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Nationally Known Scholar on Urban School Reform Calls for New Conversation on Academic Achievement Among Black Youth

BOSTON (March 11, 2009) — One of the nation's top scholars on urban school reform will call for an alternative approach to popular teaching strategies for Black children — nurturing their political and moral development to enhance their academic achievement — at a lecture series at Simmons College.

Charles Payne, the Frank P. Hixon Distinguished Service Professor in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago, will speak as part of four public lectures at the national "Race, Education and Democracy" forum, March 18 & 19 and April 6 & 7 at Simmons College in Boston. Payne's lectures, sponsored by Simmons College and Beacon Press, will take place from 4-6 p.m. in the Linda K. Paresky Conference Center, third floor of the Main College Building at Simmons College, 300 The Fenway in Boston. Admission is free.

Payne is nationally recognized for his groundbreaking work on urban school reform and social equality, and is the award-winning author of "I've Got the Light of Freedom," "So Much Reform, So Little Change: The Persistence of Failure in Urban Schools" and "Teach Freedom: Education for Liberation in the African American Tradition."

Payne's first lecture, on March 18, is "Education for Liberation, Part I — Rationale." His second lecture, on March 19, is "Education for Liberation, Part II — Teaching the Black Freedom Struggle."
 
His other lectures are "Supporting the Achievement and Development of Black Boys," April 6, and "The Role of Social Support in the Achievement and Development of Urban Youth," April 7. For more information visit, http://www.raceandeducation.com/

Payne is co-founder of the Duke Curriculum Project, which involves university faculty in the professional development of public school teachers. He is co-founder of the John Hope Franklin Scholars, a Saturday college preparatory academy. He is one of the founders of the Education for Liberation Network, which encourages the development of educational initiatives that help young people think critically about social issues and develop their own capacity to address these issues. With the support of the Carnegie Corporation, he is conducting a study of school reform and social inequality in other countries.

Each year, the Simmons College/Beacon Press lecture and book series brings a nationally recognized scholar to Simmons to deliver several lectures, in order to address contemporary understandings and practices in education which either undermine or affirm the link between public education and participatory democracy. The talks are followed by discussions among education and civic leaders on topics as varied as establishing friendships across the racial divide, and exploring history and research that contradict common misconceptions that African Americans do not value education.

Beacon Press, a historical, highly respected independent publisher based in Boston, will eventually publish the lectures as a book. Beacon Press has published numerous groundbreaking books on a wide range of societal issues, notably Cornel West's "Race Matters," as well as dozens of highly acclaimed works in the field of education.

Theresa Perry, Ed.D., lecture series director and Simmons College professor of Africana studies and education, said the series was conceived "to reestablish for the public the historic connection between public education and the possibility of a robust democracy, against the backdrop of the issue of race in America." The series is funded in part by the Lowell Institute.

To register, visit www.raceandeducation.com or call 617-521-2257.

(Photo: Marc PoKempner)

 

 


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