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Penn Law education conference convenes experts on public school challenges, features keynotes Gov. Ed Rendell, Rep. Fattah

March 23, 2012

On Saturday, March 31 Penn Law will host the inaugural L.E.A.R.N. Education Conference, an all-day conference convening academics, politicians, entrepreneurs, educators, and other experts in public education to identify solutions to major challenges in America’s public schools. 

The conference, titled “Bridging Sectors to Rebuild Education,” aims to equip attendees with the requisite knowledge to develop personal action-items to improve public education. Keynote speakers include two political leaders at the forefront of education reform, Governor Ed Rendell C’65, HON’00, and Congressman Chaka Fattah MGA’86, who will discuss the challenges faced by the state and federal education reform initiatives they have proposed. 

To kick off the day’s events, a plenary panel will discuss the often unexplored ways in which practitioners working in different sectors can collaborate towards systemic education improvements for America’s students. The panel’s particpants include Dr. Lillian Lowery, Secretary of Education for Delaware; Damon Hewitt, Director, Education Practice at NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; Diane Castelbueno, Associate Vice President of Education, United Way Southeastern Pennsylvania; and Larry Picus, Vice Dean of Faculty and Professor of Education the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education. 
Governor Ed Rendell C’65, HON’00 Governor Ed Rendell C’65, HON’00
Congressman Chaka Fattah MGA’86 Congressman Chaka Fattah MGA’86
Concurrent, sector-specific panels will further provide attendees with the opportunity to learn about the panelists’ career paths, as well as cutting-edge solutions being proposed by various sectors impacting education, and the greatest challenges these sectors face.
  • Government: Policy-Making to a Better Educational Future
  • Business Ventures: How Education Social Enterprises are Transforming Education
  • Education Policy Research: Finding Data-Driven Solutions
  • Law: How Legal Advocacy Can Ensure All Students Have Access to a Quality Education
  • School and District Leadership: Lessons from the Trenches of Education Reform
  • Non-Profits: Transforming Education
Registration and more information about the conference’s lineup of keynote speakers, panels, and other events are available via
The conference has been approved for 4.5 hours of substantive CLE credit and 0 hours of ethics CLE credit for Pennsylvania lawyers.
L.E.A.R.N., founded as a student group at Penn in 2011, unites graduate students and professionals from a range of backgrounds with a sincere interest in helping to improve public education. The organization aims to foster dialogue about pressing issues, increase knowledge of and access to career opportunities, and engage student members in direct service opportunities in the field of education law and policy. 

L.E.A.R.N. currently represent students in suspension and expulsion hearings, educates Philadelphia parents about their student’s special education rights, and conducts research for non-profit organizations impacting education. L.E.A.R.N. has also attracted pioneers in education to campus as guest speakers, including Co-Founder of KIPP Schools Mike Feinberg C’91, as well as many others.