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Keynote Speaker

Howard Lee

Howard Lee was born July 28, 1934, in Georgia. Lee grew up on a sharecropper's farm and attended Fort Valley State University, where he received a degree in sociology. Following his graduation, Lee served in the United States Army, and was stationed in Korea from 1960 through 1961. Returning to the United States, Lee worked as a Juvenile Probation Officer for two years. In 1964 he enrolled in graduate school at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where he earned a Masters degree in Social Work in 1966.

Lee's political involvement began not long after his move to North Carolina. Lee has served as Mayor of Chapel Hill from 1967 - 1975. He ran for Lieutenant Governor in 1976 and later was a member of Governor Jim Hunt's cabinet, serving as Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Community Development (1977 - 1981). In 1990, Lee was appointed to the North Carolina Senate to represent the sixteenth district, including Chatham, Orange, Moore and parts of Lee and Randolph counties. Lee was re-elected in 1992, defeated in 1994, and re-elected in 1996, 1998, and 2000.

As a member of the General Assembly, Lee made education a hallmark of his tenure in the State Senate, fighting for higher teachers' salaries, greater accountability, and more funding for public education. He was a key sponsor of three of the state's most important education bills: Smart Start, More at Four, and the Excellent Schools Act. He also sponsored the Safe Schools Act, designed to keep violence out of North Carolina classrooms.

As a member of the NC Senate, he co-chaired the Appropriations/Base Budget Committee and the Commission to Address Smart Growth, Growth Management and Development Issues. He served as Vice-Chair of the Commerce, Education/Higher Education and Transportation committees. Lee also served on Finance, Information Technology, Judiciary II, Redistricting, and Ways and Means Committees.

Lee's favorite hobbies include golf, tennis, singing and poetry. Lee and his wife Lillian, an educator, live in Chapel Hill. The couple has three children: Angela, Ricky, and Karin, and two grandchildren.

Most recently, Lee served as the Senior Education Budget Advisor to Governor Mike Easley and served as Chief Executive of the Governor's Education Cabinet. On April 29, 2003, Governor Mike Easley named Lee to the State Board of Education, and on May 1, 2003, members of the Board unanimously voted Lee to be the Chairman of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

Closing the Gap: Achievement Disparities in race and class

Dr. Debra Dabney Austin

Dr. Debra Austin is currently the Chancellor of Florida's Colleges and Universities. In this capacity, she is responsible for providing administrative oversight to the state university system of Florida, a system that consists of eleven public universities and over 260,000 students.

Dr. Austin has over twenty-five years experience in higher education, beginning her career as an English instructor at Lake-Sumter Community College in Leesburg, Florida. Since then, she has served in numerous academic and administrative positions at Tallahassee Community College and later as Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Florida State University. She has also been employed as an adjunct professor in the Higher Education Department at the FSU.

Dr. Austin earned a bachelor's degree in English from Michigan State University, a master's degree in English from the University of Florida, a master's degree in business administration from Florida State University, and the doctorate in higher education from Florida State University. She holds an honorary doctorate from Flagler College.

Dr. Austin is a member of several national, statewide, and local organizations. She's a lifelong member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and of Leadership Florida, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of Florida's citizens. She serves on the Knight Foundation Community Advisory Committee and on the Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare Board of Directors. She also serves as Second Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Tallahassee Urban League and is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Alfred B. Maclay School (an independent college preparatory school in Tallahassee).

Dr. Austin has received numerous honors and awards, most recently having been recognized at the 2003 Conference on the Education of Minorities in Florida as an Outstanding Educator for the State of Florida.

She is also a member of Bethel A.M.E. Church where she is active in Church School. She is married to Kenneth Austin, Director of Aviation for the City of Tallahassee, and together they have two daughters: Kendrea, a first-year student at the University of Virginia, and Kimberly, a first-year law student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Ms. Sheria Reid

Staff Attorney, Education and Law Project Director for NC Justice Center

Sheria Reid is a native of Wilson, North Carolina. In 1984, she received her undergraduate degree in English Education from UNC-Chapel Hill and after graduation taught English Literature and Composition at Chapel High School for ten years. While at Chapel Hill High School, Ms. Reid helped design and implement a teaching model based on Mortimer Adler's Paideia model that focused on use of the Socratic method of inquiry to enhance student learning. In addition, Ms. Reid also worked with a team of teachers to devise a model for instruction that incorporated Ted Sizer's Coalition of Essential Schools principles. In 1994, Ms. Reid left teaching to attend law school at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law and received a J.D. from UNC in 1997. Upon graduation from law school, she accepted a position as a staff attorney at East Central Community Legal Services. Currently Ms. Reid is employed as the managing attorney and project director for the North Carolina Education and Law Project. Her work as an advocate for quality education for all children includes serving on a legal team that represented at-risk children, as amici curiae, in North Carolina's school finance case, commonly known as Leandro. Additionally, Ms. Reid has published a policy report on the minority achievement gap, The Achievement Gap 2002: An Update and has contributed a chapter to a publication released by East Carolina University, Teacher's Manual for North Carolina Educators, edited by Chris Shea and W. Scott Thomson. Ms. Reid's work also encompasses working with parent groups to inform and support parents in becoming advocates for quality education for their children.

The Education and Law Project is one of several projects under the auspices of the North Carolina Justice and Community Development Center. The overall mission of the Justice Center is to advocate for changes in law and governmental practice and policy that will serve to move low-wealth individuals from poverty to self-sufficiency. The Education and Law Project focuses on the significant role that a quality education plays in providing an avenue out of poverty. The Project uses a variety of methods including political advocacy, litigation and parent and community education to further its mission of ensuring that all children have equal access to a quality education.

Mr. Granger B. Ward

Granger B. Ward is the California Statewide Director for AVID, Advancement Via Individual Determination, an educational program that focuses on providing access to four-year colleges for educationally disadvantaged, underachieving secondary school students. As AVID's California Director he oversees 11 regional AVID Centers operating and supporting AVID programs in 1,050 middle and high schools throughout the state. There are over 77,000 AVID students in California. Working through the AVID Center, the non-profit agency that guides the international dissemination of AVID, Mr. Ward directs the work of AVID regional directors and the AVID statewide data collection process, as well as oversees implementation strategies for the California school districts that are offering AVID programs. Additionally he monitors AVID's California Summer Institutes, develops post-secondary connections, collaborates with the California Department of Education and contributes to the development of the Center's legislative relations.

Mr. Ward was formerly the superintendent of both the Manhattan High Schools in the City of New York as well as the Grossmont Union High School District in San Diego. He attended public schools in New York City and received his B.S. from the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, in Syracuse. His M.S. degree is from Syracuse University and his Administrative Credential from SUNY at Oswego. Mr. Ward is married and lives with his wife in Cardiff by the Sea, California.

Single Sex Education: Boys are from Mars, Girls are from Venus?

Ms. Leslie T. Annexstein

Leslie T. Annexstein is the Director of the AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund. LAF's core mission is to support women fighting sex discrimination in higher education. As Director of LAF, Ms. Annexstein is responsible for overseeing the management, development and implementation of programs and strategies to carry out LAF's mission, including implementation of the case support program, attorney and social scientist network, Progress in Equity Award, and public education programs on campuses.

Prior to joining AAUW, Ms. Annexstein was a Senior Counsel at the National Women's Law Center. At the Center, she participated in administrative and legislative advocacy, public education and litigation to enhance legal rights for women and girls in education. Her work at the Center included serving as counsel in Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, the landmark case in which the Supreme Court established that schools have an obligation under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to address student-to-student sexual harassment, and leading the Center's efforts to advance the rights of women and girls in career and technical education. Before joining the Center, Ms. Annexstein was an Attorney-Advisor to the Acting Chairman of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a staff attorney at the Center for Law and Education, and a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division at the United States Department of Justice, where she litigated employment discrimination cases under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Ms. Annexstein is the author of several publications addressing gender equity in education, including, most recently, a chapter entitled "Opening the Door to Career and Technical Education Programs for Women and Girls," published in Equity Issues in Career and Technical Education, by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education. She also serves on the Advisory Board of the University of Maryland Office of Human Relations Programs, as well as the Board of Advisors of the Annual Review of Gender and Sexuality Law, The Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law.

Ms. Annexstein is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, and Swarthmore College.

Professor Rosemary Salomone

Rosemary C. Salomone is the Kenneth Wang Professor of Law at St. John's University School of Law where she has served as Associate Academic Dean (1992-94) and Director of the Center for Law and Public Policy (1994-97) and currently teaches courses in constitutional, administrative, and local government law and children and the law. Prior to joining the St. John's faculty, she was an Associate Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she taught education law, finance, and language policy in the Administration, Planning, and Social Policy Program and served on the faculty of the Institute for Educational Management. From 1985 to 1995, she was a trustee of the State University of New York. She has also chaired the Education and the Law Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (1993-96) and the Section on Education Law of the Association of American Law Schools (1995, 2003). Her research has received support from the Soros Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Milton and Mark DeWolfe Howe Funds of Harvard University. She holds degrees from Brooklyn College (B.A.), Hunter College (M.A.), Brooklyn Law School (J.D.), and Columbia University (Ph.D. and LL.M.) where she was the Bretzfelder Fellow in Constitutional Law in1983-84. She is also a fellow of the Open Society Institute. Professor Salomone is the author of Same, Different, Equal: Rethinking Single-Sex Schooling (Yale University Press, 2003), Visions of Schooling: Conscience, Community, and Common Education (Yale University Press, 2000), and Equal Education Under Law: Legal Rights and Federal Policy in the Post-"Brown" Era (St. Martin's Press, 1986) as well as numerous articles, book chapters, papers, and commentaries on constitutional rights, education policy, and school governance. Considered a leading authority on single-sex education, she has been widely quoted on the topic in the national press and has been a featured commentator on PBS and National Public Radio. She is currently working on a book examining language policy, identity, and linguistic minorities.

Special Education: Good and Bad IDEAs

Ms. Kathleen Boundy

Kathleen Boundy co-director with Paul Weckstein of the Center for Law and Education, has an extensive background in education law based on providing legal support and technical assistance to attorneys and advocates representing low-income children and youth. An attorney with CLE for more than 20 years, Ms. Boundy has, in particular, played a significant role through legislation, policy development and litigation in implementing and enforcing the rights of students with disabilities, including to improved educational outcomes under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as amended, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Ms. Boundy has an M.A.T. degree in history, which she taught at a large urban public high school prior to earning her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law.

Dr. Bryan Hassel

Dr. Bryan Hassel is Co-Director of Public Impact. He consults nationally on charter schools and the reform of existing public schools. In the charter school arena, he is a recognized expert on state charter school policies, accountability and oversight systems, and facilities financing. Other areas of education reform in which he has worked extensively include school district restructuring, comprehensive school reform, and teaching quality. President Bush appointed him to serve on the national Commission on Excellence in Special Education, which produced its report in July 2002. In addition to numerous articles, monographs, and how-to guides for practitioners, he is the author of The Charter School Challenge: Avoiding the Pitfalls, Fulfilling the Promise and co-editor of Learning from School Choice, published by the Brookings Institution Press in 1999 and 1998. Dr. Hassel received his doctorate in public policy from Harvard University and his masters in politics from Oxford University, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar.

Professor Ann Hubbard

Associate Professor at UNC Law School

B.A., 1979, College of William and Mary; J.D., 1992, magna cum laude, Duke University.

After graduating from college, Hubbard worked as a legislative aide on Capitol Hill, as press secretary and research director for the North Carolina Democratic Party, and as project coordinator for the International Commission on Central American Recovery and Development. Following law school, she served as law clerk first to Judge Patricia M. Wald of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and then to Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the United States Supreme Court. She practiced law for two years in the Chapel Hill office of Ferguson, Stein, Wallas, Adkins, Gresham, and Sumter before going to the Department of Justice as an assistant to the Solicitor General. Hubbard joined the UNC-Chapel Hill law faculty in 1997. She teaches contracts, employment discrimination, and disability law.

Language in Schools: I Speak "Education"

Mr. Stefan Rosenzweig

Mr. Stefan Rosenzweig is a Scholar in Residence at the Center of Language Minority Education and Research, The California State University, Long Beach. He recently left his position as the Regional Director of the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education. A graduate of Boalt Hall in 1968, he has been an education attorney ever since, and took his post at the U.S. Dept. of Education in January 1997. Prior to his current position, he served for three years as Executive Director of Public Advocates, a San Francisco based civil rights law firm. At Public Advocates he monitored the Larry P. v. Riles court order, prohibiting the utilization of IQ tests in placing African-American students into special education programs and worked on litigation challenging California's CBEST examination (AMAE v. California).

From 1989 to 1994, Stefan spent five years in Florida. There he served as co-counsel in LULAC v. Florida Board of Education, which created the state's first standards for the education of a diverse and growing population of English language learners. He also helped organize a statewide coalition, Florida Multicultural Network for Educational Rights, to work on the entire gamut of education/civil rights concerns including standards based education reform.

For over two decades he practiced in California, including seven years as Director of Litigation for California Rural Legal Assistance and ten years with the Legal Aid Society of Alameda County. He has also worked for two national legal services support centers, The Harvard Center for Law and Education and the National Center for Youth Law. During this time period he concentrated on litigation, legislation and community education in civil rights issues including bilingual and migrant education. He worked on litigation improving the monitoring and complaint handling procedures of the California Department of Education (Comite v. Honig) and worked with the Department on decreasing the over-representation of Latino students in dead-end special education programs (Diana v. State Bd. of Ed.). Finally, he has represented scores of students and parents before courts, administrative tribunals, and school boards.

You're Gay? Stay Away: Combating Homophobia in Schools

Ms. Widney Brown

Widney Brown is the deputy program director of Human Rights Watch, where she develops strategies for exposing violations and for promoting and protecting human rights. Widney oversees work on a range of issues including; the situation of women in conflict and post-conflict societies; human rights violations related to the HIV/AIDS epidemic; persecution and discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity; economic rights; and, migrant rights. Widney has researched and written several reports for Human Rights Watch including Hatred in the Hallways: Discrimination and Violence against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Students in U.S. Schools. She is a graduate of NYU School of Law and is a lecturer at Yale University's School of Epidemiology and Public Health, where she teaches a course on health and human rights.

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