Three education innovators receive 2013 Simmons Luminary Awards

David Chard

Three education innovators receive 2013 Simmons Luminary Awards

Educators dedicated to promoting evidence-based change for the betterment of students were honored Thursday, Jan. 24 by SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

The Dallas Arboretum; Daniel P. King, superintendent of the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo School District in South Texas; and America’s Promise Alliance received 2013 Luminary Awards during ceremonies at the University.

  • The educational programs at the Dallas Arboretum introduce more effective instruction to more than 100,000 children in life and earth science each year.
  • Under Superintendent Daniel P. King’s leadership, several Texas school districts have been transformed from among the poorest performing to national models of success.
  • America’s Promise Alliance brings together more than 400 organizations dedicated to stemming the nation’s high dropout rate.

“The 2013 Luminary recipients are driven by the same level of dedication to do whatever it takes to impact students and get them engaged in learning,” said David Chard, Leon Simmons Endowed Dean in the Simmons School. “America’s Promise Alliance, The Dallas Arboretum and Superintendent King deeply understand their mission, and with data have designed innovative approaches that work. Once students can understand that their community, region and nation are behind them, their aspirations become real.”

Click the YouTube screen to see a video about this year’s winners, or click here to open the 2013 Simmons Luminary Award video in a new windowvideo

> Read the full story from SMU News

January 30, 2013|News|

Dallas mayor, leaders meet at SMU to discuss education May 7

'Block to Boardroom' mastheadDallas Mayor Mike Rawlings will join North Texas leaders in a public discussion on the community’s ethical role in supporting public education Monday, May 7, 2012 at SMU.

As Mike Miles prepares to take over as DISD superintendent, “From Your Block to the Boardroom” is designed to spark a conversation about the community’s role in supporting excellence in education. The event is co-hosted by SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility, and Center on Communities and Education.

Simmons Dean David Chard will moderate the panel, which will include the Rev. Gerald Britt, vice president of CitySquare’s public policy and community program development; Florencia Velasco Fortner, CEO of Dallas Concilio; Torrence H. Robinson, Fluor Foundation senior director of community affairs; Bill McKenzie, Dallas Morning News columnist; and Todd Williams, executive director of Commit!.

“Our efforts with schools need to be sustained, and we hope that our dialogue at SMU can be the first in a series of discussions to determine how the community can make a difference and bolster the education of all students,” Chard says.

Maguire Center Director Rita Kirk will provide the ethical framework for the discussion. “We expect our school administrators and elected officials to hold the public trust and represent the best interests of our children, but what do we expect of our neighbor or local business, or even ourselves?” she says. Kirk will join Regina Nippert, executive director for SMU’s Center on Communities and Education, and Mayor Rawlings in underscoring the vital importance of supporting public education.

The panel discussion, including breakfast, takes place 7:30-9:30 a.m. at the Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center. Tickets are $50 for the public, $25 for SMU employees, and are available online at block2boardroom.eventbrite.com.

> Read more from SMU News

May 4, 2012|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|

Dean David Chard named to national education post

David Chard, Leon Simmons Endowed Dean of SMU's Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human DevelopmentThe U.S. Senate has approved President Barack Obama’s nomination of David Chard, Leon Simmons Endowed Dean of SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, to the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences. The 15-member board oversees and directs the work of the Institute of Education Sciences.

As the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education, the institute collects and analyzes education research data and funds researchers nationwide who are working to improve education outcomes for all students, particularly those at risk. In addition, the institute produces the Nation’s Report Card. Chard will serve a three-year term.

“Our nation’s students will be the beneficiaries of Dr. Chard’s service as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Dr. Chard is dedicated to pursuing education reform through research-based programs and practices. We are proud of his work and the fact that his leadership and knowledge will be shared at the highest level of our government.”

“I am honored to serve on the National Board for Education Sciences as a researcher, educator, and a representative of SMU,” Chard said. “I look forward to working with colleagues so we may create a stronger understanding of what educators can do to teach all students, regardless of conditions.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

May 3, 2012|For the Record, News|

Outstanding educators to be honored at 2012 Luminary Awards

The Luminary Award statuetteThree organizations that created new ways of enhancing children’s education will be honored Jan. 26, 2012, by SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. The Luminary Awards will be presented at 6:30 p.m. at the Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center.

The honorees are cited for creating research-based and innovative programs, which have served as longtime models for improving education:

“Our three Luminary recipients exemplify a superlative commitment to families and children. In setting the bar high to obtain strong educational outcomes, each one demonstrates the impact of using research to improve lives, from our youngest ones to their parents,” says David Chard, Leon Simmons Endowed Dean of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. “At a time when education is buffeted by winds of dissatisfaction, this year’s recipients offer solutions and hope.”

> Get the full story with video of the Luminary Award recipients at SMU News

January 26, 2012|Calendar Highlights, News|

SMU, Dallas Faith Communities Coalition form new partnership

Children in a classroomSMU and the Dallas Faith Communities Coalition have created a new partnership dedicated to transforming education in low-income neighborhoods. The coalition now is part of the Center on Communities and Education in SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

The center will initially focus on West Dallas, an impoverished area west of downtown where just 33 percent of residents over the age of 18 have high school diplomas. However, the intent is to establish a far-reaching model to impact other communities locally and nationally.

The partnership is a natural step for the coalition created in 2004 to develop solutions to poverty, says former coalition executive director Regina Nippert, now executive director of SMU’s Center on Communities and Education. In 2008 the coalition narrowed its focus to West Dallas schools. The partnership with the Simmons School provides new educational resources for West Dallas children.

“Our goal remains the same,” Nippert says. “Close the education gap in West Dallas by building a thriving education ecosystem – an integrated network of high-performing schools and nonprofits that together weave a safety net so tight that kids can’t fall through the cracks on their way to a college-ready education.”

SMU’s Center on Communities and Education is the backbone organization for the School Zone, which supports collaboration between 10 West Dallas public schools and 20 nonprofit agencies. The School Zone provides:

  • Parent training and early childhood development programs
  • In-school programs such as college readiness and teacher training
  • After-school homework assistance, college awareness, mentoring and arts programming

Creating successful schools is key to fighting area poverty, says David Chard, the Leon Simmons Endowed Dean of the Simmons School. Through SMU faculty research, as well as student service learning, internships and work-study programs, Simmons School resources can support student progress in West Dallas schools as well as provide opportunities to SMU students and researchers.

“We have great respect for the families, educators and community organizations in West Dallas, and we intend to learn much from them,” Chard says. “Their insights will shape our work in the Simmons School.”

Written by Nancy George

> Read the full story from SMU News

December 15, 2011|News|
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