Press Release

Closing the Excellence Gap: Advocating for High-Achieving, Low-Income Students
A Convening of Principals from Selective Public High Schools

Next week the foundation is convening 100 principals of selective public high schools from across the country to address how we can better support and advocate for high-achieving, low-income students and close the widening Excellence Gap, the disparity in the percent of lower-income versus higher-income students who reach advanced levels of academic performance.

February 5-6, 2015

Lansdowne Resort, Lansdowne, VA


Thursday, February 5

2:00-2:30 PM  Welcome

Harold O. Levy, Executive Director, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

2:30-3:15 PM  Current Federal Landscape and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act

John B. King, Jr., Senior Adviser Delegated Duties of Deputy Secretary of Education, U.S. Department of Education

3:15-3:30 PM  Establishing a New Advocacy Organization: Laying the Groundwork

Todd Mann, Executive Director, National Consortium of Secondary STEM Schools (NCSSS) and Magnet Schools of America

Crystal Bonds, President, NCSSS and Principal, High School for Math, Science and Engineering at City College

4:00-5:30 PM  Panel Discussion: Student Outreach and Preparation

Dr. Carol V. Horn, K-12 Program Coordinator, Fairfax County Public Schools

Dr. Jamie Lathan, Dean of Distance Education, North Carolina School of Math and Science

Crystal Bonds, Principal, High School for Math, Science and Engineering at City College

Dr. Jose Torres, President, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Moderator:  Rebecca Cullen, Director of Young Scholars and Alumni Programs, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

6:30-8:00 PM  Hosted dinner at Lansdowne Resort

Keynote: Maya Ajmera, President and CEO, Society for Science and the Public (SSP) and Founder, The Global Fund for Children

8:30-9:30 PM  Cocktail/ dessert reception at the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
(Shuttles provided)


Friday, February 6

8:30-9:45 AM  Opportunities for Your Schools and Your Students

JKCF Selective High Schools Grant – Insider Tips for Developing a Competitive Grant Proposal

Natalie Rodriguez Jansorn, Director Grants and Higher Education, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

 Panel Discussion: Scholarship Opportunities

Beth Breger, Executive Director, Leadership for a Diverse America

Cecilia Marshall, Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund

Meara Weaver, Horatio Alger Association

Representative, Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation

Representative, Gates Millennium Scholars Foundation

Moderated by: Dr. Barbara Schmertz, Program Manager Higher Education, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

10:00-11:00 AM  Research Presentation: Current Landscape on How States Serve High-Achieving Students

Dr. Jonathan Plucker, Endowed Professor of Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut

11:15AM-12:30PM  Discussion Groups: Advocating for High-Achieving, Low-Income Students at the Federal, State, and District Levels

Attendees participate in one breakout discussion group to exchange advocacy ideas and strategies at one of three levels 

Federal: Jane Clarenbach, Director of Public Education, National Association for Gifted Children

State: Dr. Jonathan Plucker, Endowed Professor of Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut

District/Local: Elizabeth Sciabarra, Executive Director – Brooklyn Tech Alumni Foundation

12:30-1:30 PM  Lunch host by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

1:30-2:15 PM  Establishing a New Advocacy Organization: Next Steps

Moderator: Crystal Bonds, President, NCSSS and Principal, High School for Math, Science and Engineering at City College

2:15-2:30 PM  Concluding Remarks

Harold O. Levy, Executive Director, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

About the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation:  The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. By offering the largest scholarships in the country, in-depth academic counseling and other direct services, the Foundation seeks to help high-performing, low-income students to develop their talents and excel educationally. In addition to providing students both counseling and financial support from middle school to graduate school, the Foundation provides grants for noteworthy and innovative initiatives that support high-performing, low-income students. Founded in 2000, the Foundation has awarded over $130 million in scholarships to almost 1,900 students and over $80 million in grants.

Confirmed attendees:

  • Alabama School of Fine Arts, Birmingham, AL
  • Alabama School of Math & Science, Mobile, AL
  • Booker T. Washington Magnet High School, Montgomery, AL
  • Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, & the Arts, Hot Springs, AR
  • University High School, Tucson, AZ
  • Aerospace & Hydrospace Engineering High School, Bridgeport, CT
  • Engineering & Science University Magnet School, Hamden, CT
  • Academy of Aerospace & Engineering, Hartford, CT
  • Academy of Aerospace & Engineering, Rocky Hill, CT
  • Design & Architecture Senior High, Miami, FL
  • School for Advanced Studies, Miami, FL
  • Earl J. Lennard High School, Ruskin, FL
  • Armwood High School, Seffner, FL
  • Hillsborough High School, Tampa, FL
  • Howard W. Blake High School, Tampa, FL
  • Middleton High School, Tampa, FL
  • Robinson High School, Tampa, FL
  • Tampa Bay Technical High School, Tampa, FL
  • Thomas Jefferson High School, Tampa, FL
  • AW Dreyfoos School of the Arts, West Palm Beach, FL
  • South Cobb High School, Austell, GA
  • DeKalb School of the Arts, Avondale Estates, GA
  • Columbus High School, Columbus, GA
  • Rockdale Magnet School for Science & Technology, Conyers, GA
  • Gwinnet School of Mathematics, Science, & Technology, Lawrenceville, GA
  • Northside College Preparatory High School, Chicago, IL
  • Jones College Prep High School, Chicago, IL
  • Lindblom Math & Science Academy, Chicago, IL
  • Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, Chicago, IL
  • Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics & Humanities, Munci, IN 
  • Sumner Academy of Arts & Science, Kansas City, KS 
  • The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics & Science, Bowling Green, KY 
  • Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy, Jefferson, LA
  • Louisiana School for Math, Science & the Arts, Natchitoches, LA
  • The Springfield Renaissance School, Springfield, MA
  • Massachusetts Academy of Math & Science at WPI, Worcester, MA
  • Aberdeen High School, Aberdeen, MD
  • Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, Baltimore, MD
  • Igenuity Project at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, Baltimore, MD
  • Western High School, Baltimore, MD
  • Western School of Technology & Environmental Science, Baltimore, MD
  • North County High School, Glen Burnie, MD
  • Eleanor Roosevelt High School, Greenbelt, MD
  • Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, MD
  • G.W. Carver Center for Arts & Technology, Towson, MD
  • Towson High School, Towson, MD
  • Maine School Of Science & Mathematics, Limestone, ME
  • Battle Creek Area Mathematics & Science Center, Battle, MI
  • Kalamazoo Area Mathematics & Science Center, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Lincoln College Preparatory Academy, Kansas City, MO
  • Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics, & Computing, Maryville, MO
  • Metro Academic & Classical High School, St. Louis, MO
  • Mississippi School for Mathematics & Science, Columbus, MS
  • North Carolina School of Science & Mathematics, Durham, NC
  • Early College Of Forsyth County, Winston-Salem, NC
  • Bergen County Academies, Hackensack, NJ
  • Science Park High School, Newark, NJ
  • Academy For Allied Health Sciences, Scotch Plains, NJ
  • Bergen County Technical High School - Teterboro, Teterboro, NJ
  • Communications High School, Wall Township, NJ
  • The Davidson Academy of Nevada, Reno, NV
  • High School of American Studies at Lehman College, Bronx, NY
  • Brooklyn Technical High School, Brooklyn, NY
  • Queens High School for the Sciences at York College, Jamaica, NY
  • Bard High School Early College Queens, Long Island City, NY
  • Manhattan Village Academy, Manhattan, NY
  • Bard High School Early College, New York City, NY
  • Eleanor Roosevelt High School, New York City, NY
  • Emma Lazarus High School for EL Scholars, New York City, NY
  • FH LaGuardia High School of Music & Art & Performing Arts, New York City, NY
  • High School for Dual Language & Asian Studies, New York City, NY
  • High School for Math, Science, & Engineering at CCNY, New York City, NY
  • Hunter College High School, New York City, NY
  • Manhattan Bridges High School, New York City, NY
  • Stuyvesant High School, New York City, NY
  • The Frederick Douglass Academy, New York City, NY
  • Staten Island Technical High School, Staten Island, NY
  • Walnut Hills High School, Cincinnati, OH
  • Cleveland Early College High School, Cleveland, OH
  • Cleveland School of Architecture & Design at John Hay, Cleveland, OH
  • Cleveland School of Science & Medicine, Cleveland, OH
  • Oklahoma School of Science & Mathematics, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Academy at Palumbo High School, Philadelphia, PA
  • GW Carver High School of Engineering & Science, Philadelphia, PA
  • Irmo High School, Columbia, SC
  • SC Governor’s School for the Arts & Humanities, Greenville, SC
  • South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics, Hartsville, SC
  • Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, Dallas, TX
  • School For The Talented & Gifted, Dallas, TX
  • The High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, Houston, TX
  • SUCCESS Academy, St. George, UT
  • Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology, Alexandria, VA
  • The Governor’s School for Science & Technology, Hampton, VA
  • Maggie L. Walker Governer’s School, Richmond, VA
  • Loudoun County Public Schools Academy of Science, Sterling, VA
  • Virginia STEAM Academy, Suffolk, VA
  • Milwaukee School of Languages, Milwaukee, WI

This is a sponsored message and does not necessarily represent the views of the Education Writers Association, its board of directors, or its members. Want to see your release on the EWA site? Promote it with EWA.