Harris School to co–host summit on “Education Challenges Across the Americas”

The Harris School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago and Centro de Estudios Publicos will co–host an education summit Nov. 22–23 in Santiago, Chile, at which scholars and practitioners will explore the challenges shared by urban schools across the Americas.

In Chicago, the Harris School, Chapin Hall and the Center for Latin American Studies will host a complementary panel discussion, followed by a live viewing of the opening events in Santiago, from 3–7 p.m. Nov. 22. The Chicago panel will feature Eileen Rudden, chief of the Chicago Public Schools’ Office of Specialized Services; Joy Lesnick, a senior research analyst at the Consortium on Chicago School Research; Paula R. Worthington, Harris School senior lecturer; and Harris doctoral student Alejandro Ome.

“Urban education is a very local issue, but it’s also an international issue,” said Ellen Cohen, dean of students at the Harris School. “Chile and Chicago face tremendously similar education challenges.”

Cities of similar size, both Chicago and Santiago are wrestling with issues such as the effects of charter–type schools and the influences of teachers unions. Both the University of Chicago and Centro de Estudios Publicos have become meeting points for practice and theory.

Among those appearing via webcast from Santiago will be Sarah Kremsner, chief performance officer for the Chicago Public Schools; Nobel Laureate James Heckman, the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor in Economics; and Susan Mayer, a Harris School professor and author of several articles and book chapters on the effects of poverty on children. Heckman will address “Hard Evidence on Soft Skills: The GED and the Problem of Soft Skills in America,” and Mayer will talk about “Computers in the Classroom: For Better or For Worse?”

The open house will take place from 3–7 p.m. in room 140C of the Harris School of Public Policy Studies, 1155 E. 60th St. For more information, visit: https://harrisschool.uchicago.edu/events/rsvp–112210.aspx and http://harrisschool.uchicago.edu/research/conferences/2010summit/index.asp.