Distributed January 31, 2001
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Kristen Cole

Anton-Lippitt Conference

L.A. mayor, R.I. superintendent to discuss future of urban schools

Los Angeles Mayor Richard J. Riordan and Providence Schools Superintendent Diana Lam will participate in a conference titled “The Future of Urban Schools” on Feb. 15–16, 2001, in Sayles Hall on The College Green. The conference is free and open to the public.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Leaders in education from coast to coast will discuss “The Future of Urban Schools” Feb. 15 and 16 in Sayles Hall, as part of the first Thomas J. Anton-Frederick Lippitt Conference. Richard J. Riordan, Los Angeles mayor, and Diana Lam, Providence schools superintendent, are among the speakers who will outline challenges and change in city education systems.

Riordan will deliver the keynote address about the challenges facing urban schools Thursday, Feb. 15, at 7:30 p.m., to kick off the conference. Lam will speak about reforming Providence schools Friday, Feb. 16, at 12 p.m., as part of the final conference panel.

As mayor of Los Angeles, Riordan dedicated his efforts to providing quality education for all children. His advocacy for literacy inspired such programs such as “Read to Me,” which encourages parents and caregivers to begin reading to their children at an early age and led to an extension of operating hours for the city’s libraries. Riordan is also a founding board member of Better Educated Students for Tomorrow (BEST), a nationally recognized after-school program serving more than 5,000 children in disadvantaged neighborhoods of Los Angeles. He is also a founding member of the nationally acclaimed LEARN effort.

Feb. 16 in Sayles Hall

9 a.m.
Panel discussion: “Immigration, Mobility and Churning: The Impact of Demographic Change on Urban Schools,” moderated by Thomas J. Anton, professor of public policy and political science. Panelists will include Luis Moll, professor of education at the University of Arizona; Carola Suarez Orozco, lecturer in the Harvard Education School and director of the Harvard Immigration Project; and Eugene Garcia, dean of education at the University of California–Berkeley and author of Meeting the Challenge of Student Diversity.

10:30 a.m.
Panel discussion: “The Challenge of Reforming Our Schools: The Possibilities and Limits of Charter Schools,” moderated by Marion Orr, associate professor of political science, public policy and urban studies. Panelists include Theodore Sizer, visiting professor of education at Harvard University and author of The Students Are Watching; Donna Rodriquez, principal of the Worcester/Clark University Experimental School; and Peter McWalters, Rhode Island commissioner of education.

12 p.m.
Diana Lam will deliver the concluding address, speaking on “Reforming Providence Schools.” Darrell M. West, professor of political science and public policy and director of the Taubman Center, will moderate a discussion from a panel of reactors including Phil DeCecco, president of the Providence Teachers Union, and Richard Hoag, president of the Providence/Washington Insurance Company.

All conference events are free and open to the public.

The Thomas J. Anton–Frederick Lippitt Endowment

Established by a gift from Frederick Lippitt, the endowment commemorates nearly two decades of cooperative work by Lippitt and Anton on citywide issues in Providence. The pair helped to create The Providence Plan, a joint venture among government, the University community and the private sector directed at the revitalization of Rhode Island’s capital city. Lippitt currently serves as chairman of the board of the Providence Plan and is a former state legislator, state administrator and chair of the state’s board of governors of elementary and secondary education. Thomas J. Anton is the founding director of Brown’s A. Alfred Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions and chairman of the Providence Housing Authority.