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Lecture Series Focuses On Equality In Education

Posted on 8 February 2013 | 8:31 am

The need for equal, quality education for all is the focus of a two-day lecture series at the College of Charleston hosted by the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance. The lectures, on February 20 and 21, 2013, will provide a history of desegregation in Charleston and illustrate the need for continued educational reform in Charleston and across the country. This extended lecture series will also generate an important discussion about how the community can move forward in providing a quality education to all students. The series is free and open to the public. (Complete schedule below.)

Renowned historians of education James Anderson and Christopher Span, both from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will present “The History of Education and the Black Freedom Struggle: Resistance, Desegregation, and the Continued Struggle for Quality Education.”

“This lecture series will explain the important role Charleston played in shaping American education,” says Jon Hale, College of Charleston Assistant Professor of Educational History.  “While Charleston is home to activism that led to the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954 and desegregated schools, it is also the site of resistance that maintained a segregated system of education for a significant part of our community.”

Span will speak about the achievement gap—the statistical differentiation in academic achievement between white students and students of color—and how the history of segregation continues to impact the quality of education in poor and minority communities. Anderson will address the role of Affirmative Action in educational policy. Anderson has served as an expert witness for the Supreme Court and will share his insights about why this policy is considered controversial and why it continues to be challenged today.

Their visit also coincides with a panel commemorating the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of Charleston County public schools. Several of the very first students to desegregate white schools in Charleston will speak about their historic and often traumatic experiences. The lecture series is also part of the ongoing Jubilee Project hosted by the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World Program (CLAW), which is hosting various events, lectures, and panels to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Presentation Schedule:

“Addressing the Achievement Gap: Understanding Educational Inequality in American Education”

Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013

4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

School of Education, Health, and Human Performance Alumni Center (86 Wentworth)

“Fifty Years of Desegregation in Charleston: A Panel Discussion with the First Students to Desegregate South Carolina Schools”

Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013

11:00am – 12:30pm, School of Education, Health, and Human Performance Alumni Center

“Affirmative Action and the New Color Line: Fisher v. University of Texas and Public Discourse about Race in Educational Policy”

Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013

6:00pm – 7:30pm, Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture (125 Bull Street)

For more information, contact Jon Hale at 843.953.6354 or halejn@cofc.edu.

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