** The Agenda for Education in a Democracy is sponsoring five free slots for MSU and MSUNER faculty. If you plan to apply and would like to claim your free slot, please email MSUNER@MONTCLAIR.EDU **

The gravity and complexity of our time continue to build as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves and more uprisings across the country unfold against massive racial disparities in police killings, use of force, arrests, imprisonment and more. Our current reality has compelled individuals across the nation to more intentionally examine education, often offering remarks along the lines of “education will never be the same.” 

We also know that public education is extraordinarily resilient and often resistant to change. Yet, it is evident that people’s lives depend on this change.  

For over 30 years, the National Network for Educational Renewal has promoted a compelling agenda, known as the Agenda for Education in a Democracy (AED), to ensure quality education for all and insist on educational renewal to ensure the vital role of education in a democracy. We are at a pivotal point in American history, and as educators, our role in this is integral. 


This point in time offers NNER, its member settings, like-minded individuals and organizations a necessary challenge but also another opportunity to even further clarify, renew and reimagine the AED and NNER’s four-part mission:

  1. Foster the skills, disposition, and knowledge necessary for effective participation of our nation’s youth in a political democracy;
  2. Ensure that our youth have access to those understandings and skills required for satisfying and responsible lives;
  3. Develop educators who nurture the learning and well-being of every student; and
  4. Ensure educators’ competence in and commitment to serving as stewards of schools.

The Summer Institute is one of NNER’s annual experiences that support educators and community leaders from across the country. The Summer Institute combines the here-and-now of school-university-community partnership work and the larger framework and long-range/historical perspective of the National Network for Educational Renewal. The Institute furthers the network of professional connections and friendships across NNER with the intention of deepening our partnership among each other as well as our local settings. 

Our overarching theme, Preparing Beyond Distress: How Do We Prepare Ourselves for Innovation?, encourages us to “Remember to imagine and craft the worlds you cannot live without, just as you dismantle the ones you cannot live within” (Ruha Benjamin). We more deeply examine four areas that compel us to imagine and create the worlds we cannot live without:

  1. From Small Scale and Whole System – What Makes NNER Distinct
  2. The Radical Imagination
  3. Teacher Academies: A Demonstration Site for School-University Partnerships
  4. The Fields That Imagine: The Role of the Arts and Humanities in K-12 and Teacher Education 

Click here for a detailed Agenda Overview, including presentation topics and essential/centering questions.

To register, please visit this website. If you have any questions, please contact Catherine Wolfe Bornhorst, catherine@nnerpartnerships.org.

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