The Education Divide: Inequity in the Age of COVID-19
May 6, 2020
The NYU DC community hosted a virtual discussion on equity in education and education reform, with special attention to the topic considering the current COVID-19 pandemic. This event was organized with the goal of bringing attention to the inequalities in the United States K-12 education system that prevent higher education as an opportunity for all. These inequalities have become even more apparent, such as access to technology, with the onset of the virus and the differences in resources to create remote learning environments state-by-state. This event included discussions on possible solutions to eliminate these inequalities and ideas to better prepare school systems for future, similar extenuating circumstances. This conversation sought to raise awareness of those children and young adults who the U.S. education system has left behind, still leaves behind, and will continue to leave behind unless action is taken and unless we as a society create paths for them to succeed.
Panelists for the program included Dr. Martha Kanter, Executive Director of the College Promise Campaign; current Senior Fellow at NYU Steinhardt's Institute for Higher Education Policy, Dr. Tiffany Jones, Senior Director of Higher Education Policy, The Education Trust, Dr. David Kirkland, Executive Director, NYU Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools; Associate Professor of English and Urban Education, NYU Steinhardt, and Dr. Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng, Associate Professor, International Education, NYU Steinhardt. Serving as moderator and creator of this event was former DC Dialogues Executive Board Student Member, Brianna Hall.
This event was free and open to everyone. Registration was required in order to receive log-in information for the webinar. This webinar may have been recorded.
Dr. Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng, Associate Professor, International Education, NYU Steinhardt
Dr. Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng is a sociologist whose scholarly and community-based work focuses on the social lives of marginalized youth. His interests include comparative perspectives on race/ethnicity (with a focus on China and the US), immigrant adaptation, and social capital within the school and educational context. As such, his research examines the social relationships in the lives of minority and immigrant adolescents in the US, gender and ethnic differences in education in China, and cultural and social capital transfers between adolescents in the US. His scholarship has appeared in journals such as American Educational Research Journal, Educational Researcher, Social Forces, and Social Science Research. Cherng received his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania and Bachelor's from MIT, and he has taught in a public middle school in San Francisco and a college in rural China.
Dr. Tiffany Jones, Senior Director of Higher Education Policy, The Education Trust
Tiffany Jones directs the higher education policy team at The Education Trust, where she promotes legislation to improve access, affordability, and success for low-income students and students of color. Central to this work is supporting equity- and student-centered accountability and affordability policies at the state and federal levels.
Tiffany and her team design and promote policy to make higher education more affordable, hold colleges accountable, and invest in student success. Tiffany advises federal and state policy makers, convenes national working groups of civil rights and ed reform advocates, and supports emerging equity coalitions in several states. Dr. Jones has published for public, policy, and academic audiences her recommendations on how higher education policy and practices impact college success for low-income students and students of color. Her work has been featured in places like the New York Times, CNN, and NPR, and in her book, Can equity be bought? Outcomes Based Funding for Racial Equity, she introduces a framework for prioritizing equity issues in higher education accountability systems. Other recent publications include A Guide to Statewide Attainment Goals for Racial Equity Advocates, A Framework for Equitable Free College Programs, and Outcomes-Based Funding and Race in Higher Education.
Before joining Ed Trust, Tiffany led the higher ed work at the Southern Education Foundation, where she partnered with Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions to advance student success and engage in analysis of federal and state policies (such as performance- and outcomes-based funding) using an equity lens. Prior to her time at SEF, Jones was a dean’s fellow at the Center for Urban Education at the University of Southern California, where she helped advance the equity scorecard in Minority-Serving Institutions and urban high schools.
A Michigan native, Tiffany holds a Ph.D. in Urban Education Policy from the University of Southern California, a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a bachelor’s degree in Family Studies and English from Central Michigan University.
Dr. Martha Kanter, Executive Director, College Promise Campaign; Senior Fellow, NYU Steinhardt
Dr. Martha Kanter leads the College Promise Campaign, a national initiative to increase college access, affordability, quality, and completion in American higher education, starting in America’s community colleges. She is also a Senior Fellow at New York University’s Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy. She specializes in policy efforts to identify and apply innovative, evidence-based education interventions, financing models, and behavioral incentives to raise America’s high school and college graduation rates. From 2009-2013, Dr. Kanter served as the U.S. Under Secretary of Education, overseeing all federal postsecondary statutory, regulatory, and administrative policies and programs, including the $175B annual federal student aid programs, higher education, adult education, career-technical education, international education, and 6 White House Initiatives. From 1993-2009, she was president of De Anza College and then chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District in Silicon Valley, California. She began her career as an alternative high school teacher in Lexington, MA. Dr. Kanter holds a B.A. degree in Sociology from Brandeis University, an M.Ed. from Harvard University, and an Ed.D. from the University of San Francisco.
Dr. David Kirkland, Executive Director, NYU Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools; Associate Professor of English and Urban Education, NYU Steinhardt
Dr. David E. Kirkland is the Executive Director of The NYU Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and The Transformation of Schools. He has also been described as an activist and educator, cultural critic and author. A leading national scholar and advocate for educational justice, Dr. Kirkland's transdisciplinary scholarship explores a variety of equity related topics: school climate and discipline; school integration and choice; culture and education; vulnerable learners; and intersections among race, gender, and education. With many groundbreaking publications to his credit, he has analyzed the cultures, languages, and texts of urban youth, using quantitative, critical literary, ethnographic, and sociolinguistic research methods to answer complex questions at the center of equity and social justice in education. Dr. Kirkland taught middle and high school for several years in Michigan. He’s also organized youth empowerment and youth mentoring programs for over a decade in major U.S. cities such as Detroit, Chicago and New York. He currently leads efforts to enhance education options for vulnerable youth throughout New York City, and beyond. Dr. Kirkland has received many awards for his research and educational advocacy work, including the 2016 AERA Division G Mid-Career Scholars Award, the 2008 AERA Division G Outstanding Dissertation Award. He was a 2009-10 Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, a 2011-12 NAEd/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, and is a former fellow of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Research Foundation's “Cultivating New Voices among Scholars of Color” program. In addition to several other boards, he currently serves as a trustee for the Research Foundation of the National Council of Teachers of English. A Search Past Silence: The Literacy of Black Males, the fifth book that Dr. Kirkland has authored, is a TC Press bestseller and winner of the 2015 Daniel E. Griffiths Research Award, the 2014 AESA Critics Choice Award, and the 2014 NCTE David H. Russell Award for Distinguished Research in the Teaching of English. He is also co-editor of the newly released Students Right to Their Own Language, a critical sourcebook published by Bedford/St. Martins Press. Named by Ebony magazine as one of the most brilliant scholars in the U.S., Dr. Kirkland has been a pivotal intellectual voice promoting educational justice in the U.S. and abroad.
Brianna Hall is an NYU first year Liberal Studies student studying away at NYU Washington, DC. In fall 2019, she was a member of the DC Dialogues Executive Board. She is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and plans to major in Education and Psychology. Some things she is passionate about include education reform, politics, and environmental protection. She also enjoys meeting new people and having good discussions. She is excited to have these amazing speakers take part in NYU DC's virtual programming for the spring 2020 semester.
DC Dialogues is a student-led initiative created to engage the NYU DC community in key discussions on politics, culture, business, environment, education – and more. Through active participation from the student body, DC Dialogues will convene prominent experts of various perspectives to discuss matters most captivating to students.