This year’s Forum will feature STC’s 3rd Ed Thoughts panel. This session gives leaders across our network the opportunity to answer a controversial question related to education through a short speech, much like an abbreviated “Ted Talks”. Ed Thoughts elevates leaders’ voices and demonstrates that there are no easy answers when it comes to questions of quality education and student success.

In 2014, school leaders completed the sentence: “It’s time to get rid of [A] and replace it with [B].” School leaders from all sectors declared that we need to get rid of “one size fits all” approaches to instruction, pushing leadership roles on teachers, “no excuses” systems, and even excuses themselves! They advocated for less talk and more action, multimodal approaches to learning, holistic systems that meet students’ needs, and Rob Rauh promoted a Sankofa bird mindset focused on strategic growth. The range of perspectives presented demonstrated a need to balance individual student needs with school-wide needs, academic progress with social-emotional development, the urgency to help everyone with the patience to grow at a sustainable rate, etc. No easy task! Moreover, this session blurred the line between “traditional” and “reform” approaches to education; the leaders expressed alignment with certain “reform” measures, while also trying to get back to the basics, such as holistic education and valuing the profession of teaching.


School Leaders share their “Ed Thoughts” at the 2013 Forum

In 2015, a cross-sector panel of school leaders reflected on their vision of success for students. This broad question resulted in reflections on both aspirations and supports for students. There was some agreement that students need both knowledge and skills. Kimberly Neal, founding principal of Muchin College Prep in Chicago stated simply that students need “exposure.” Other school leaders focused on the need to empower students to make choices about their future.

Panelists share a laugh at STC's 10th Annual Forum in Los Angeles.

Panelists share a laugh at STC’s 10th Annual Forum in Los Angeles.

This year, we will pose a similar question but to a wider audience. This year’s Ed Thoughts panelists include a high school senior (who will have just graduated), a K-12 school leader, a higher ed leader, an industry leader, an innovator, and a philanthropist. This diverse cross-sector panel that spans the entire education to employment continuum will define readiness. At a time when “college and career readiness” is all abuzz, what do we actually mean by “college and career readiness”? And what are the implications for educators, partners, and students?


You don’t want to miss this exciting session, so register today!