An historic first for the USA: International Conference on Education and Inequality

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Later this month the city and Rutgers University will see history made, when scholars from around the world gather on the Newark campus to discuss educational access and social inequalities. The July 23-July 26 conference will mark the first time that the conference sponsor has ever met on American soil.  What’s more, the event will be the third international conference held at Rutgers-Newark since May.

In the 30 years since its inception, the International Standing Conference for the History of Education (ISCHE) has held its annual conference in cities such as Oslo, Norway; Budapest, Hungary; Oxford, England; and Sydney, Australia. This year, however, the ISCHE decided to hold its first-ever gathering in the U.S., and selected Newark as its locale.  Approximately 175 education historians, from all over the world, will gather to examine issues impacting educational access, possible reforms to bridge achievement gaps, and how access – or lack of it – impacts social inequalities. “Education and Inequality: Historical Approaches to Schooling and Social Stratification” will also include a special session on the history of Rutgers in Newark, in honor of the centennial anniversary of the campus.

Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker has been invited to deliver opening greetings on July 23 at 5 p.m

The fact that “the first ISCHE meeting on American soil” is in Newark reflects “enthusiasm“ about the city’s current leadership and its ability to “move the city into a true renaissance for all of its citizens,”  stated organizer Alan R. Sadovnik, a professor of education, sociology, and public administration and public affairs at Rutgers in Newark.  Sadovnik also noted that the conference theme is especially pertinent in Newark and in New Jersey, where both the city and the state are working hard to find equitable solutions and services to meet the diverse educational needs of students from a broad range of social and economic backgrounds.
Newark was an attractive location for conference organizers, said Sadovnik, because it is home to an international airport, boasts homegrown attractions such as The Newark Museum and Prudential Center, and offers quick and easy access to New York City, but is far more affordable than New York City hotels and restaurants.

“As Mayor of Newark, it is a great privilege to welcome the ISCHE conference, and an even greater privilege for our entire City to be the first in America to host this important meeting of educators from around the world,” said Cory Booker.  He noted, “By studying how we have taught our children in the past, we will learn how to teach them in the present and future, to empower our children, in the neighborhoods of Newark, and across our nation and world. Here at Rutgers-Newark’s historic century-old campus, we will manifest the spiritual values we seek to build for all of humanity.”

Keynote speakers, who hail from two continents, are:
•    Professor Joyce Goodman, University of Winchester, United Kingdom;
•    Professor Francisco Ramirez, Stanford University, California, USA;
•    Professor Ronald Butchart, University of Georgia, Georgia, USA.

Conference participants will stay in the Hilton Newark Penn Station and the Robert Treat Hotel, as well as on campus.  They will have several opportunities to experience Newark and the New York metropolitan area first-hand, including a banquet in one of the Ironbound’s Portuguese restaurants, a bus tour of Newark, a visit to the New Jersey Historical Society and a Broadway theater outing.
A full conference program is online at   Media who wish to attend all or part of the conference should contact Carla Capizzi, 973/353-5262.

The ISCHE will be the third international gathering of scholars to take place in Newark since May.  A four-day international mathematics colloquium was held in early May, and from June 7-8 the campus hosted a Sino-U.S. conference on improving government performance.