Watch this space for details about this year’s conference sessions.
This year’s conference theme is “Bridging the Divide.” Far too often, political or partisan differences become a roadblock to achieving better student outcomes and ensuring that all students thrive in school, work, and life. Our students deserve education leaders who honestly address our most persistent and challenging issues and view them as opportunities to relentlessly pursue excellent, equitable, and innovative solutions.
This year’s Legislative Conference will cover such topics as building state capacity to advance equity and excellence, preparing students to succeed in the future workplace, advancing equitable student-based funding systems, and supporting our great teachers and other school leaders.
The goals of this year’s Legislative Conference are:
General Session: Insights and Lessons Learned from Former White House Education Advisors
This general session aims to provide an insider’s look into federal policy-making for state board members. The panel discussion will cover such topics as ways state leaders can inform and shape education policy, strategies to build bipartisan consensus, and lessons-learned on implementation of previous Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorizations.
(Panelists: Andrew Rotherham, White House Domestic Policy Council (President William J. Clinton); John Bailey, White House Domestic Policy Council (President George W. Bush); Roberto Rodriguez, White House Domestic Policy Council ( President Barack Obama), Moderator: Lauren Camera, Education Reporter, U.S. News)
Concurrent Session: Preparing Today’s Students for Tomorrow’s Jobs
What are the skills that students will need to succeed in a changing economy? The session will explore labor market trends and highlight relevant research findings and practical experiences of state board members engaged in workforce development.
(Panelists: Ryan Reyna, Senior Associate, Education Strategy Group; Amar Kumar, Senior Vice President, Office of the Chief Education Advisor, Pearson Education; Moderator: Sandy Boyd, Chief Operating Officer, Achieve)
Concurrent Session: Working with Governors and Legislators: Tips and Strategies
The concurrent session will cover tips and strategies for state boards to effectively engage with governors, legislators, and their staffs. This session aims to empower boards with practical advice on working collaboratively with their counterparts in state government to achieve a shared vision for education.
(Panelists: Matt Jordan, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Education Commission of the States (ECS); Stephen Parker, Legislative Director, Education & Workforce Committee, Office of Government Relations, National Governor’s Association (NGA); Moderator: Daarel Burnette II, State Education Reporter, Education Week)
Concurrent Session: Principal Leadership in Early Childhood Education
States are increasingly focused on the importance of the early years, and have recognized that principal leadership is essential to supporting great instruction for our youngest children. This session will highlight the skills and knowledge principals need to provide instructional leadership for teachers of young children, and the systems states are putting in place to cultivate and support those principals.
(Panelists: Joseph Cullen, Principal of Pinebrook Elementary, Newark, NJ; Elizabeth Alves, Tennessee Department of Education; Moderator: Elliot Regenstein, Partner, Foresight Law and Policy Advisors)
Concurrent Session: Diving Deeper into Teacher Shortage Data: Implications for Teacher Preparation Programs
This session aims to explore the topic of teacher shortages currently trending on state board of education agendas, empower board members with questions to ask to delve deeper into this data, and identify ways to strengthen a pipeline of diverse, high-quality teachers for our students. The panel discussion will highlight relevant research findings, recent state actions, and implications for teacher preparation programs.
(Panelists: Kate Walsh, President, National Council on Teacher Quality; Denise Pearson, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Equity Initiatives, SHEEO; Moderator: Donna Johnson, Executive Director, Delaware State Board of Education)
General Session: Building State Capacity to Advance Equity
This general session will explore ways state board members can develop the capacity of state and local agencies to address our persistent opportunity and achievement gaps. The panel discussion will cover such topics as opportunities under the Every Student Succeeds Act, engaging with community organizations, and empowering leaders to honestly address our most persistent and challenging issues.
(Panelists: Lillian Lowery, Vice President for P-12 Policy and Practice, The Education Trust; Ross Wiener, Vice President of Aspen Institute and Executive Director of Education and Society Program; Eric Thomas, Georgia Chief Turnaround Officer; Moderator: Kristen Amundson, President and CEO, NASBE)
General Session: Advancing Equitable School Funding
This general session aims to empower state boards with knowledge and key questions to consider in fostering a more equitable distribution of resources among out schools. The session will cover such topics as ESSA’s fiscal transparency requirement, ways states can use this information to engage in honest conversations about inequities and explore resource strategies that improve school performance.
(Presenter: Karen Hawley Miles, Chief Executive Officer and President, Education Resource Strategies)