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CCU hosts spring educational forum

April 1, 2013

A public educational forum on the "Achievement/Opportunity Gap" will be hosted by Coastal Carolina University on Tuesday, April 9, from 6 to 8 p.m. in Wheelwright Auditorium. Presented by CCU's Spadoni College of Education Consortium for Educational Research and Evaluation, this forum will examine the current societal and communal complexities of the U.S. education system. The event is free and open to the public.

Speakers will address the "Achievement Gap," a phrase commonly used to describe the differences in test scores among students from varied backgrounds and experiences (e.g. ethnic, racial, gender, disability and income). Recently, the emphasis has shifted from test scores to the "Opportunity Gap," which focuses on economic resources, early learning opportunities, effective teachers and parental/community involvement as factors in reducing student's learning gaps.

To address the complexities of these issues, the forum has been organized into a format with three keynote speakers given 15 to 20 minutes to provide an overview of each theme. After the presentations, a discussion panel will be held and the audience will be invited to pose questions to the discussants. In addition to the three keynote speakers, the panel is comprised of Cynthia Elsberry, superintendent of Horry County Schools, and Patti Hammel, executive director of student performance/federal programs for Georgetown County School District.

The three key themes and the keynote speakers for this forum are:

* Significance of early childhood education to reduce the achievement/opportunity gap, presented by Joe Waters, vice president of the Institute for Child Success.

* Effectiveness of school/community initiatives and teachers to bridge the achievement/opportunity gap, presented by Jackie Stanley, coordinator of mentoring and professional development for Horry County Schools.

* Economic impact of the Achievement/Opportunity Gap in schools, presented by Michael Latta, associate dean of CCU's E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration.

Please register online at or contact Lynne Brock at 843-349-2629.