Exit Strategy Special Topics Panelists

Special Topics Panel Discussion –

“Schooled: Are We Learning Our Lesson About Education in Philadelphia?”

Tuesday, February 9th – A post-show event following the 6:30pm performance of Exit Strategy

Join us for this moderated panel discussion! Admission to this post-show PEP event is FREE!

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Meet our Guest Moderator & Panelists

Guest Moderator: Kevin McCorry, WHYY


As WHYY/NewsWorks’ senior education writer, Kevin McCorry reports predominantly on the struggles and successes of Philadelphia’s public schools and the statewide politics of education funding. Before his current gig, he was born in a Fishtown hospital that no longer exists. Somewhere in the middle he loaded trucks in San Francisco, hustled in the reality television racket in NYC, and taught writing courses as an adjunct at Arcadia University. He’s most interested in experimenting with narrative storytelling as a means of illuminating complex social issues. He believes William Faulkner when he says, to paraphrase, that the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself can alone make good writing. He also believes David Foster Wallace when he says that “in the day-to-day trenches of adult existence, banal platitudes can have life-or-death importance.” In his free time, he hikes the Wissahickon and plays in a band. He resides in Northwest Philadelphia with his wife and son, the best baby on earth.


Panelist: Jeff Hornstein


Jeff Hornstein is President of Queen Village Neighbors Association and a Vice-Chair of the Philadelphia Crosstown Coalition. Hornstein helped to form the Philadelphia Crosstown Coalition, a citywide “chamber of civic associations,” and has led the PCC’s latest initiative, the formation of a citywide network called the Friends of Neighborhood Education.  By day, he serves as Director of Financial and Policy Analysis in the City Controller’s Office.  Prior to his City service, he spent ten years in the Philadelphia labor movement organizing low-wage workers and ten years in academia as business historian.


 Panelist: Claire Robertson-Kraft


 Claire Robertson-Kraft is a post-doctoral fellow in education policy and the Associate Director of Operation Public Education at Penn. Her research focuses on how new policies influence teachers’ motivation, effectiveness, and retention. After graduating from Penn in 2004, Claire worked with Teach For America, first as a third grade teacher and then as a program director supporting teachers. It was during her time as a teacher that she built the passion she has today for working in urban education. In addition to her work at Penn, Claire is also very active in the Philadelphia civic community. She is the Co-Founder and President of PhillyCORE Leaders and serves on the boards of Russell Byers Charter School, Youth Build Philadelphia, and Leadership Philadelphia. In 2011, she was selected as one of the New Faces of Philly by Philadelphia Magazine, and in 2013, she received the Forum Award for Emerging Executive Women.


Panelist: Samuel Reed III


Samuel Reed, III, a teacher consultant with the Philadelphia Writing Project, is an active member of the Teacher Action Group (TAG Philly) and has been teaching middle school literacy for 15 years. His passion includes arts in education, media literacy and understanding youth culture. He has presented his teacher research at the University of Pennsylvania’s Ethnography Forum, National Writing Project’s Urban Sites Conference, and Temple University’s Media Education Lab. He blogs for the Philadelphia Public School Notebook and his work has been published in the journal On Common Ground by the Yale National Initiative.