Fairfield University invites discussion and opinions on educating youth through magnet and charter schools February 3



Fairfield University's Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions (GSEAP) has assembled a panel of national experts on magnet and charter schools to discuss the timely topic, "Schools of Hope: Re-imagining Education Through Magnet and Charter Schools" on Thursday, Feb. 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the University's Alumni House. The event is free and open to the public.

There is a crisis in education in the United States and magnet and charter schools may be the answer as the recent acclaimed documentary film, "Waiting for Superman" proposes. GSEAP invites the community to listen to the experts and to weigh in with questions and concerns at the first conversation in a new series: "Community Dialogues: Conversations in Education and the Allied Professions."

Dr. Susan Franzosa, dean of GSEAP who helped plan the event with faculty and advisory board members, welcomes Alan Kramer, dean of Magnet Schools at Goodwin College and former Principal of Waterbury Arts Magnet School, the largest magnet school in Connecticut; Norma Neumann-Johnson, founder of Hartford's Breakthrough Magnet School, which was named the 2009 Magnet School of Excellence and 2010 Magnet School of Distinction by the Magnet Schools of America; and Jack Hasegawa, former bureau chief at the Office of Educational Equity and member of the Advisory Board in Curriculum and Instruction at Fairfield University.

According to Franzosa, "The panel will focus conversation on new approaches - hopeful approaches - that address how schools are organized and it will explore the achievements and the challenges of creating magnet and charter schools."

Image: A KramerKramer oversees the design and implementation of three interdistrict magnet schools on Goodwin's East Hartford campus. In addition to being the former principal of Waterbury Arts Magnet School, he has also directed "gifted and talented" and "arts and enrichment" programs in both Westchester County, New York and in Israel, where he worked for the Ministry of Education. A published playwright, he has had dozens of his theater and choral works performed throughout the country. He holds a B.A. from Trinity College and a master's degree from the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania.

Image: N Neumann-JohnsonAs a college student, Neumann-Johnson represented the Springfield College chapter of the National Student Association in support of Dr. Martin Luther King's Voter Registration Drive in Alabama, beginning a lifelong commitment to civil rights and education. Neumann-Johnson taught for 20 years in Hartford before founding Breakthrough Magnet. In 1994, she testified for the plaintiffs in Connecticut's historic Sheff v. Board of Education case. Neumann-Johnson holds degrees in psychology, education, and administration from Springfield College, the University of Hartford, and the University of Connecticut, respectively.

Image: J HasegawaHasegawa also stood with Dr. King to protest segregation and work in community organization in the South during the Civil Rights Movement. Later, he was appointed to serve on committees under the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He has worked to advance democracy and human rights from the Roxbury section of Boston to Osaka, Japan, to Taipei and Korea, supervising efforts to reduce racial, ethnic, and economic isolation and address issues of fairness in public education. He has worked with magnet and charter schools, interdistrict cooperative programs, Title IX programs, OPEN CHOICE, and many other initiatives. Hasegawa holds a master's degree in theological students from Harvard University. He holds a Presidential Medal of Freedom in Taiwan for his work advancing freedom and human rights there.

Introducing the new series, Franzosa said, "Our hope is that this series will create a public forum for the discussion of issues important to children, families and communities. GSEAP is committed to encouraging dialogue among educators and citizens," she continued, "and this public conversations project will engage the wider community in discussion of critical issues in education and counseling professions."

Refreshments will be served at the panel discussion. For further information, please contact Fairfield's Office of Alumni Relations at (203) 254-4280.

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Media Contact: Joan Grant, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, jgrant@fairfield.edu

Posted on January 14, 2011

Vol. 43, No. 166