INDIANAPOLIS — This month Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, the IU School of Education at IUPUI and the Indianapolis Public Library will co-sponsor a series of three forums focusing on educational issues.
The series, “Conversations about Education,” starts tonight (March 6) and continues with events on Wednesday, March 13 and Wednesday, March 27.
Each of the three programs starts at 6 p.m. at the Indianapolis Central Library, 40 E. Saint Clair St. and is free and open to the public. WFYI public radio and television station and the Butler University College of Education are also co-sponsors of the series.
Tonight Glenda Ritz, Indiana’s new superintendent of public Instruction, will be center stage for “A Conversation with Glenda Ritz.” StateImpact Indiana reporter Kyle Stokes will ask questions and moderate an open discussion with Ritz. A licensed elementary and special education teacher who was also a library media specialist, Ritz upset the incumbent state superintendent, Tony Bennett, in November’s election to win the office. She took office Jan. 14.
On Wednesday, March 13, Pat Rogan, executive associate dean of the IU School of Education at IUPUI, will lead a conversation following the screening of a new PBS documentary. The documentary 180 Days: Inside an American High School follows day-to-day stories of students, parents, teachers, and staff of the Washington (D.C.) Metropolitan High School. It premieres at 9 p.m. on March 25 on WFYI television. Rogan will speak with urban education leaders and take audience questions raised by the documentary after the screening.
“We are at a critical juncture in Indianapolis, our state, and our nation as we plan for the future of public education,” Rogan said. “How will we ensure all students have access to a high quality education while abiding by democratic principles and addressing long standing inequities? How will we align forward thinking policies and practices that support student success, meaningfully engage families and communities, and value and respect education professionals? Our community conversations are an important vehicle for sharing information, involving stakeholders, focusing on positive change, and advancing our democracy.”
On March 27, another film will be the spark for the conversation about education. After a screening of part of The Finland Phenomenon: Inside the World’s Most Surprising School System, Marilyn Sudsberry, director of the Experiential Program for Preparing School Principals at Butler University , will moderate a discussion with local educators who have studied and worked in Finland.
Additional information is available on the Indianapolis Public Library website or by phone at 317-275-4099.