Alumni Initiatives Offer Hope for Public Education

Alumni discuss education issues during “(Un)Chartered Waters: Public, Private, and Charter Schools in America.”

From Left to Right: Moderator Heather Curl ’03 and Panelists Paul Socolar ’77, Dolores Reilly ’96, Scott Sargrad ’04 and Jamal Elliot ’96 at the “(Un)Chartered Waters” education panel.

Four alumni examined the landscape of education in the United States––often painting a gloomy picture––and issues of quality, accountability, and equity during a program on “(Un)Chartered Waters: Public, Private, and Charter Schools in America.” But despite frustrations over funding and federal policies that inhibit innovation, by some estimations, the panelists have all found ways to improve the lot of children through education.

Participants were Jamal Elliott ’96, chief operating officer of Wissahickon Charter School; Paul Socolar ’77, editor and publisher of The Philadelphia Public School Notebook; Dolores Reilly ’96, an English teacher at Cherry Hill West High School in New Jersey, and Scott E. Sargrad ’04, deputy assistant secretary for policy and strategic initiatives in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education. Moderator Heather Curl ’03 is a lecturer in the Bi-Co Education Program, which sponsored the event along with Haverford College Libraries, the Center for Career and Professional Advising, and the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship.

Following the panel and Q&A, students networked with the panelists.

Full story and more photos available here.

–Lini S. Kadaba

Photos by Brad Larrison