New video podcast series elevates the conversation around education transformation

A new video podcast series launched to elevate the conversation around education transformation in South Carolina. The ElevatED4SC vodcast series focuses on moving the discussion around education from traditional reform ideas to real transformation.

ElevatEd4SC features success stories illustrating how education transformation is already happening in some South Carolina schools. Viewers and listeners can also learn about what other states are doing to meet similar challenges and find out what a whole child, cradle-to-career approach to education would look like.

The video and audio versions of the series are available at or on YouTube, ITunes and Spotify.

ALL4SC is the producing partner for the vodcast series. ALL4SC - Accelerating Learning & Leadership in South Carolina - is a University of South Carolina initiative advocating a whole child approach to education. Other partners in producing the vodcast series include UofSC’s College of Education, UofSC’s College of Information and Communications, and Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative.

“If students are to succeed academically and in life, schools must also attend to their social, physical, cognitive, mental, and emotional needs,” says Victor Young, ALL4SC’s director. “ElevatEd4SC is here to help elevate the conversation around this type of transformation.”

Episode One features three lively six-minute conversations around the topics of whole child education, teacher leadership and students’ roles in shaping their education paths. Two 18-minute episodes will drop monthly.

“This ElevatED4SC vodcast isn’t a dry academic exercise. And we’re not sharing the same old ‘woe is us’ stories about education in the state,” says Barnett Berry, ALL4SC founder and UofSC research professor in the College of Education. “The vodcast’s first season will tell stories, raise questions and look at solutions – some radical and some right in front of us.”

The series host is Roshanda Pratt, a broadcast journalist with 20 years of experience and a trusted voice on local television, radio, and podcasts. In each episode, regular contributors will engage with guests who will include students, classroom teachers, policy makers, parents, and business and community leaders. Christian Ruff, a UofSC freshman and Student Voice leader joins this episode’s regular contributors.

Regular contributors are as follows.
1. Barnett Berry is a research professor and senior director for Policy and Innovation at the University of South Carolina College of Education He is the founder of ALL4SC and founder of the Center for Teaching Quality, a non-profit focusing on igniting teacher leadership to transform public education for more equitable outcomes for students.
2. Merrit Jones is an ALL4SC fellow and serves as an advisor to Student Voice. A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, she works on whole child education policy and practice across the state.
3. Christina Melton is a veteran educator with more than 28 years of experience ranging from classroom teacher to district superintendent. Melton is an advocate for teacher leadership, student voice and educator engagement.
4. Victor Young is director of ALL4SC. For over 35 years, he has worked at the intersection of schools, government, philanthropy, and the private sector to improve outcomes for all children, and particularly the underserved, both rural and urban, across the nation.
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Here’s a sample of what this episode’s contributors and guests have to say:
Barnett Berry - “Everyone wants schools to get better, but very few people really want them to look any different than they were when they themselves were students in the schools. From the bell schedule to the calendar, to curriculum delivery, to how teachers are organized. One classroom at a time.”

Victor Young - “How can we use the [of the University], the resources to support communities in making that long haul transformation, taking that journey from institutional focus to community focused, community schooling.”

Christina Melton - “I hope that we can look at children through a different lens because when we look at educating children with what they need right now, we can make a difference.”

Merrit Jones - “No one's asking you [students] about your learning and what's happening. And to do that, we have to build muscle. We have to ask young people and ask them again. And it really takes muscle building and engaging more deeply, and doing that alongside teachers and other folks in the building, because that's how we do it - together. It's gotta be in partnership.”

Christian Ruff – “It’s student's playing an active role in the decision making process. Again, it's not something smaller, like maybe at prom or the surveys, but students are taking an active voice in their education. And so, a lot of times I like to think of it as students ‘co-ing’ like co-developing curriculum, for example, knowledge sharing.”

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