Excellence in Action — Strategies Sessions — Videos
Breakfast Keynote: Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education
Strategy Session 1: Reaching More Students with Vouchers and Tax-credit Scholarships
Whether you are an advocate of education vouchers for all or believe special scholarships should be reserved for students in failing schools, the debate on school choice is one that matters. States across the country are enacting new reforms and expanding those that already exist to ensure vouchers and tax-credit scholarships reach the kids who need them the most. Join these state lawmakers as they discuss strategies to keep up with the growing demand from families for quality school choice options.
Moderator: John Kirtley, Chairman of Step Up for Students and vice chairman of the Alliance for School Choice and the American Federation for Children
Panelists: Conrad Appel, Louisiana State Senator Algie Howell, Virginia State Delegate Jason Nelson, Oklahoma State Representative Bill O’Brien, New Hampshire State Representative
Strategy Session 2: Implementing Bold Teacher-Effectiveness Reform
Over the past few years, states across the country have passed reforms linking student-learning data to teacher evaluations. Now, leaders have entered the critical phase of putting the reforms into practice at the local level. Learn how these education chiefs are developing assessments and evaluation systems in their respective states to measure hard-to-test areas and elevate educators’ professional development.
Moderator: Hanna Skandera, New Mexico Secretary-Designate of Public Education and Vice-Chair of Chiefs for Change
Panelists: Kevin Huffman, Tennessee Commissioner of Education Jill Hawley, Colorado Associate Commissioner for Achievement and Strategy Dr. Diane Ullman, Chief Talent Officer for the Connecticut State Department of Education
Strategy Session 3: Accountability-Based Flexibility for School Districts
Across the nation, crisis situations are giving birth to new, student-centered learning models. In the midst of challenging economic times and a national focus on improving the quality of education, a new kind of school district is emerging — one with both autonomy and performance-based accountability. Learn how some of our nation’s most troubled school districts are challenging a conventional structure to change the futures of their students, schools and cities.
Moderator: Dr. Paul Hill, Founder of the Center on Reinventing Public Education
Panelists: David Harris, Founder and CEO of The Mind Trust John White, Louisiana Superintendent of Education Tyrone Winfrey, Chief of Staff of the Michigan Education Achievement Authority
Strategy Session 4: How to Prepare for Common Core Assessments
The state-led transition to Common Core State Standards will change the expectation of what students need to be learning and is aligned with what they’ll need for success after high school in our changing world. The pressure is on for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers (PARCC) and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium to deliver new online assessments and for schools to build the technology infrastructure they’ll need to use those assessments. The Common Core transition brings individual opportunities for states but also challenges. Meanwhile, many state leaders are preparing parents, teachers and communities for the initial results which will likely follow new standards and assessments. Join this panel to discuss specific strategies states and districts can take to ensure everyone and everything is prepared to transition to these new assessments.
Moderator: Governor Bob Wise, President of Alliance for Excellent Education
Panelists: Dr. Tony Bennett, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction and Chairman of Chiefs for Change Steve Bowen, Maine Commissioner of Education Laura McGiffert Slover, Senior Vice President of Achieve Dr. Joe Willhoft, Executive Director of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium
bill coleman common core standards
Strategy Session 5: Transforming Colleges of Education
Nine out of every ten teachers graduate from traditional teacher prep programs at colleges of education. Should these colleges be held accountable for the caliber of students they admit into their programs and the teachers they send into the classroom? Don’t miss this discussion on what can be done to ensure new teachers entering the profession are fully equipped to help each of their students succeed.
Moderator: Kate Walsh, President of the National Council on Teacher Quality
Panelists: Dr. John Chubb, CEO of Education Sector and member of the Koret Task Force on K-12 Education Paul Pastorek, former Louisiana Superintendent of Education
Strategy Session 6: Charter Schools: Accountability and Funding
With over 40 states now authorizing charter schools, the potential for innovation continues to grow. Each state serves as a testing site for diverse approaches to approving, funding and maintaining the accountability of these unique public schools. Learn the best policies states are using to shape high-quality charter schools across the nation.
Moderator: Jeanne Allen, President of the Center for Education Reform
Panelists: Todd Huston, Indiana State Representative Peggy Lehner, Ohio State Senator Nina Rees, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools James H. Shelton III, Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement at the U.S. Department of Education
Strategy Session 7: Thinking Outside the School-Zone Box
From coast to coast, states are proving there is more than one way to provide families with school choice options. Many are developing new strategies to empower parents with the ability to choose the public school that is best for their child. Listen to these battle-proven leaders share lessons learned and strategies to expand public school choice programs and remove barriers limiting students’ education options.
Moderator: Mike Petrilli, Executive Vice President of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute
Panelists: Matthew Barnes, Executive Director of Families Empowered John Huppenthal, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Luther Olsen, Wisconsin State Senator
Strategy Session 8: College & Career Readiness
State leaders are facing a desperate call to action: just one-third of America’s high school students graduate with the knowledge and skills they’ll need to succeed in college. This tragic reality calls for rigorous standards and innovative policies, ones that incentivize acceleration and launch students into college or gainful employment. It’s time to give students the opportunity to advance to college or careers as soon as they are ready, even if that’s earlier that the traditional K-12 calendar allows. Get the details on what methods states are using to prepare our youngest generation to thrive in today’s competitive global economy.
Moderator: Laysha Ward, President of Community Relations and the Target Foundation
Panelists: David Abbott, Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel at the Rhode Island Department of Education Russell Armstrong, Education and Workforce Policy Advisor to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal Joe Pickens, President of St. Johns River State College Kelli Stargel, Florida State Senator
Strategy Session 9: Developing and Retaining Teachers We Can’t Afford to Lose
A teacher’s influence — good or bad — can have life-long effects on the students in his or her classroom. Hear new research on the teacher-retention crisis, and join the ensuing discussion on what can be done to develop and retain the high-quality educators our states need to reverse student decline and elevate the status of the teaching profession.
Moderator: Dr. Stefanie Sanford, Director of Policy & Advocacy, United States Program, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Panelists: Tim Daly, President of the New Teacher Project Christopher Cerf, New Jersey Commissioner of Education Gary Holder-Winfield, Connecticut State Representative
Strategy Session 10: The Florida Formula for Student Achievement
More than a dozen years ago, Florida embarked on a path to reverse a generation of decline in its public schools by forcing the system to focus on the student instead of the adult. Since then, Florida’s formula of high expectations for students, accountability for schools, choices for families and rewards for progress has yielded incredible gains in student learning. In the eight-year period prior to the reforms, graduation rates had declined by nearly seven percent, but since the reforms were put in place, graduation rates have increased by 20 percent. Education in the Sunshine State is now a model for the nation, inspiring leaders to strategically and boldly transform public education. Learn how Florida’s formula can transform student achievement for any state.
Moderator: Julia Johnson, President of Net Communications and former member of Florida’s Board of Education
Panelists: Dr. Christy Hovanetz, Senior Policy Fellow at the Foundation for Excellence in Education Dr. Matthew Ladner, Senior Advisor on Policy and Research to the Foundation for Excellence in Education
Strategy Session 11: Transforming Education for the Digital Age
Last year, Digital Learning Now! released “The Roadmap for Reform: Digital Learning,” a guide providing governors, lawmakers and policymakers with the nuts-and-bolts policies to transition to student-centered education. Now, states are changing the face of education by introducing blended learning models that combine the best of face-to-face instruction with the best of online learning. Hear state and school leaders share what they are doing — and what is yet to be done — to harness the power of technology and provide students with rigorous, high-quality, customized education.
Moderator: John Bailey, Executive Director of Digital Learning Now!
Panelists: Dr. Janet Barresi, Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Mark Edwards, Superintendent of Mooresville Graded School District Pam Myhra, Minnesota State Representative Governor Bev Perdue, North Carolina Chip Rogers, Majority Leader of the Georgia State Senate
General Session: Common Core State Standards
Moderator: Governor Jeb Bush, Governor of Florida from 1999-2007 and Chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education
Panelists: David Coleman, President and CEO of the College Board Bob Corcoran, President and Chairman of the GE Foundation Dr. William Schmidt, University Distinguished Professor and Co-Director of the Education Policy Center at Michigan State University, Minnesota State Representative
Lunch Keynote: Mitch Daniels, Indiana Governor