July 1, 2016

City Steward: Tabitha C. Bentley

Research Cluster | Learning in the Citydcs.headshots.tabitha

Department | Educational Studies (Doctoral); Public Policy (MA)

Subfield | Education Policy, Leadership, and Innovation

Honors & Affiliations | Rackham Merit Fellow; Education Pioneers Fellow (Chicago Cohort, 2013); Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellow (2009); Student Arbiter for UM’s Office of Student Conflict and Resolution; Current student appointee for University of Michigan’s Appeals Board

Origin City | Chicago, IL

Research Key Words | Collective Impact, Education Policy, Systematic Change, Cross-Sector Collaborations


Research Statement |

My research looks to understand the concept of collective impact, and how Washtenaw County takes on President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Community Challenge as a case of collective impact. I am working with the county’s intermediate school district to lead and facilitate movement on its local MBK initiative, and using this role to track the learning and doing of the community as measured by the national MBK goals. I am also participating in the MBK Detroit Innovation Challenge, and am using lessons from both the Detroit and Washtenaw context to consider how dynamic research can capture and contribute to the communities in which it is being done.

Steward Statement |

I am interested in the Detroit City Study because I believe that research and researchers have (and should have) a commitment and social/intellectual responsibility to the communities we often study. I believe there is work to be done in bridging the gap between research and community spaces, and the Detroit City Study is taking a step towards bridging this gap via physical space, which is an important move in this process. I began my career and work in schools in Chicago, another large urban Midwestern center whose schools most often serve larger populations of students of color. From this perspective, Detroit has felt like home, and a space where I can continue this work in serving students and families that have and continue to be underserved by our educational system.