Monday, June 11, 2012

Screening of The Experiment

STOP THE PRESSES! If you are going to be in NYC (or can get here) two weeks from Monday on May 21st, you MUST come to a screening I've organized (in conjunction with Education Reform Now, an affiliate of DFER) of a great new documentary, "The Experiment" (, about the remarkable transformation of the school system in New Orleans post-Katrina. After the film from 6:00-7:30pm will be a panel discussion that I'll moderate from 7:30-8:30pm with the following people:


·         Richard Barth was made CEO and President of the KIPP Foundation in December of 2005. Over the past seven years, he has overseen the significant growth of the network from 45 to 109 schools, dramatically expanded KIPP's leadership development programs, advocated for high performing charter schools on Capitol Hill, and secured more than $190 million in new, long-term philanthropic commitments, including more than $75 million from the federal government.


·         John White is the current State Superintendent of Education for the State of Louisiana. Prior to this role, he served as Superintendent of the Recovery School District of Louisiana. White previously served as the deputy chancellor for talent, labor, and innovation at the New York City Department of Education.

·         Neerav Kingsland joined New Schools for New Orleans at its inception after graduating from Yale Law School. As a law student, he co-wrote an amicus brief to the United State Supreme Court, was director of the Education Adequacy Project legal clinic, worked as a legal assistant at a war crimes tribunal in Sierra Leone, and drafted a human rights report on the state of democracy in the Tibetan Government In-Exile. Neerav was first drawn to education reform as an undergraduate at Tulane University, where he tutored students at Woodson Middle School and taught creative writing to illiterate adults at the Y.M.C.A.  After Hurricane Katrina devastated the city, Neerav and two other law students formed the Hurricane Katrina Legal Clinic, which assisted in the creation of New Schools for New Orleans.

·         Kira Orange Jones is in her fifth year as executive director of Teach For America • Greater New Orleans. Orange Jones was elected to represent most of Orleans Parish on the state Bord of Elementary and Secondary Education in 2011. Her victory was part of a near sweep of last year's board races for allies of the school reform movement that has remade the city's public education system.

·         Mike Wang manages the Philadelphia School Partnership's outreach and growth strategy, including development, partner relations, and parent and community engagement. He is leading the effort to raise $100 million for PSP's "Great Schools Fund," to be invested as growth capital to support the transformation, expansion and start-up of high-performing schools across sectors.

·         Ben Lemoine is the director/producer of "The Experiment," which takes an inside look at the current state of education and the social issues that surround it in New Orleans, and explores both the political and the personal implications of these changes. Lemoine was formerly a reporter, spending the two years after Hurricane Katrina at New Orleans WWL-TV.

The event will be at the NYU Cantor Film Center, 36 East 8th Street, between University Place and Greene St. The doors will open at 5:30pm and the 90-minute film will start at 6:00pm sharp, followed immediately by the panel from 7:30-8:30pm. The theater holds 300 people and it's first-come, first-serve, so RSVP now at: There is no food allowed in the theater, so get something to eat beforehand (or smuggle in a snack). If you are interested in volunteering or have any questions, please contact my assistant Leila at

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