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Metro-Area Student Debate Series, part 1


Metro-Area Student Debate Series, part 1


Season Four of American Public Square, “Our Town, Our Country, Our World,” is underway! At the first of two invite-only events, KC Metro-area debate students and coaches met at the University of Missouri Kansas City for a campus tour, a meal, and conversation. They engaged with a panel of national and local education experts, who talked about the 2017-2018 National Debate Topic:

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its funding and/or regulation of elementary and/or secondary education in the United States.

Our panelists were Matthew Katz, (ACERO Charter School Network), Michael McShane (Show-Me Institute), Lorén Trull (UnidosUS, formerly NCLR), and Sändra Walker (Teacher, Lawrence Public Schools). KCPT’s Nick Haines moderated the discussion. KCUR’s Stephen Steigman, roving reporter, prompted students to ask questions and challenge stated facts.

Thank you, Debate-KC, panelists, and the 14 debate teams who participated!! Your insightful questions and perspectives enriched our discussion of government education funding. We will see you for Part 2 of the debate series in April!

View the event video and a few photos from the event below, and visit our Facebook page for the full photo album.

Matthew Katz, Principal, Rufino Tamayo Charter School, Acero Charter School Network, joined the world of public education as an 8th grade English teacher in St. Louis. He received a Master’s Degree in Public Policy at the University of Chicago and led STRIVE Tutoring, an education non-profit in Hyde Park. In 2013, Matt joined Rufino Tamayo Charter School, which serves a community of mostly low-income families where he implemented a student-first instructional approach that helped catapult the school from the lowest rung of the district’s rating system to the highest.

Michael McShane, Director of Education Policy at the Show-Me Institute and adjunct fellow in education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute.

Michael’s analyses and commentary have been published widely in the media, including USA TodayNational Affairsand The Washington Post.  A former high school teacher, Michael earned a PH.D. in education policy from the University of Arkansas, a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Notre Dame, and a B.A. in English from St. Louis University.

Lorén Trull, Senior Policy Advisor for the Education Policy Project at UnidosUS (formerly the National Council of La Raza).

Lorén is a leading civil rights voice for Latino parents, kids, and English learners, through rigorous policy analysis, recommendations, and advocacy during the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act. She was a program examiner at the White House Office of Management and Budget during the Obama administration.  Lorén holds a Ph.D. in education policy from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a JD from the University of North Carolina School of Law.

Sändra Walker teaches Physical Education at South Middle School in Lawrence, Kansas and has taught in the Lawrence Public Schools for over 30 years. Prior to that, she taught Physical Education at Hillcrest Elementary School along with several other elementary schools. She has been a strong and passionate voice for educators and kids in Lawrence Public schools, Kansas and the United States.

Walker became active in her local and state organization over 20 years ago and has served on the Communications Commission, Instructional Advocacy Commission, Resolutions Committee and the Kansas National Education Association Board of Directors. At the National level she served on the NEA Resolutions Committee, and currently serves on the NEA Board of Directors representing Kansas. Walker is also currently serving as a member of the Board of Directors for the NEA Foundation.

Walker earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Adapted Physical Education/Motor Development at The University of Kansas.