Judge Sumner Z. Kaplan Memorial Lecture and Benefit

“Is Education for Democracy at Risk?”

CPS and our cosponsors the Jewish Alliance for Law & Social Action (JALSA) and Brookline PAX, are proud to present a distinguished panel of speakers on Monday,  Dec. 3, 2012 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the main branch of the Brookline Public Library. For more information and to register today, click here.

Come listen and join in a discussion of democracy and the future of public education:  What can we do to stop the privatization of our public schools, and empower parents, teachers and our communities to ensure all our students have the opportunity to learn?

About the speakers:

Deborah Meier has spent nearly four decades working in public education as a teacher, principal, writer and public advocate. The elementary and secondary schools she helped create in New York City and Boston serve predominantly low income African-American and Latino students; these schools are exemplars of performance-based home-grown standards.

She is the author of In Schools We Trust and Many Children Left Behind (co-edited with George Wood). She serves as principal emeritus of Mission Hill School in Boston, co-chair of the Coalition of Essential Schools, and is currently a senior scholar at NYU’s Steinhart School of Education. In 1987 Deborah Meier was awarded a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award, the first educator to be so honored.

James McDermott was a member of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in 2010- 2011, appointed by Governor Deval Patrick. A former Massachusetts Teacher of the Year, his work focuses on schools in the Hiatt Main South Secondary School Collaborative: University Park Campus School (where he taught for 6 years, creating the secondary English program) and South High Community School (where he taught and coached for 25 years). Professor McDermott works with MA and MAT students, encouraging student teachers to develop classrooms that engage all urban students in rigorous content in a warm and inviting environment. Reading, writing and thinking are at the center of Professor McDermott’s pedagogy.

Jessica Wender-Shubow is president of the Brookline Educators Union. A Brookline native, she attended the town’s public schools from kindergarten through high school and returned as a high school Social Studies teacher after earning a PhD in American Studies at Brown University and teaching Women’s Studies, Science in Society, and the history of political movements at the college level.

Ruth Kaplan, our moderator, is Sumner Z. Kaplan’s daughter and works for the Combined Jewish Philanthropies as the Director of the Boston-Haifa Connection, a multi-faceted partnership between the sister cities of Boston and Haifa. Prior to her appointment to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, Ruth Kaplan served for four years as an elected member of the Brookline School Committee, chairing the subcommittees on Policy Review and Government Relations. She was also a board member of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees and a member of its Advocacy and Resolutions committees. Prior to her school committee service, Ms. Kaplan co-chaired the Brookline Special Education Parent Advisory Council.

Ms. Kaplan is a member of the Massachusetts Parent Teacher Association and is the first parent representative appointed to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Members. She is a founder of the Alliance for the Education of the Whole Child, a coalition of more than 45 education and civil rights organizations which organized to critique the over–reliance on standardized testing in the public schools and advocate for an assessment system consisting of multiple measures.

The lecture and benefit are in honor of the late Judge Sumner Z. Kaplan, who served with distinction on CPS’s Board of Directors. A  popular Brookline civic, legislative, humanitarian and community leader, Sumner left a broad, influential, committed and compassionate impression across many sectors of society. A brigadier general in the U.S. Army Reserves, from the early 1970s until retirement at the age of 80, Mr. Kaplan was an associate justice of the Probate and Court Department of the Massachusetts Trial Court, Plymouth County. Following his retirement, he was an independent arbitrator. He was a state representative from Brookline, as well as chair of the Board of Selectmen. He was also chairman of the state chapter of Americans for Democratic Action, and a founding member of the Brookline Community Mental Health Center. He was on the advisory board of the University of Massachusetts, Commonwealth College; was president of the American Jewish Congress, New England Region; and was a founding member and Executive Committee member of the Jewish Alliance on Law and Social Action.

While the event is free and a ticket is not required to attend, CPS would greatly appreciate donations to help us continue our work.  Suggested donation:  $25 (or $12 for Students and Limited Income).  If you would like to help sponsor the event with a larger gift, your name will be listed on the program. Thank you for your support.

For more information and to register today, click here.