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Education Funders Research Initiative Launch Event and Panel Discussion

Date: 10/8/2013
Time: 8:45 AM - 11:00 AM
Location: Trinity Wall Street, 74 Trinity Place, 2nd Floor, NYC

The Education Funders Research Initiative (EdFunders) is a project of Philanthropy New York supported by 16 funding organizations that have pursued a diverse array of education reform strategies. 

These and other private foundations have invested over $2 billion in New York City public school reform efforts over the last decade and have been crucial to many of the reform strategies pursued both by the Department of Education and by other education support organizations. Now, they have come together to engage New Yorkers and focus our leaders on new research targeting how we can best prepare students for college and 21st-century careers, driven by one question: How can we improve on what's working in NYC?

This event is the public launch of the initiative, following more than a year of organizing and research development.


Overview of two newly commissioned pieces of research
The first from New York University looks at “College and Career Readiness in Context.” The second from Teachers College examines New York City schools by following the learning trajectories of a cohort of students.


Insights from the Department of Education 
A top leader from the DoE will provide perspectives on what the department is already doing to address key issues identified in the research.

Panel Discussion

Scott Evenbeck, President, Guttman Community College
Fred Frelow, Program Officer, Ford Foundation
Judith Johnson, Interim Superintendent of Schools, Mount Vernon City School District; named New York State Superintendent of the Year in 2008
John B. King, New York State Education Commissioner
Shael Suransky-Polakow, Chief Academic Officer and Senior Deputy Chancellor, NYC Department of Education
Beth Fertig (Moderator), Education Correspondent, WNYC

The panel will start with a short discussion of the enormous leap from a focus on high school graduation (for some) to college and career readiness for all (where career readiness may well involve post-secondary education/training) and the challenges urban districts like New York face in making this leap. The discussion will cover not only what high schools need to do but also how colleges might effectively support low-income and first generation college students through to graduation.

The discussion will then turn to the second EdFunders paper, an analysis of the progress of one cohort of NYC students through the system, including the barriers or obstacles they encounter to high school graduation and to college readiness and how those are being addressed by schools and, more broadly, by the system. The speakers will detail how the findings relate to reform efforts across the State and in other urban areas, including:

  • How the New York data illuminated in the paper fit into and deepen what is known about the challenges of improving urban education for all students
  • Different strategies, including those currently being implemented in the City, that can improve the school system’s ability to graduate students ready to succeed in college and careers

This program is designed to lay out our findings and build a platform for recommendations that will follow with the release of a third paper on November 21, 2013.


This program is "Mostly Open."




Designed for

All interested funders.
8:45 - 9:00 AM  Check-in, Coffee & Networking
9:00 - 11:00 AM  Program


Registration is required by October 4th. Once we have reached capacity for this program, a wait list will be established.

Members: To register yourself and/or a colleague at your organization, please click on the link above (visible until October 4th).

Please email with your name, title, organizational affiliation, and business mailing address and phone number. 

Please email with any questions.