High-Quality PreK–3rd in the Age of Common Core

Monday, February 6, 2012
Erikson Institute, Chicago, IL

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As Common Core State Standards and PreK–12 alignment shape school reform, high-quality PreK–3rd should be viewed as a critical first link in the full educational continuum.

But how can we avoid false dichotomies such as early childhood education emphasizing “soft” social-emotional skills and K–12 being narrowly focused on academic “rigor” and content? Rigor and responsiveness can be part of early childhood — as well as later grades.

This forum was hosted by Erikson’s New Schools Project and Herr Research Center for Children and Social Policy, with thanks to the Joyce Foundation for its generous support.

Video

The video player below includes presentations from keynote speaker Cybele Raver, Charles Payne, Stephen Zrike, Chris Maxwell, Jennifer Cheatham, John Price, Jie-Qi Chen, and Gillian McNamee. See below to download presentation slides and for a full agenda and speaker biographies.

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Agenda

Welcome, Forum Overview, and Introductions

Chris Maxwell, Director, New Schools Project, Erikson Institute
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PreK–3rd Grade: The Critical First Link in the Educational Continuum

Jennifer Cheatham, Chief Instruction Officer, Chicago Public Schools
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Moving Beyond False Educational Dichotomies

Socioemotional and Academic Connections: Successful PreK–3rd Transitions

Cybele Raver, Director, Institute of Human Development and Social Change, New York University
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Respondents:

From the Perspective of Family, Community, and Culture

Charles Payne, Frank P. Hixon Distinguished Service Professor, School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago
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From the Perspective of a School Administrator

Stephen Zrike, Chief of Elementary Schools, Pilsen–Little Village Network, Chicago Public Schools
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Standards, Alignment, and Young Children: Meeting the Challenges of High-Quality PreK–3rd

How Can We Avoid Placing the Burden on Young Children?

John Price, Deputy Chief, Ravenswood-Ridge Network, Chicago Public Schools
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What Does Rigorous and Responsive PreK–3rd Look Like?

Jie-Qi Chen, Professor and Principal Investigator, Early Mathematics Education Project, Erikson Institute
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Sarah E. Dennis, Professional Development Facilitator, New Schools Project, Erikson Institute
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Wrap Up: High-Quality PreK–3rd in the Age of Common Core

Gillian Dowley McNamee, Professor and Director of Teacher Education, Erikson Institute
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Speaker Biographies

Jennifer Cheatham
Chief Instruction Officer, Chicago Public Schools

Dr. Cheatham’s expertise lies in developing instructional alignment and coherence across urban school systems to achieve breakthrough results in student learning. She has worked as a chief area officer for Chicago Public Schools, the executive director of curriculum and instruction for San Diego City Schools, and a professional developer for the Bay Area School Reform Collaborative (BASRC). She holds a master’s in education from the University of Michigan, and a master’s and doctorate in education from Harvard University.

Jie-Qi Chen
Professor and Principal Investigator, Early Mathematics Education Project, Erikson Institute

Dr. Chen is a Fulbright Senior Specialist and an applied child development specialist whose work focuses on cognitive development, multiple intelligences theory, classroom assessment, early mathematics education, and school-based intervention. Dr. Chen earned her Ph.D. from Tufts University and received post-doctoral training with Howard Gardner at Harvard University.

Sarah E. Dennis
Professional Development Facilitator, New Schools Project, Erikson Institute

Dr. Dennis designs and delivers PreK–3rd grade teacher professional development and coaching through the New Schools Project. She has more than 10 years of experience as an instructional coach across community-based preschool, Head Start, and public school settings. Dr. Dennis earned a master’s degree in literacy and a Ph.D. in teaching and learning at New York University.

Chris Maxwell
Director, New Schools Project, Erikson Institute

Dr. Maxwell has directed the New Schools Project since 2009. She previously served as a professor of early childhood teacher education at Winthrop University and the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Most recently, she was a curriculum coordinator and principal in the Milwaukee Public Schools. Dr. Maxwell earned her Ph.D. in childhood education at Florida State University.

Gillian Dowley McNamee
Professor and Director of Teacher Education, Erikson Institute

Dr. McNamee works closely with Erikson’s early childhood teacher candidates as they prepare for their educational careers, and provides long-term consultation to teachers in schools. She is the author of books on early literacy and assessment for teaching and learning. Dr. McNamee earned a Ph.D. in education, specializing in reading and language, from Northwestern University.

Charles Payne
Frank P. Hixon Distinguished Service Professor, School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago

Dr. Payne’s interests include urban education and school reform,
social inequality, social change, and modern African American history. His recent books include So Much Reform, So Little Change and Teach Freedom: The African American Tradition of Education for Liberation. Dr. Payne served as the acting executive director of Chicago’s Woodlawn Children’s Promise Community in 2010–11. He holds a doctorate in sociology from Northwestern University.

John Price
Deputy Chief, Ravenswood-Ridge Network, Chicago Public Schools

Mr. Price is a career educator who has taught in California and Chicago. In the Chicago Public Schools, he served as principal of Audubon Elementary School from 2006 to 2011. Under his leadership, Audubon became a model of inclusive schooling practices for children with significant disabilities. The school was awarded a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Award for School Improvement in 2011 for
its overall academic performance. Mr. Price earned his undergraduate degree from Stanford University and a master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Cybele Raver
Director, Institute of Human Development and Social Change,
and Director, Children’s Self-Regulation Lab, New York University

Dr. Raver examines the mechanisms that support children’s self-regulation in the contexts of poverty and social policy, and regularly advises local and federal agencies on promoting school readiness among low-income children. She and her research team also study self-regulation among older children in classroom contexts. Dr. Raver earned her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Yale University.

Stephen Zrike
Chief of Elementary Schools, Pilsen-Little Village Network, Chicago Public Schools

Dr. Zrike leads a Chicago Public Schools network of 26 schools. He previously served as principal of several Boston public schools, including turn-around principal for the William Blackstone Elementary School. Dr. Zrike holds both a master’s degree in education and a doctorate in the Urban Superintendents Program from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

About Erikson

Erikson Institute is the nation’s only graduate school to focus exclusively on child development from birth to age eight. Erikson brings
the newest scientific knowledge and theories of children’s development and learning into graduate education, professional training, community programs, and policy making.

Erikson’s New Schools Project partners with principals and teachers
in Chicago Public Schools to establish effective learning environments for children in prekindergarten through third-grade classrooms. The New Schools Project is supported by the McCormick Foundation, Joyce Foundation, W. Clement and Jesse V. Stone Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation, Perkins Hunter Foundation Fund at The Chicago Community Trust, and Chicago Public Schools.

Herr Research Center for Children and Social Policy conducts original research, evaluations, and analysis to inform, guide, and support effective early childhood policy. The center was launched with a major gift from the Jeffrey Herr family. It has since been supported by the Jeffery Herr family, McCormick Foundation, Joyce Foundation, Spencer Foundation, and the Children’s Initiative, a project of the Pritzker Family Foundation.