This year’s STC Forum brought nearly 370 participants, a Schools That Can record, to Harlem for a transformative 3 day experience.

School leaders, teachers, thought leaders, and guests shared successes, challenges, and effective practices, and presented not only their hopes but also their plans to improve the lives of urban students nationwide.

We opened the conference at the famous Apollo Theater where Apollo historian, Billy Mitchell, shared the story of his own success when as a Bronx teenager hanging out outside the Apollo, he was offered a job. He’s now been with the Apollo more than five decades. Check out a recent story about him in the NY Daily News.

Arne Duncan, US Secretary of Education, welcomed us to Harlem bright and early Thursday morning and even made a few school leaders blush:


Schools That Can was also fortunate to have Khalil Muhammad, Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, welcome us and share his experiences during the following day’s events. He stuck around for the day’s sessions and even asked MacArthur Fellow Angela Duckworth the best question she’s ever gotten! Check out Angela’s presentation below.

After a jam-packed day of content, participants gathered for the sold out Gala Dinner at the National Black Theatre in Harlem, kicked off by Kirsten Gillibrand, to celebrate new partners and schools and the first ever Robert F. Kennedy Urban Education Award honorees. We know you’ll love to meet them.


Friday opened with school tours and closed with targeted workshops on the Common Core.

In the next few weeks, we’ll be releasing detailed information from sessions so even folks who couldn’t attend can benefit from the wealth of information presented at the Forum. We’ll share some more great pics, too!

Here’s a taste of the feedback we’ve gotten so far:

“I wanted to let you know how outstanding I thought the conference was. Thank you for all your attention to the details of caring for us and making sure that it was a valuable time spent for all the school leaders who were in attendance. I was especially struck by the location. It was my 1st time in Harlem and I was very much impacted by what I saw as a celebration and the dignity, even amidst suffering, of the Black experience in America. Thank you for making such an impactful conference and experience possible for many of us. I hope Friday went as well as Thursday and I look forward to staying in touch with you.” – Andrew Hart, Oaks Academy, Indianapolis, IN

“I thought the NY Forum was wonderful. Came home inspired and full of ideas!” – Maria Paradiso, Link Community School, Newark, NJ

“I am so impressed with what you’ve accomplished (and, of course, are still accomplishing)!” – Angela Duckworth, University of Pennsylvania