Today kicked off the first day of one of the largest conferences of college access and education professionals in the entire country. Among many highlights of the opening session, Congressman Chaka Fattah, the author of the original GEAR UP legislation, spoke about the importance of “Investing in smart kids, not just smart bombs.” See the video interview of the congressman on our Twitter feed: http://yfrog.com/n6w81z
The Honorable Martha Kanter, Under Secretary, US Department of Education added further support for GEAR UP and similar innovative programs across the country. Highlights of her speech include:
“GEAR UP supports the President’s vision of having the worlds most educated workforce by 2020…the work of GEAR UP has never mattered more.”
“Education is the premier civil rights issue of our time.”
“GEAR UP along with other complementary programs and key collaborations…a whole community comes to the table in support of Secretary Duncan’s ‘Cradle to Career’ agenda.”
Dr. Kanter bolstered the crowd with her words and further supported GEAR UP’s mission.
Dr. Kanter shared the importance of institutionalizing what we know that is working with GEAR UP. Their efforts are guided by the goal of President Obama for America: to have the best educated workforce in the world by 2020. Dr. Kanter is personally motivated by the acknowledgment of our President that “education is the civil rights issue of our time.”
Shelley Davis Director, CA GEAR UP
Other speakers include NCCEP International President Hector Garza, Laura Rendon, Weiya Liang, and California’s own Shelley Davis.
The “Father of GEAR UP” Congressman Chaka Fattah, continues his reign as our champion in the House and now Chair of House Appropriations Committee. He shared encouraging news from President Obama as he continues to extol our program success. The Congressman graciously acknowledged the presence of the delegation from Mexico, including comments celebrating GEAR UP expansion in the international community under Dr. Garza’s leadership. Words of wisdom: “Ignorance is far more costly than education”.
Shelley Davis Director, CA GEAR UP
The lunch plenary was punctuated with an award for Congressmen Ruben Hinojosa for his outstanding support for GEAR UP. He was unable to make it due to flooding in his home district, but his staff accepted on his behalf presented by Roberto Rodriguez of the President’s Domestic Policy Council.
Many of the morning and afternoon breakout sessions on the first day have included:
- Customizable online education communities with EduGuide.
- Vermont Student Assistance Corp: career and college planning resources for middle and high school students, as well as adults. Includes scholarships and grants.
- Oregon GEAR UP Principal Leadership Program in conjunction with Education Partnerships Inc. shares leadership strategies for principals in 12 clusters with systematic, school-wide, and local site planning to create a sustainable school culture.
- The awesome staff at Wooster High School in Reno, NV shared how they engaged families and parents throughout the community through detailed engagement plans, resources such as EdLine, Connect Ed, and Infinite Campus, use of bilingual community reps, mentoring programs, and engaging community parters as key collaborators.
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens presented by Franklin-Covey. The training attended by mostly students talked much about taking control of teens lives, improving relationships, finding balance, and long term planning.
- SAISD GEAR UP advanced mathematics coursework to prepare students for college. Concepts from Agile Mind.
We also had a chance to meet with many of the gallery presenters such as:
- Data Management specialists CoBro Consulting.
- Our good friends over at Education Catch the Dream showed us La Plática de Prosperidad which helps engage parents and families.
- More to come….
Check back soon as we continue to update. Let us know what you think!