunders project, please contact Michael Hamill Remaley.