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Bloomington Herald-Times Articles

November 10, 2008

IU education school marks 100 years
RSVP due today for free events
November 10, 2008

Events starting this weekend will celebrate the Indiana University School of Education's 100th anniversary, and an RSVP is requested by 5 p.m. today for free lectures given by Deborah Meier, considered the founder of the modern small schools movement, and education writer and activist Jonathan Kozol.

On Sunday at 2 p.m., a symposium focused on major educational reform movements of the 20th century and current issues will begin in the Willkie Auditorium, located across Rose Avenue from the Wright Education Building. The symposium will feature two panel discussions the same afternoon, then a 6 p.m. dinner featuring Meier. Her ideas have influenced schools across the country, including Bloomington's Harmony School.

Meier now serves as Harmony's senior advisor for New Initiatives. Harmony Education Center houses Harmony School and the National School Reform Faculty, and operates Rhino's Youth Media Center in Bloomington. The center promotes the development and practice of democratic education.

The symposium continues Monday, Nov. 17, starting with a continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m., and then four more panel discussions, and a lunch event at noon. The final panel concludes at 3 p.m.

At 4 p.m., a formal commemorative ceremony will take place in the atrium of the Wright Education Building, with IU President Michael A. McRobbie and other dignitaries speaking.

Thursday, Nov. 20, education writer and activist Jonathan Kozol will speak at 4 p.m. in the Frangipani Room of the Indiana Memorial Union. His speech is titled "Joy and Justice: The Challenge for Teachers in an Age of Inequality, Resurgent Segregation and Relentless Testing."

Kozol is known for many provocative books on education, including "Savage Inequalities and The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America." He wrote his first book, "Death at an Early Age," following his experience of being fired for teaching African-American students in a Boston classroom about a Langston Hughes poem that wasn't part of the approved curriculum.

All of the events Sunday through Thursday are free and open to the public. RSVP to by 5 p.m.

A full schedule of anniversary events is available on the IU School of Education homepage,, under the "Events" heading.

The IU School of Education opened its doors in 1908 with four professors and 189 students the first semester.

About a third of Indiana's newly-licensed teachers each year hold degrees from the IU School of Education, according to the university.

Area briefs: McRobbie receives honorary degree from Seoul

Indiana University President Michael McRobbie received an honorary degree from Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, South Korea and signed an agreement of "friendship and cooperation" with SKKU president Jung-Don Seo.

The agreement is expected to further IU's relationship with SKKU in business and law and foster discussions about future collaborations in other areas of scholarship, according to an IU news release.

The agreement deepens IU's relationship with SKKU, which was founded more than 600 years ago, in 1398, to promote scholarship in Confucianism, the news release stated. IU's Kelley School of Business recently partnered with SKKU's business school on undergraduate and MBA dual degrees, and a dual Global Executive MBA Program that is scheduled to begin in August 2009.

McRobbie and a delegation of university officials arrived in Seoul Nov. 1. He was given the honorary degree during a ceremony Monday.

Guest column
Middle Way House spreading its wings with new project
By Laurie Burns McRobbie
November 10, 2008

This guest column was written by Laurie Burns McRobbie, first lady of Indiana University.

Since 1981, Middle Way House has opened its doors and its heart to more than 50,000 women and children taking their first courageous steps towards a future free from violence. Middle Way has made it possible for so many women and their families to spread their wings and create happy, healthy and productive lives. And these days, Middle Way House is taking flight along with them.

Three years ago, and after 17 years in the big yellow house on Kirkwood and Madison, it became clear that Middle Way House's highly successful programs and services were outgrowing their space. Middle Way's visionary leadership had no shortage of ideas for growing those programs that constitute an array of meaningful alternatives to living with violence, but nowhere to put them. An unexpected bequest from a Bloomington resident, M. Hoya Reilly, made possible the purchase of the old Coca-Cola bottling plant on South Washington Street. Not long after, the New Wings Community Partnership was born, an exciting and innovative approach to funding not only the renovation and construction project, but also to providing ongoing support for Middle Way's existing and expanded programs and services. Built around multi-year commitments by individuals and businesses, the New Wings Community Partnership reflects the deep commitment of its growing number of members who stand together to say "no more" to domestic violence in our community.

The vision for the New Wings project on South Washington is powerful: not just long-term affordable housing for single-parent families, but also accessible emergency shelter; not just rooftop gardens and edible landscaping, but a new commercially licensed community kitchen that along with creating jobs for Middle Way clients will also create opportunities for local entrepreneurs wishing to start their own food-based businesses; not just expanded child-care facilities but expanded space for the full range of programs that Middle Way undertakes every day. And it addresses so many community priorities: affordable housing, quality child care and youth development programs, employment and training for low-income women heads of household, environmental integrity through green construction and sustainable operating systems, local food production and promotion, historic preservation and downtown revitalization. The New Wings project will greatly improve the neighborhood on South Washington, create businesses, and serve even more women and families.

Middle Way's programs and services have long been recognized as effective, so much so that it's one of only six national model programs addressing domestic violence in the U.S. During the past 15 years, only 8-22 percent of the women served by Middle Way returned to their abusive partners, compared to 55-70 percent nationwide. Every year, 6,000 young people participate in prevention programs through their schools, clubs and congregations, and more than 300 trained volunteers devote their time and energy to Middle Way's clients.

Since the New Wings Community Partnership was launched last year, it has raised more than $1.6 million in private gifts from the community. This, combined with over $2 million in government and foundation sources has brought Middle Way House a long way towards its $5 million goal for the New Wings building project. Last April, the Kresge Foundation awarded Middle Way House a $400,000 challenge grant, but this money, nearly a half million dollars from outside the Bloomington community, will only come to Middle Way if we reach a total of $4.6 million by Dec. 31, 2008, less than seven weeks away. As you read this guest column, we have nearly $600,000 to go. There are multiple ways to give: cash or pledges, gifts of stock or in-kind donations, planned estate gifts, gifts of beneficial designation on life insurance or retirement plans, and others. We also have established a number of naming opportunities, ranging from the individual program centers to the entire building.

I am chairing the New Wings Community Partnership because I believe we can't have a civil society if violence against women exists. I consider myself fortunate to be part of a community that says "no" to violence and abuse, but more fortunate still to be among thousands of caring citizens who have said "yes" to creating a predictable and stable future for Middle Way House, and thus to creating a future for so many women and their families who have sought refuge and hope under its sheltering wings.

For more information on joining our effort, call 812-333-7404 or visit

Edwards to speak at IU Tuesday

Former presidential candidate John Edwards will speak Tuesday at the Indiana University Auditorium about the election outcome.

The event is free and open to the public.

His 7 p.m. lecture falls one week after Election Day, in which Indiana voted in favor of a Democratic president for the first time since 1964.

Edwards, a former senator and former vice presidential candidate in 2004, ran in the race to the White House before bowing out to fellow Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama during the primary.

Edwards will focus on what the results mean for America's political and economic future.

His Bloomington visit is sponsored by the IU Union Board. The lecture will be followed by a question-and-answer session.