Justice Club organizes education reform panel


courtesy of Fran Roby

The panelists discussed education reform and the Every Child Succeeds Act.

Andrew Plouff, Staff Writer

To kick off the new semester, the Justice Club hosted a panel on Education Reform. Organized by seniors Brandon Banks and Emma Froseth, the panel covered Minnesota’s gap in education and low testing scores. The panel consisted of three established people in this area: co-founder of Prodeo Academy Rick Campion, co-director of the Educational Equity Resource Center at the University of Minnesota Julie Sweitzer, and manager of the Generation Next organization Jeremiah Ellis.

Banks and Froseth took months to plan the panel, wanting it to be a great success. “As leaders of the Justice Club, we wanted to do something special before we graduated. I saw this as our big finale before we head off to college. We took a lot of time to get everything organized,” Froseth said.

As they planned the panel, Banks and Froseth even had the opportunity to meet the former Mayor of Minneapolis, R.T. Rybak. “We were originally going to have Rybak come, but then he couldn’t make it so he sent [Ellis], who’s the second in command to him at Generation Next,” Froseth said.

One of the panel’s main focus was the Every Child Succeeds Act, which was recently passed by President Obama. “It’s the future of the education system and the panelists wanted to highlight future change and growth in the [education] system,” Froseth said.

The panel was also able to cover a variety of different questions, such as student involvement or what their future plans would be.  “Our panelists were very chatty, which was wonderful.  We probably got through about ten questions, and the panelists had great answers. They also had really good personal stories that they could relate to the topics, as well,” Froseth said.

Overall, Banks and Froseth are very satisfied with how the panel turned out.  “It was a lot of hard work, but I’m just so happy that everything went well. It took a long time, but it was very rewarding to see it finally happen.  I loved being up there, and getting to hear everyone’s responses was awesome,” Froseth said.

Now that the panel has concluded, the Justice Club hopes to do another panel sometime during the spring.  “I think I’m done with any panel planing. This was my panel for the year, and it turned out great. I know that Justice Club is looking into what the topic for the next panel will be, so hopefully it will be just as successful as this one,” Froseth said.