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Past Events

  • Background Knowledge & Reading Proficiency

    May 19, 2006

    Research has demonstrated that students’ vocabulary and background knowledge are vital to reading comprehension, and that poor children and struggling readers are disproportionately disadvantaged by this fact. What are the implications of these findings for improving curriculum and instruction at the elementary and secondary levels? And how do schools impart this knowledge to students who don’t read well enough to acquire it from the written word?

  • Democracy and Worker Rights: A Discussion of Labor's Approach to China

    April 6, 2006

    On April 6-7, 2006, the Institute sponsored a lively discussion among representatives from nine AFL-CIO and Change to Win unions on the U.S.labor movement’s differing approaches to the increasing economic dominance of an ongoing worker rights repression in mainland China. After opening remarks by AFT and Shanker Institute President McElroy, participants heard from two prominent China experts, Andrew Nathan (Columbia University) and James Mann (School for Advanced International Studies).

  • Improving the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics

    May 5, 2005

    Despite the continuing “math wars” debates, there is an emerging consensus on the need for U.S. math teachers to improve both their content and pedagogical knowledge. Key researchers (who were selected using an informal peer review process) have been asked to provide an overview on recent research about what mathematics teachers ned to know and be able to do to improve the performance of all students.

  • Reading Disabilities, Reading Difficulties & School-Based Interventions that Work

    April 13, 2005

    The importance of early reading success to later educational achievement has now become common wisdom. Federal agencies, state governments, and individual schools and districts across the country have initiated programs to improve beginning reading instruction, including strategies to identify struggling readers as early as possible. But what comes next? Once a reading problem is detected, can it actually be averted? And, if so, with what “treatment”? In recent years, neuroscientists and reading researchers have pursued a preventive model of reading instruction that could also be wildly successful. What does this research tell us about what goes on in the brain of a struggling reader, before and after intervention? And how can schools and districts translate this research into classroom materials and strategies that really work to prevent reading failure?

  • Unionism and Democracy: The Experience, the Legacy, The Future

    April 2, 2005

    The Institute received a grant from the ILGWU Heritage Fund in April 2005 to help sponsor this three-day seminar aimed at educating new AFT leaders on the rationale and history behind labor’s support for democracy and worker rights in the world.

  • Early Childhood Assessments: Problems & Possibilities

    October 8, 2004

    With increased support for and public investment in early childhood education programs, federal, state, and local authorities have begun to grapple with the need to assess student outcomes, for diagnostic, accountability and program improvement purposes. At the same time, critics continue to raise questions about the appropriateness, validity, and utility of assessments with very young children: How accurate is the data that’s being gathered through various methods and for what purposes can it legitimately be used? What can research tell us about how to design assessments for preschool children that are reasonable, reliable, valid, and useful for teachers and policymakers alike?

  • Seminar on Education to Build Democracy

    May 6, 2003

    On May 6, 2003, the institute hosted a forum on international civic education. An invited group of academics, program developers, and leaders from the AFT, the U.S. State Dept., USAID, the National Democratic Institute, the National Endowment for Democracy, the AFL-CIO, and private industry attended the Washington, DC, meeting, to discuss effective program design, content, and strategy for civic education and democracy promotion abroad. The meeting provided those who are involved – funders, researchers, and practitioners – with a chance to share their knowledge and experience. According to participants, the seminar was unprecedented in its promotion of open nteraction among the many diverse elements of the civic education community.

  • Bayard Rustin Film Premiere

    January 12, 2003

    Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin On January 8, 2003, the Institute jointly hosted the Washington premiere of “Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin” at the National Press Club, with the AFL-CIO, the A. Philip Randolph Institute, Freedom House, the Rustin Fund, the International Rescue Committee, Social Democrats, U.S.A., the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, AFT President Sandra Feldman, and U.S. Representatives John Lewis and Eleanor Holmes Norton. 

  • Unions and Workforce Development (a discussion with John Monks)

    January 4, 2003

    This is the transcript of a 2003 luncheon discussion on the revitalization of the labor movement with John Monks, general secretary of Britain's Trades Union Congress (TUC).

  • Strategies to improve student behavior and support student achievement

    October 29, 2002

    What can research tell us about early assessment and prevention practices that improve student behavior and student academic performance?”