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Education Forums, Sept. 2018

90.5 WESA hosted a series of forums on topics related to elementary and secondary education in Western Pennsylvania in September, 2018.

The four events were free and open to the public, and were generously supported by The Grable Foundation.

Sep. 4, 2018: Schools & Immigration
What are the needs of immigrant and refugee students in Western PA? What challenges do their families face? What is a school's responsibility in regard to educating immigrant students? How can schools better support immigrant students?

Hosted by 90.5 WESA's race, identity and equity reporter, Virginia Alvino Young

Jenna Baron, Executive Director of Alliance for Refugee Youth Support & Education.
Betty Cruz, Founder of Change Agency
Jackie Perlow of Education Law Center of PA
Nichole Rojas, ESL K-12 Program Specialist, Moon Area School District 

Sep. 11, 2018: How Do We Prepare Today's Learners for Future Jobs?
With so much emphasis on making, educators are concerned that districts will funnel funding to STEM and not prioritize humanities. The push for maker spaces in schools was fueled by fear of not knowing what future jobs will be. Educators decided that critical thinking was the most important skill to build and translate to many fields. What other ways should we prepare learners who don't show an interest in coding or making? 

Hosted by 90.5 WESA's education reporter Sarah Schneider

Justin Aglio, Director of Academic Achievement (K-4) and District Innovation at Montour School District  Maria Kalevitch, Dean of the School of Engineering, Mathematics and Science and Acting Associate Provost for Innovation at Robert Morris University
Alison Treaster, Director of Workforce Business Engagement, the Allegheny Conference on Community Development

Listen to the forum on the future of jobs for students.

Sep. 18, 2018: School Choice
A look into the future of school choice in PA and how the school savings account bill could drastically change choices.

Hosted by 90.5 WESA All Things Considered host Christopher Ayers

Ron Sofo, President and CEO of City Charter High School
Ron Cowell, President of the Education Policy and Leadership Center
Catherine Augustine, Director of the RAND Corporation’s Pittsburgh office

Listen to the forum on school choice.

September 25, 2018: School Safety
What measures do schools take to keep students and communities safe? What are the unintended consequences of changed or increased security? What is the difference between protection and policing? What are school police officers meant to do?

Hosted by 90.5 WESA's education reporter, Sarah Schneider

Aaron Vanatta, Police officer at Quaker Valley, Regional Director of National Association of School Resource Officers, Regional Director, Friends of Safe Schools USA-PA
Mica Lee Williams, Policy Program Associate with ACLU Pittsburgh
Nia Arrington, Graduate of the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts High School and co-founder of the Pittsburgh-based Youth Power Collective
Angel Gober, Education Justice Organizer for the Education Rights Network a campaign of One PA

Listen to the forum on school safety.