Urban Education Symposium Provides New Perspectives on Educational Inequality
On February 22, Grinnell College will host a symposium on urban education comprised of three events. All of the events, which are listed below, are free and open to the public.
- Noon, Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101 (lunch provided)
- School Segregation in the 21st Century: Conflicts over Education Equality and Community Control
- Presented by Rachel Moskowitz ’06, assistant professor of public policy and law at Trinity College in Connecticut.
- 4 p.m., Rosenfield Center, Room 101 (refreshments provide)
- Inside the Urban Classroom
- Presented by a panel of alumni urban educators: Emily Kugisaki ’09, Anna Taylor ’06, and Erin Whalen ’12.
- 7:30 p.m., Harris Center Cinema
- Keynote address: Focusing on the Role of Inequality and Segregation in Public Education
- Delivered by Nikole Hannah-Jones, a 2017 MacArthur "Genius" Award recipient.
- Assistant professor of education Stephanie Jones will lead a question-and-answer period following Hannah-Jones' talk.
This symposium's main sponsors are the Grinnell College Education Professions Career Community within the Center for Careers, Life, and Service and the Rosenfield Program. Additional support comes from the Education Department, the Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies Department, and the Political Science Department.
Rachel Moskowitz ’06
Moskowitz is an assistant professor of public policy & law at Trinity College. She earned her doctorate in political science from Northwestern University in 2015. Her research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of public policy, political behavior, education, race, and urban politics. In her current research, Moskowitz studies critical issues in educational policy and politics, including equality, community, and segregation. She explores how the role of local political context affects the way the public both understands those questions and determines their policy preferences about them. Before graduate school, she worked in both secondary education and politics. She taught high school social studies in Richmond, Calif. through Teach for America. She also worked as a field organizer for the 2008 Obama campaign in Iowa and served as legislative clerk in the Iowa House of Representatives.
Emily Kugisaki ’09
Kugisaki is a National-Board-certified seventh-grade language arts teacher at Denny International Middle School in the Seattle Public Schools, and she facilitates her school’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance. She graduated from Grinnell College with a degree in philosophy and completed the College’s teacher licensure program with an endorsement in 5-12 social studies. Emily obtained her masters of education from the University of Washington in 2012 in the area of curriculum and instruction.
Erin Whalen ’12
Whalen has pursued a career in education in Miami, Florida, through Teach for America where he taught all grade levels and sections of middle school English. After serving as a TFA member advisor, he began teaching at KIPP: Sol in East Los Angeles where he was selected to engage in the KIPP Teacher-Leader program. Whalen worked with fellow teacher Kari Croft alongside students, families, and community partners to develop concepts for RISE High, a school devoted to meeting the complex needs of youth in foster care or experiencing housing instability. After submitting their ideas to the XQ Super Schools Competition, Whalen and Croft won $10 million to begin RISE High School, which now has two fully functioning sites in the Los Angeles Area. Whalen is now the founding assistant principal of RISE, working with students and staff to rethink American education to provide equity for those frequently written out of the larger educational narrative.
Anna McNulty Taylor '06
McNulty Taylor has worked as a teacher, literacy specialist, and instructional coach in St. Louis City for the past 11 school years. As a beginning ELA teacher, she recognized that opportunity gaps are frequently rooted in literacy. She works to address this challenge through direct work with students, teachers, and district administrators. As a high school English teacher, Taylor was twice awarded St. Louis Public Schools’ Pettus Award for Excellence in teaching. In 2009, she received the Sumner Alumni Association’s Teacher of the Year Award. Taylor has earned an masters in education in curriculum and instruction and a reading specialist credential through the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She recently founded a grant-funded literacy clinic through the University of Missouri-St. Louis to train reading specialists to tutor students. She and her spouse are active members of committees and Parent-Teacher Organizations at their two young children’s schools, working to build excellent educational programs that are accessible to the diverse city they’ve chosen to call home.
Hannah-Jones covers racial injustice for The New York Times Magazine. She has written extensively on the history of racism, school resegregation, and the disarray of hundreds of desegregation orders, as well as the decades-long failure of the federal government to enforce the landmark 1968 Fair Housing Act. She has received numerous awards including, in 2017, a National Magazine Award, the Hillman Prize for Magazine Journalism, and the MacArthur Genius Grant.