Reimagining Education

CEAM sets first ‘Community Conversations’ event

Improving education in Missouri is a complex issue.


Many Missouri families and community stakeholders have little or inaccurate information about how ideas like charter schools or Empowerment Scholarship Accounts work or how they would impact their community.

So CEAM is bringing the debate over how to reimagine our education system into communities across Missouri with a planned series of “Community Conversations” focused on specific and current education issues. These events will feature national, regional, and local education experts sharing their knowledge and answering questions from the community.

The kick-off Community Conversation will feature Thomas B. Fordham Institute President Mike Petrilli and a panel of local education experts and school leaders discussing how charter school expansion would impact education in St. Louis County. The event is open to the public and will be held on Wednesday, June 5 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Vue 17 in Clayton.

Mike Petrilli is president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, executive editor of Education Next, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow for Education Commission of the States. An award-winning writer, he is the author of The Diverse Schools Dilemma, and editor of Education for Upward Mobility. Petrilli has published opinion pieces in the New York TimesWashington PostWall Street JournalBloomberg View, and Slate, and appears frequently on television and radio. Petrilli helped to create the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement, the Policy Innovators in Education Network, and, long, long ago, Young Education Professionals. He serves on the advisory boards of the Association of American Educators, MDRC, and Texas Aspires. He lives with his family in Bethesda, Maryland.

Petrilli will be joined by a growing panel of St. Louis area education experts including St. Louis University Dean of the School of Education Gary Ritter, Northside Community School founding Principal Stella Erondu, and The Opportunity Trust Executive in Residence Marcus Robinson.

Robinson was previously the CEO for the Memphis Education Fund and has a long history of starting and leading successful charter schools in Indianapolis.

Erondu worked in the St. Louis Public Schools for more than 20 years, before becoming the founding principal at North Side Community School where her leadership has made the school one of the best in the St. Louis region.

Ritter earned a Ph.D. in Education Policy in 2000 from the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests include volunteer tutoring programs, program evaluation, standards-based and accountability-based school reform, racial segregation in schools, the impact of pre-school care on school readiness, and school finance.

Additional panelists will be announced in the coming weeks.

Make sure you don’t miss this great opportunity to learn more about charter schools and how they can work with traditional school districts to help the students of St. Louis County.

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