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Morning Shots

Intersection of Politics and Education

As I prepare to enter into my fourth and final year at Wake Forest University I can’t help but reflect on the opportunities I have been awarded due to my education, which makes me think about what other individuals miss out on due to a lack of access to education. This inequity of access to education continues to propel the achievement and opportunity gaps persistent in many communities throughout the nation, not just in my home state of North Carolina.

This obvious inequity made apparent the need to use policy and politics to better the state of education, not just teacher practices confined to the classroom. Through my time spent in the education department at Wake Forest I have learned ways to work to diminish the achievement and opportunity gaps through teacher practices in the classroom. Although there is a discussion of these persistent problems, there is little discussion of the policies that work to diminish these discrepancies outside of the classroom. I do not discuss this missing component to condemn the education department at Wake Forest, but rather as a springboard to discuss my motivation to spend my summer with CER.

This missing component of my education is the reason why I am spending my summer interning at CER. I hope to gain an understanding of what policies are being enacted at the federal, state, and local levels to make access to quality education available to all, not just those with a coveted address. As well, I hope to learn more about reform initiatives implemented in several schools to see what works and what does not work and hope to continue these initiatives in my future as an educator.

Elizabeth Kennard, CER Intern


What Lies Ahead

Walking into the building this morning, I had no idea what to expect. I had applied for the internship, done my research, had my interview, asked all my questions and yet I had no idea what lay before me.

My passion for education started when I was three years old and I would force my parents to play school for hours on end. As I grew up, my interest and passion for education grew just as fast as I did. I took every opportunity to be in the classroom or tutor someone outside the classroom. I was lucky enough to experience a charter education, public education, and private education during my childhood, which has allowed me to learn and experience different methods of education and teaching. As I learned more about the education system the more I realized there needed to be a shift and reform in the current education system. When I started college in my Introduction to Education class I read A Nation at Risk and everything suddenly made sense to me. If I wanted to fulfill my dreams and make an impact on education, I needed to get involved with the policies that make up education.

Looking around the conference room on my first day at The Center for Education Reform I can see that I am in the perfect place to learn and gain the wisdom I need to make my dreams come true. I am excited and anxious to get started on the many different projects and attend the events CER has presented to us interns. I still may not know exactly what lies before me or what I am about to learn, but to be able to have this experience and to see the possibilities that I have before me is an exciting prospect to

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My First Day at CER

Today marks the beginning of my involvement in the education reform movement, and I couldn’t be more excited.

I am a rising junior at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine majoring in Sociology and am from Wilton, Connecticut. I became interested in education during high school, when I witnessed the stark contrast between the public education system in my hometown and that of the neighboring city of Bridgeport. I was appalled at their acute differences and simultaneously disheartened that the children in Bridgeport did not have access to the same educational opportunities as others and myself. I also became acquainted with the weaknesses in my own school district while working at a local after school program. These inequities led me to seek out further improvement in Bridgeport and Wilton’s education programs.

While at Bowdoin College, I have continued these pursuits by tutoring children in Brunswick as well as working for Bowdoin’s Upward Bound program, which is an organization that encourages students in low-income areas to pursue a college education.

My experience in education has primarily been hands-on. Although immersing myself in schools of various financial circumstances has been beneficial, I recognize that educational policy is integral to the education reform movement. That being said, for my summer internship, I sought out an organization that is committed to implementing and improving educational policy. This drew me to CER.

I am only a few hours into my internship at CER and have already been introduced to numerous projects that the organization is currently spearheading. I am both impressed and amazed at all that I will be able to learn in the next seven weeks as well as all of the events and opportunities that are at my disposal because of this internship.

There is a palpable energy in this office, and it stems from the common desire

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