Tuesday, Apr. 30, 2013 12:00 am

Penny Bender Sebring, a Chicago-based leader in education reform, will speak on "Reforming Urban Schools: Living on the Boundary of Doubt and Belief" at noon Wednesday, May 8, in Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101 at Grinnell College.
This Scholars' Convocation is open to all at no charge, and a sandwich buffet will be available.
A 1964 graduate of Grinnell, Sebring is a senior research associate at the University of Chicago and founding co-director of the university's Consortium on Chicago School Research, an organization established in 1990 to build the capacity for school reform by conducting research that identifies what matters for student success and school improvement.
Sebring's latest research will be reported in the forthcoming "Teens, Digital Media, and the Chicago Public Library." She is also an author of "Organizing Schools for Improvement: Lessons from Chicago." The research underlying this book provides the intellectual foundation for the 5Essentials Survey, which is now being used by more than 5,400 schools in Illinois and other states to provide a comprehensive picture of schools' strengths and weaknesses as organizations.
After graduating from Grinnell, Sebring served as a Peace Corps volunteer and then as a high school teacher. She received her Ph.D. in education and social policy from Northwestern University, and has been affiliated with the University of Chicago since 1984.
A life trustee of Grinnell, Sebring currently serves on the board of directors for the Chicago Public Education Fund and is chair of the Policy Advisory Board for Northwestern University's School of Education and Social Policy. She has received an Alumni Merit Award from Northwestern, the John J. Dugan Award from OneGoal, the Stanley C. Golder Community Service Award from the Golden Apple Foundation and a Community Service award from the Associated Colleges of Illinois.
Since its founding in 1846, Grinnell has become one of the nation's premier liberal arts colleges, enrolling 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries. Grinnell's rigorous academic program emphasizes excellence in education for students in the liberal arts; the college offers the B.A. degree in a range of departments across the humanities, arts and sciences. Grinnell has a strong tradition of social responsibility and action, and self-governance and personal responsibility are key components of campus life. More information about Grinnell College is available at www.grinnell.edu.