Education for All

TUE, OCT 26, 2004 (1:26:18)

Fernando Reimers, associate professor of education at HGSE moderates this conversation on universal primary education. Panelists discuss why children across the world, particularly girls, children from poor societies, children who work, and children in conflict - do not have access to a basic education, why they should, and what’s being done about it. Dean Ellen Condliffe Lagemann will introduce the distinguished speakers which include: Carol Bellamy, executive director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); Gene Sperling, director of the Center on Universal Education, Council on Foreign Relations; Vivien Stewart, vice president for Education, Asia Society; and Elaine Wolfensohn, World Bank.

+ BIO: Carol Bellamy

As fourth Executive Director of UNICEF, Carol Bellamy led the agency from 1995 to 2005. During her tenure, Ms. Bellamy focused on five major priorities: immunizing every child; getting all girls and boys into school, and getting all schools to offer quality basic education; reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS and its impact on young people; fighting for the protection of children from violence and exploitation; and introducing early childhood programmes in every country. Under Ms. Bellamy’s leadership, UNICEF became a champion of global investment in children, arguing that efforts to reduce poverty and build a more secure world can only be successful if they ensure that children have an opportunity to grow to adulthood in health, peace and dignity. She challenged leaders from all walks of life to recognize their moral, social, and economic responsibility to invest in children - and to shift national resources accordingly. Ms. Bellamy earned her law degree from New York University in 1968. She is a former Fellow of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and an honorary member of Phi Alpha Alpha, the U.S. National Honor Society for Accomplishment and Scholarship in Public Affairs and Administration. Ms. Bellamy graduated from Gettysburg College in 1963. She was born and raised in the New York area.

+ BIO: Elaine Wolfensohn

For over forty years, Elaine Wolfensohn has been involved in the field of education and arts education while raising her family. Her work in Australia and the United States has included teaching in private schools, creating teen tutoring programs in inner city schools, and training adult volunteers to tutor high school students. Mrs. Wolfensohn was educated at Wellesley College, where she received her B.A. She went on to receive her M.A. in French Literature from Columbia and her M.Ed in counseling psychology from Teacher’s College. Mrs. Wolfensohn’s commitment to education also extends into her community advisory work. She sits on several boards, including Young Audiences and American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic, where she is President of the Board of Directors. In addition, she serves on the board of the Graduate School of Education of the Jewish Theological Seminary, as well as the advisory committees of the Park City Mathematics Oversight Board at the Institute of Advanced Study and Teachers College at Columbia University. During her husband’s presidency of the World Bank, Mrs. Wolfensohn worked closely with the Bank on issues of education, early child development and gender equity.

+ BIO: Vivien Stewart

Vivien Stewart is vice president for education at Asia Society. She is responsible for Asia Society’s programs to promote the study of Asia and other world regions, cultures, languages, and global issues in America’s schools, and for building connections between U.S. and Asian education leaders. In the United States, Stewart’s initiatives include working with a network of state and national education leaders and creating a national initiative to expand the teaching of Chinese. Stewart has developed a series of international exchanges to share expertise between American and Asian education leaders on improving education to meet the demands of globalization. This includes bringing delegations of educators to each others’ schools; producing publications such as Math and Science Education in a Global Age; and hosting expert meetings such as the Asia-Pacific Education Forum held in Beijing in 2006. Stewart has had a long involvement with education and youth affairs. Over the course of a distinguished career at Carnegie Corporation of New York, she was a leader in shaping reform agendas in early childhood education, urban school reform, science education, teaching as a profession, and healthy adolescent development. In addition to grantmaking, she was responsible for the management of a number of Carnegie task forces, which produced influential reports such as “Turning Points”, “A Matter of Time”, and “Starting Points”. She was also instrumental in the creation of the National Center for Children in Poverty and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Stewart serves as a board member of the National Center on Education and the Economy and the Longview Foundation for Education in International Understanding and World Affairs. She is senior education advisor to the Refugee Education Trust in Geneva and on the advisory board of the US-China Center for Research on Educational Excellence. She has also been senior policy advisor to the UN special representative of the secretary-general for children and armed conflict and a visiting scholar at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York. She received her B.A. and M. Phil. degrees from Oxford University.

+ BIO: Gene Sperling

Gene Sperling is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. He was President Clinton’s National Economic Advisor and Director of the National Economic Council from 1997 to 2001 and Deputy National Economic Advisor from 1993 to 1997. Mr. Sperling recently served as a top economic advisor to the Kerry-Edwards presidential campaign. He is a columnist and commentator for Bloomberg Business News and a contributing editor for the DLC’s Blueprint Magazine, serves as director of the Center for Universal Education at the Council of Foreign Relations, and has been a contributing writer and consultant to the television show The West Wing. He has appeared on Meet the Press, Face the Nation, This Week, Good Morning America, Nightline, and CNN’s Late Edition, and is a frequent contributor to NPR. His articles have appeared in The Atlantic, Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Inc. magazine, Financial Times, Foreign Policy, and others.

+ BIO: Fernando Reimers

Fernando M. Reimers is the Ford Foundation Professor of International Education and Director of Global Education and of International Education Policy at Harvard University. He teaches courses on the relationship between education policy, democratic citizenship and instructional improvement. His course ‘Education Policy Analysis and Research in Developing Countries’ focuses on some of the core education challenges in the development field. His course ‘Education, Poverty and Inequality in Latin America’ is an examination of the options to improve learning opportunities in high poverty schools in Latin America. He recently completed a study evaluating a national program to promote literacy instruction in Mexico as part of a large evaluation of major education policies of the Federal Government in Mexico, a project for which he was principal investigator, involving 8 faculty members at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. This research led to a recently published book Aprender Mas y Mejor. Politicas, Programas y Oportunidades en Educacion Basica en Mexico (Fernando Reimers editor. Fondo de Cultura Economica) He also served recently on a Panel Review of the National Academy of Sciences evaluating Title VI, Fulbright-Hays and other Federally Funded Programs to promote the Internationalization of American Universities. A fellow of the International Academy of Education and member of the Council of Foreign Relations and of the Advisory Board of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Academy of Sciences, Professor Reimers is best known for his theory of ‘Informed Dialogue’, an approach to bridge scientific research and education policy through the mapping and mobilization of social networks. Professor Reimers is also known for his studies on the quality of education in developing countries and for his research on the relationship between education policy and instructional improvement in high poverty schools. He is the Director and creator of the International Education Policy Program at Harvard University. Prior to joining the Faculty at the Graduate School of Education in 1997 he was Senior Education Specialist at the World Bank. He also worked as Research Associate, Institute Associate and Fellow at the Harvard Institute for International Development and on the faculty at Universidad Central de Venezuela. He has extensive experience in the area of international development assistance with the United States Agency for International Development, the World Bank, the InterAmerican Development Bank and other Development Organizations. He has worked in Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan and most countries in Latin America.

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