Notre Dame Forum events to explore “reimagining” K-12 education

Author: Julie Hail Flory

2011-12 Notre Dame Forum

The 2011-12 Notre Dame Forum, “Reimagining School: To Nurture the Soul of a Nation,” will present a number of events this fall, beginning this month with an address by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and a panel discussion featuring four leading figures in American education.

Gov. Bush, founder of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, will deliver the keynote address and lead an interactive discussion titled “The Architect: Radical Education Reform for the 21st Century,” on Sept. 26 (Monday) at 7 p.m. in the Leighton Concert Hall of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. In his talk, Gov. Bush will explore the dramatically changing landscape of K-12 education, as well as how the Notre Dame community can play a vital role in providing vision and leadership in crafting a vibrant education sector for all children.

A panel discussion titled “The Conversation: Developing the Schools Our Children Deserve” will be held on Sept. 28 (Wednesday) at 3:30 p.m. in the Leighton Concert Hall, featuring panelists Wendy Kopp, founder and CEO of Teach for America; Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers; Juan Rangel, CEO of Chicago’s United Neighborhood Organization; and Bishop Jerry Kicanas of the Diocese of Tucson, chair of Catholic Relief Services. The discussion will be moderated by Rev. Timothy R. Scully, C.S.C., professor of political science and director of Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives; and David Campbell, John Cardinal O’Hara, C.S.C., Associate Professor of Political Science.

In “The Conversation,” panelists will examine issues of educational innovation and reform – as well as the unique role that Notre Dame can and must play in affecting systemic and sustainable improvements in the way we educate our children.

Both events are free, but tickets are required. Tickets will be distributed to University of Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College, and Holy Cross College students, faculty, and staff for a limited time beginning Sept.19 (Monday). On Sept. 22 (Thursday), tickets will also be available to the general public. Visit for complete details.

Other scheduled Forum events include a keynote address by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie during a day-long symposium titled “Does the Law Impede Innovation in Education?” to be held on Nov. 18 at the Notre Dame Law School. A complete listing of Forum events is available on the Forum website, which will be updated throughout the academic year.

A year-long discussion of the profound and challenging questions that shape the national debate about K-12 education, the Forum will feature a series of panel presentations, symposia and workshops spanning the entire academic year. The 2011-12 Forum Committee is chaired by Father Scully and Nicole Stelle Garnett, professor of law.

Established by Father Jenkins in 2005, the Notre Dame Forum has brought leading authorities to campus to discuss substantive issues of the day. Past forum topics have included the global marketplace and its impact on the common good, immigration, sustainability, global health and the role of religious faith in a plural world.