November 4, 2013

The Challenges of Achieving Educational Equity in the Neo-liberal Era
Time: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Location: Western Illinois University, Quad Cities
Riverfront Campus, Rooms 103-104
Description: Dr. Hugh Mehan, Professor Emeritus of sociology and Special Project Director at the Center for Research in Educational Equity, Assessment, and Teaching Excellence at the University of California, San Diego, will visit Western Illinois University Quad Cities Riverfront campus to deliver a 6:00 p.m. keynote presentation titled "The Challenges of Achieving Educational Equity in the Neo-liberal Era: Lessons Learned from Twelve Years of De-tracking Schools in San Diego.”

After this address, Dr. Mehan will participate in a dialogue with local Quad Cities educators organized by faculty from WIU’s educational and interdisciplinary studies and sociology/ anthropology departments. That discussion will revolve around educational issues and reflect Dr. Mehan’s interest in local educational initiatives and his commitment to public sociology, an approach that allows “theory and practice to be linked by socially engaged research.”

Dr. Mehan is well qualified to address issues related to educational equity, given his distinguished research career and his deep involvement to effect school reform in San Diego’s disadvantaged neighborhoods. His efforts have included building a 6-12 single-track, college-prep school on the UCSD campus, forming partnerships with schools in low-income neighborhoods, and assisting other universities to build similar university-school-community collaborations.

In his pursuit of social justice in education, Dr. Mehan has had to counter claims that children from low-income families that have been traditionally underrepresented in higher education are not able to do college-level work, that charter schools undermine public education, and that K-12 reform is not a university’s responsibility. He has argued that many major reform efforts of the past decade, “including privatization, standards and accountability regimens, and voucher plans” have led to “the reduction of educational opportunities and support for economically disadvantaged students.” The reforms he has championed in San Diego have demonstrated that, given appropriate structural arrangements and resource investment, low-income students can be admitted into four-year universities at a rate significantly higher than national averages.

Dr. Mehan’s socially engaged scholarship, skill as a teacher, and outstanding contributions to anthropology, applied sociology, and education have been recognized through awards from various colleges, universities, and professional organizations, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Educational Research Association. Among the books he has authored, co-authored or edited areIn College's Front Door , Extending School Reform, and Reform as Learning.

The Expanding Cultural Diversity Project is organizing Dr. Mehan’s WIU visit. Co-sponsors include the Center for Innovative Teaching and Research, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Office of the Vice President for QC, Planning and Technology, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and the Department of Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies. For further information, contact Dr. Gordon Chang at

Contact Information:
 Gordon C. Chang
 Phone: 309-298-1573
Source: Multicultural

Western Illinois University
1 University Circle * Macomb, IL 61455
Phone: 309/298-1414 * E-mail
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