14th Annual MERC Conference

Public Education at a Crossroads: Connecting Voices of
Research, Policy, and Practice in a Changing World

October 17th, 2017
Chesterfield Career Technical Center
13900 Hull Street

Since the inception of public education in our country, advocates have argued that schools are critical to the success of our national economy, are the central mechanism for individual social and economic mobility, and provide the foundational knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary for informed citizenship within our multicultural democracy. Given the quickly changing political and social dynamics within our country, it is important that the community of public education come together to discuss how these changes create both challenges and opportunities for our ability to achieve the broad goals of public education. This includes consideration of changes to federal educational policies under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and its implementation under a new administration. The theme of this conference also suggests that the discussion around the direction of public education is one that benefits from the multiple voices representing a range of perspectives including students, teachers, parents, school leaders, researchers, and community partners. Each of these groups brings critical perspective and expertise to the conversation. We are at a point in time in which it is imperative that the community of public education come together to seek what is best for the future of our public schools, and how to best approach the current issues they are facing.

The goals of the conference are:

1. To bring multiple voices into one space to reflect on the issues facing our education system nationally and regionally.

2. To share examples of how educational research, policy and practice – and the intersections between them – can impact our public schools amidst the changing educational climate.

3. To share ideas, build community, and encourage research partnerships within and across stakeholder groups.

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