Panel Discusses Education and Leadership in Detroit Schools
By Michael Maas
Daily Staff Reporter On February 21st, 2013
At the Nonprofit and Public Management Center's second annual Education Leaders Forum on Thursday, participants discussed ways to attract education leaders to Detroit.
About 30 students attended the event, which included a discussion panel of four leaders with expertise in education in Detroit. Panelists included Scott Morgan, the founder and CEO of Education Pioneers, an education recruitment firm; Dan Varner, the CEO of Excellent Schools Detroit, a non-profit group working to improve education in Detroit; Kendra Hearn, a Clinical Assistant Professor at the School of Education; and Lesley Redwine, the CEO and Superintendent of New Urban Learning, a non-profit charter management organization.
The forum followed the NPM's Social Impact Challenge, a contest for graduate students' education ideas that took place earlier in the day.
"The point of the Social Impact Challenge is to allow students at Michigan the chance to work on a real-life problem for an organization that focuses on social impact. So in this case, Education Pioneers is tackling a real important issue for our nation, which is how to create a better pipeline of leaders into the space," said Rishi Moudgil, the managing director of NPM.
Morgan said he agreed to speak in the panel and act as a judge for the social impact challenge because he wanted to hear the students' insights, which he could possibly implement in his organization. "The caliber of thought and analysis in the short time frame with which they had to analyze all the data and make recommendations was incredibly impressive," Morgan said. "We have a number of ideas that we are going to be able to run with in a high-quality way."
Morgan gave the keynote speech after the announcement of the winner. He highlighted the importance of leadership in education.
"First, leadership matters and it matters at all levels," Morgan said. "Secondly, leaders can have tremendous leverage. They get leverage by developing other leaders and they have leverage in the terms of the way they spend dollars. And then the third thing is that leadership is the key lever in transforming urban education."
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