Let’s Talk Education speaker series

 GEA Schools and Our Economy, September 27-9095

REGISTER FOR THE OCTOBER 24 BREAKFAST – Learning Barriers: What’s the Truth?


This year, the Let’s Talk Education speaker series will examine some of the more pervasive myths that shape how we approach education in today’s world.  Expert speakers in the field of education and other arenas will help us understand what the realities are and together, we will explore how our community can address the complex issues that shape our education system.

During morning sessions we’ll provide hot coffee, a light breakfast and balanced information.  You provide questions and conversation.  CLICK HERE TO REGISTER for the October 24th event and watch this space for more information about upcoming events. Let’s talk education!

UPCOMING FOR 2017-2018 

Tuesday, October 24, 7:45 am – 9:00 am – Barriers to Learning: What’s the Truth? 
What are the barriers to learning in our schools today? Research is showing that some things that were considered barriers – like low parent involvement – really don’t have the impact that was once thought. So what’s really preventing students from learning?

Join us at the GEA office (311 Pomona Dr, Suite E) for breakfast and great discussion as we explore the myths and truths about learning barriers with guest speaker, James E. Ford from the North Carolina Public School Forum. Prior to joining the Forum in 2015, Ford served as the 2014-15 North Carolina Teacher of the Year and taught World History & Sociology at Garinger High School in Charlotte, NC starting in 2010.  He was recognized as Charlotte Magazine’s Charlottean of the Year, and the National Alliance of Black School Educators’ Teacher of the Year.


Friday, November 17, 2017 – Principal for a Day
What’s the best way to dispel myths that surround education and to get to the heart of what it’s really like in our community’s schools? Step inside a school on November 17th and see for yourself! GEA invites you to shadow a principal at one of the many GCS schools and get a firsthand look at one of the toughest jobs there is – school principal.

How does it work?  Pick a school that you would like to learn about or let us pair you up with one. Once you’ve been matched with a school, we will connect you with your host principal. That morning, arrive at school ready to learn! Then, participants and principals are invited to lunch at the Grandover.

During lunch, Dr. Sharon Contreras, GCS superintendent, will share more information about the the newly-completed GCS strategic plan.   Participation fee is $25.00.


Interested in getting more information about the rest of the events?  Sign up here to receive our e-blasts.

Previous events:

Wednesday, September 27, 7:45 am – 9:00 am   Schools & Our Economy: What’s the Real Return on Investment?  Do public schools really influence our community’s economy?  What’s the bottom-line when we talk about investing in education?  Why do schools matter? Dr. Sharon Contreras, superintendent of Guilford County Schools shared her insights and data about the ROI when we make public education a priority.


Thursday.  October. 27, 7:45 am – 9:15 am   A few VERY BIG Issues with Joe Ableideinger and James Ford of the Public School Forum.  We had a packed house to hear Joe and James break down the Top 10 most critical education issues in NC and discuss their groundbreaking work on “Trauma & Learning” and “Equity & Opportunity in Education.”

Thursday.  November 17, 7:45 am – 9:15 am  The Teacher Pipeline with Dr. Anthony Graham, Dean, School of Education, NC A&T.  The # 1 issue facing our school system now is teacher and principal recruitment and retention.    Dr. Graham highlighted troubling trends in teacher retention and unpacked compelling data on how race affects teaching.  He also shed light on how we prepare, recruit and keep talent in our schools in the current environment.

Friday, December 9, 8:00 am – 1:00 pm*  Principal for a Day —  150 guests spent the morning shadowing GCS principals to see how some of our community’s most dynamic leaders juggle a dizzying array of challenges and decisions.  All gathered for lunch a presentation with Dr. Angel Harris of Duke University.  Harris challenged the group to look beyond what is probably and on to what is possible when it comes to understanding the dynamics of race and socio-eonomics on student outcomes.

 January 10, 7:45a – 9:15      Race & Equity:  A Groundwater Approach    Serious work in public education requires direct and informed discussions about race and equity. Despite the snow and ice we had a very engaged group show up to hear Dr. Bay Love shine a light on the hard truth the data illuminates about race across systems.

January 30, 2017  6:00pm – 8:00 pm  Dinner, Data, History & Discussion   The training and presentations on race, equity and education provide a wealth of information and often not enough time for discussion.  This dinner session is designed for those who have already participated in a race training or one of our previous sessions  (with James Ford, Anthony Graham, Angel Harris or Bay Love).   Monica Walker,  GCS Diversity Officer and Dr. Bay Love will be with us, but we won’t be starting from the beginning.  Participants are expected to have some prior knowledge and a desire to dive deeper into historical events and their consequences.

February 17,18, 2017 — Structural Racism Workshop  Community , business and parent leaders participated in a two-day workshop at GEA led by Monica Walker, GCS Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Eric Hines, GCS Director of Diversity and Inclusion and Dr. Bay Love of the Race Equity Institute.  Facilitators walked participants through history, data and discussion to explore and unpack what structural racism is, where it comes from, how it functions, why it persists and how it can be undone.  The workshop strategically examined how the accumulated impact of racism has resulted in pervasive disproportionality and disparate outcomes for children of color in the educational system.

March 9th, 2017  7:45a-9:15a   Funding Flows & Flaws.   Where does the $700M invested in our schools come from each year?  How do we spend it? What are the restrictions and mandates that flow with the dollars?  Where do we have flexibility?  Are there other dollars that align with the school budget? Kara Millonzi of the UNC School of Government, an economist and attorney, will break things down and shed light on some nuances.

Wednesday, April 5, 8:00a-10:00a* — Inside our Schools — GEA’s Education Summit.   Small groups fan out across the district on one morning to visit GCS schools.  Guests enjoy breakfast and discussion with principals and teachers around a common theme, and then have an opportunity to see the unique assets and challenges in that school.  The new format was unveiled in spring of 2016 and was met with incredibly positive reviews.   We are working on the selection of featured school for the April event.   Mark your calendars now and stay tuned for more info:   * start times may vary slightly depending on school

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