Critical Issues Forums

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Critical Issues Forums

Georgia Partnership Vice Chair, Milford McGuirt, Atlanta and Midsouth Managing Partner, KPMG, makes concluding remarks at the August 18 Critical Issues Forum, “21st Century Skills for a 21st Century Workforce.”

What are Critical Issues Forums?

The Georgia Partnership conducts Forums three times a year that offer interesting discussion on topical education subjects.  They are free and open to the public and offer guest speakers, panel discussions and an opportunity for audience questions/answers.  (See left side of page for details on the next Forum - August 18.)  

The last Forum, August 18, sponsored by AT&T, was an informative look at "21st Century Skills for a 21st Century Workforce." The event was held at the General Assembly-Atlanta, Ponce City Market. Event video will be posted here Monday, August 22. Here is the video report.

Here are the slides presented by the first speaker, Mr. Peter Franconi, Regional Director - Atlanta General Assembly:
21st Century Skills for a 21st Century Workforce

Also, Franconi referenced two white papers:
Skills Based Hiring
Blurring Lines

Media Reports:
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - 13 weeks of coding training, $60,000 salary.  Should we sign our kids up for coding instead of college?
WSB-TV - These kids were discussed by panelist Gilda Lyon at the Forum: Local first grade students make thousands, will speak to thousands.
Gainesville Times - Business panel calls for faster learning, more technical help

The first Forum of 2016, April 28, also sponsored by AT&T, focused on "The Wellness Impact on Education." Video Report

Media Reports:
CNHI (Moultrie Observer) - Deal called upon to improve mental health system
Henry Daily Herald - Officials discuss solutions to tackling youth mental healthcare
Insider Advantage (subscription required) - Georgia ranks low in "Wellness of Education"
WABE-Radio - Ga. officials acknowledge child mental health care hurdles

There was also a wealth of related informational material available to the attendees.  Here are links to those publications:

Children's Mental Health Study (Georgia House of Representatives)

How TeleHealth Can Augment Care (Voices for Georgia's Children)

How Medicaid and Peachcare Money Works (Voices for Georgia's Children)

Georgia's Crisis in Child Adolescent Behavioral Health (Voices for Georgia's Children)

Maximizing Opportunities for Access to Quality Care with School-Based Health Centers (Voices for Georgia's Children)

Previous Forum, November 2015

The last Forum of 2015 was held November 4: "Closing the Higher Education Attainment Gap."  Here is a short reportHere is the videotape. 

Media reports:
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Gainesville Times
Morris News Service
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

August 2015

The previous Forum, sponsored by Comcast, was conducted August 12.  Mr. Mike Carnathan, researcher with the Atlanta Regional Commission, gave the featured presentation:  Demographic Data - Change What You Know/Know What to Change (PowerPoint).  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran this article:  Education gap looms, affects Georgia jobs (subscription required to read full article).  Here is the video of the Forum.

April 2015

The first 2015 Forum - The Economic Power of Early Care and Education - was conducted April 28.  Here is video coverage of the event. Here is Atlanta Journal-Constitution coverage.

November 2014

The last Forum of 2014 - Workforce Development:  Why STEM is Important - was conducted at the Gwinnett School of Science, Math and Technology. Here is the video report.

August 2014

This Forum put the spotlight on state school superintendent candidates. More than 130 people gathered to hear candidates Valarie Wilson (D) and Richard Woods (R) debate.  This was their first meeting since winning their parties' nominations during the run-off election July 19.  Here is the video report.

Here are media reports: 

Henry Herald/Clayton Daily:  Candidates seeking Georgia’s top education post debate critical issues

WABE-Radio:  State superintendent candidates debate Issues

Atlanta Journal-Constitution (subscriber protected):  Delay new test, says Republican school chief candidate

Associated Press: Candidates for Ga. schools superintendent debate standards

April 2014

This Forum looked at "Georgia's Sea Change Leading to Effective Teachers."
This first of three 2014 Critical Issues Forums took a close look at Georgia's new teacher evaluation system. Video report.

Here are media reports:

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Maureen Downey: Georgia sets out to build a better teacher

Georgia Public Broadcasting, Jeanne Bonner:  Georgia's New Teacher Evaluation System Seen As 'Sea Change'

November 2013 

The provided a unique look at the Common Core from a variety of perspectives and set the stage for the coming 2014 Georgia legislative debate that would determine the state's participation.

Participants included Mr. Mike Petrilli, Executive VP and President-elect of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.  He opened the session with his presentation The Case for the Common Core

A panel discussion facilitated by the Georgia Partnership's Policy and Research Director Dr. Dana Rickman, followed.  Joining Dana and Mike on the panel were Georgia's 2014 Teacher of the Year Jemelleh Coes; COL Patricia Ross, Vice Commander, 78th Air Base Wing Commander; and Robyn Oatley, representing the organization Ready Kentucky.

Here is the videotape of the Forum.

Media coverage:  Morris News Service - Common Core debate set to continue in Georgia. Georgia Public Broadcasting - Where's the Common Ground in Common Core.  WABE Radio - Forum Addresses Common Core Concerns.

May 2013 Forum 

"Data Driven Decisions - Dynamic and Daunting," brought national, state and local experts together to discuss how proper data gathering and use can increase education outcomes.  Key speakers included Paige Kowalksi, Data Quality Campaign Director of State Policy (Washington, D.C.); Bob Swiggum, Chief Information Officer with GA DOE; and Mary Anne Charron, Chief Program Officer, Georgia Leadership Institute for School Improvement.  A panel discussion including data users followed.  An audience question and answer period ended the Forum. 

Here is the videotape of the session. 

Here are two relating "Data Driven Decisions" videos:

Data is Power (2 1/2 minutes long)

Bringing Data to the Classroom (7 minutes long) - Bob Swiggum, Chief Information Officer, GA DOE 

Georgia Public Policy Foundation editor Mike Klein filed this story, “Data Is An Onion … You Have to Peel Back the Onion.”