Community and school leaders from across the region came together at the College of Education’s Distinguished Lecture Series Tuesday evening to discuss new ways to partner with each other.
The superintendents of the area’s three urban school districts—Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton—exchanged ideas with each other and with nearly 30 local educators, business and non-profit leaders, and parents during the hour-long roundtable discussion. Topics ranged from training development to community outreach and resource allocation.
It was the latest effort by Lehigh’s College of Education to partner with the Lehigh Valley’s educational leaders to tackle some of the region’s most pressing challenges, both within schools and in the communities they serve.
Featured guest Martin Blank praised the area’s commitment to urban education, particularly Lehigh’s effort with the United Way and the Bethlehem Area School District to develop a community school at Broughal Middle School. Blank, president of the Institute for Educational Leadership, works with urban centers across the country to help make schools the center of their communities.
Lehigh’s Center for Developing Urban Educational Leadership, or CDUEL, is one of the few research centers in the country with a duel focus on urban education and school leadership, says George White, moderator of the roundtable discussion and a professor of educational leadership at Lehigh. CDUEL has built relationships with urban centers such as Philadelphia, where its Philadelphia High School Leadership Program has earned national attention.
CDUEL hosted this year’s Distinguished Lecture Series, where a team of nationally recognized school leaders participated in both the roundtable discussion as well as a series of lectures titled, “Urban Education: Leadership that Makes a Difference.”
Each of the guests took time to speak to Lehigh about what they believe are the most important opportunities facing the nation’s inner-city schools. Watch their videos:
• Richard Barth, CEO of the KIPP Foundation, a national charter school organization located in urban neighborhoods across the country
• Karen Kolski, assistant regional superintendent in The School District of Philadelphia
• Floyd Beachum, the Bennett Professor of Urban School Leadership at Lehigh, and
• Martin Blank