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Education Policy Fellowship Program

Future of Detroit Schools

March 16, 2015
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Kellogg Center, MSU

Purpose: This learning team session is designed to give fellows an overview of the current landscape of schools in Detroit, the impact of education in Detroit on the state as a whole, and possible future landscapes for education in Detroit in light of recent initiatives aimed at reforming the system. A panel discussion of major strands in the aforementioned three key areas will be followed by a question and answer session so fellows can capitalize on the expert knowledge of panelists as they form their own opinions about where Detroit schools may be headed.




Introduction of Panelists and Session Objectives, Historical Context
1:20PM-2:45PM:  Panel Discussion, Topics Include: Panel discussion on topics including: Stakeholders and Important Players for Education in Detroit, Impact of Detroit Education on Michigan as a Whole, Future Landscapes for Education in Detroit

Question and Answers, and Closing Remarks


Speaker Biographies:

Dr. Judith K. Berry has served in various educational administrative roles for over thirty years in community college, state department of education, education authority, private university, and K-12 school districts. She combines long-term educational experience with transferable business and industry knowledge. Berry received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Marygrove College, a Master of Arts degree from Michigan State University, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Walden University. Her deliberate, progressive approach for earning formal credentials in all aspects of the education industry including in secondary teaching, K-12 administration, and community college leadership has prepared her to provide comprehensive consulting services to education entities throughout the country. In addition to Dr. Berry's work as a life-long educator, she is a graduate of the Michigan Education Policy Fellowship Program. Currently, she is senior educational strategist for Technical Education Services and Training, LLC. TEST, LLC is a provider of services for executive leadership, mid-level management, faculty, and administrative support staffs in the areas of executive coaching, leadership development, strategic planning, operational management, communication and decision making, workforce development, and curriculum design and development services. Dr. Berry lives in East Lansing; however, she grew up in the Detroit area and attended Detroit Public Schools where she graduated from Southwestern High School. She is married to Mandeville Berry and they have a daughter and a son who are young, independent adults.

The Honorable Thomas F. Stallworth III is a systems change management consultant who most recently utilized his skills in the Michigan House of Representatives. He holds the distinction of having served as Chairman of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus and the Detroit Caucus as well as sitting on the House Democratic Leadership Team. During his tenure in the legislature he also served as the Vice Chair of the powerful Energy and Technology Committee and a member of the Health and Education Policy Committees where he developed a reputation for his broad based knowledge, effective problem solving and communication skills. A graduate of his beloved Mumford High School (Detroit) and Michigan State University, Thomas gained his passion for political thought as a student delegate to the first Congressional Black Caucus Conference in 1971 where he was exposed to iconic Congressmen such as Charles Diggs, Louis Stokes, and Shirley Chisholm. That experience was a catalyst for his later internship at the Martin Luther King Jr Center for Non-Violent change and his lifelong commitment to social and economic justice issues. Thomas Stallworth has served as a board member of the Detroit Public Schools, the Wayne County Child Care Coordinating Council, The Black Child Development Institute, Children's Aid Society, The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW), and as Director of the Black Caucus Foundation of Michigan (BCF). He is married and the proud father of 4 and grandfather of 2 children who inspire his commitment to providing a safe, secure and prosperous future for Michigan's children and families.

Aaron Johnson was born in Detroit, Michigan and attended Detroit Public Schools K-12. At the age of eight, he was recommended to attend a new school that was designed to challenge the city's academically advanced students. Enrollment in Bates Academy, a magnet school, helped to change the course of his life. Attendance at Bates Academy for six years solidified Aaron's acceptance to Detroit Renaissance High School, one of the nation's premier high schools. Renaissance High School not only prepared him for a success in academia, but it prepared him to compete in every area of my life. After graduating from Renaissance in 1992, Aaron attended Eastern Michigan University, The New School for Social Research in New York City, and Wayne State University, graduating from Wayne State in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science degree in English Education. Aaron began teaching in the Detroit Public Schools at King and Renaissance High Schools, while earning his Master of Education degree from Wayne State University. He started his journey in administration as an Assistant Principal at Hamtramck High School in Hamtramck, MI. Later, Aaron was given the opportunity to work as an Assistant Principal at Farmington High School in Farmington, MI. After two and a half years as an Assistant Principal, he was chosen as the principal of Harrison High School, another school within the Farmington Public Schools. In 2012, he accepted the position as Director of Secondary Instruction for the Grosse Pointe Public School System. After spending two years in Grosse Pointe, he accepted the position as Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services for the Farmington Public Schools. Aaron applied for, and was accepted in, the doctoral program at Wayne State University. During his coursework, he has focused on research around literacy development.


Learning Team Members:

Olivia Roome
Aaron Johnson
Elizabeth Ruiz
Scottie Barton
Kristen Kajoian
Mark Smith


Resource Material:


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