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Reading & Literacy Webinar

Creating Confident Readers: Why Differentiated Instruction is Equitable Instruction

Mon., May 20, 2024, 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. ET
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Educators know that real learning happens when we meet our students exactly where they are.

In this candid discussion, educational equity expert Kerri Larkin sits down with Liliana Salazar, National Director of Special Education and Student Support at Academica, to break down the equity imperative of differentiation in the classroom.

We’ll dig into the how and why of equitable instruction school leaders need to know in order to equip their teachers with the knowledge, skills, resources, and capacity to meet the diverse needs of all students—emergent bilinguals, students with dyslexia, students of color, and more.

By implementing an equitable literacy learning curriculum supported by technology, focused on differentiated learning, and grounded in the science of reading, educators can achieve literacy gains that ensure all students become confident readers and lifelong learners.

Dr. Bren Elliott
Former State Turnaround Superintendent, Tennessee Department of Education District of Columbia Public Schools
Dr. Brenda (Bren) Elliott has vast experience successfully leading district-wide transformation that leads to improved student outcomes. She has 30 years of experience as an educational leader serving in school districts in Tennessee, North Carolina and Washington, DC. Dr. Elliott is an innovative systems-thinker and has served in public education in various assignments including State Turnaround Superintendent, Chief of School Improvement & Supports, Chief Equity Officer, Director for High Priority Schools Advocacy, Area Director, High School and Middle School Principal, and High School Teacher.

Dr. Elliott’s dissertation, “District-Level Equity Leaders’ Approaches to Addressing the Racial Achievement Gap Between Black and White Students in Urban Public Schools”, resulted in her receiving the James Surratt Outstanding Doctoral Student Award from High Point University. She has presented nationally at various conferences including ASCD, the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), International Council of Professors of Educational Leadership, National Association of Black School Educators (NABSE), National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC), Education Commission of the States, as well as speaking on Capitol Hill. Most recently, she co-authored the book, The Antiracist Roadmap to Educational Equity: A Systemwide Approach for All Stakeholders and continues to support school districts in implementing practices that increase access and achievement for students furthest from opportunity.

Bren has received numerous awards to include the AASA Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award (2023), CiViL Group Service-Learning Award Recipient (2018), National Youth Leadership Council’s Bernard Gill Urban Service-Learning Award (2014), and The Academies of Nashville’s CEO Champion’s Award (2011), National Association of Black School Educators’ Principal of the Year (2004), and Teacher of the Year (Pearl Cohn High School, 1999).

Bren is a veteran and served her country proudly for more than ten years as a military officer in the U.S. Army Chemical Corps. She cites as the major contributors to her success, a strong belief that students can and want to succeed and purposefully working to build a team of educators, students, parents and community members who believe the same.

Kerri Larkin
Senior Education Advisor, Lexia
Kerri Larkin brings more than 20 years of special education experience to her role as Senior Education Advisor. Kerri began her career teaching secondary language arts and special education at Anacostia High School in Washington, DC Public Schools (DCPS). She left the classroom to become the director of her teacher preparation program, which prepared and evaluated special education teachers in partnership with the George Washington University. Based on her leadership in teacher preparation, Kerri was hired back into DCPS by Michelle Rhee through the Master Educator program. From there, Kerri led special education as the Director for Academic Programs and then Senior Deputy Chief of Specialized Instruction until March 2021.

Kerri leverages her experience in partnership with other District leaders to increase educational equity through meaningful inclusion, evidence-based practice and sustained professional learning. She is a passionate anti-racism advocate with an emphasis on meaningful inclusion and systemic change.

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Education Week is serving only as the host for this presentation. The content was created by the sponsor. The opinions expressed in this webinar are those of the sponsor and do not reflect the opinion of or constitute an endorsement by Editorial Projects in Education or any of its publications.

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