Reading by the end of third grade may well determine whether a student will graduate from high school. According to a study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, students who could not read by the end of the third grade were more likely to drop out of high school. In fact, 88 percent of students who failed to earn a high school diploma were struggling readers in the third grade. Learn about states advancing “smart” retention policies to improve children’s reading skills and put students on the path to college and career readiness.
Moderator: Ralph Smith, Managing Director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
Educational choice is evolving beyond simple choices between traditional public schools and alternatives such as charter and private schools. The next generation of choice introduces innovative new ways for students to enroll in the best individual courses from a variety of sources. Hear state and education leaders share what they are doing – and what is yet to be done – to use digital learning technologies to create options and provide families with an education that meets the unique needs and interests of their child.
Moderator: Michael Horn, Co-founder and Executive Director for Education of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation
By 2020, two-thirds of all jobs will require postsecondary education or career training. However, only one in four high school graduates are ready for college work. These disturbing statistics are evidence the value of a high school degree is shrinking just as the challenges of the real world surge. In response, states are increasing rigor and raising requirements to ensure students graduate ready for college and the workforce. Despite the urgent need for these reforms, many states are facing attempts to roll back higher standards. In this session, panelists will discuss business and academic expectations for students, what states are doing to prepare students to meet those expectations, and how states can use high school graduation requirements to prepare children for future success.
Moderator: Kati Haycock, President of The Education Trust
The most thoughtful and effective of education policies has little chance to succeed without the support of parents, educators, business leaders and community members. Some of the most important conversations about the future of our schools and students aren’t happening in classrooms, but over kitchen tables, in teacher break rooms, on the airwaves, over Twitter, and in the halls of state capitols. Join this session to learn how to effectively communicate issues critical to the student-centered reform movement across target audiences in your state. Panelists will draw from successful examples and personal experiences when discussing how to build comprehensive communications approaches to achieve broad-based support for bold education reform.
Moderator: Shannon Bream, Correspondent for Fox News Channel
Competition works. Research continues to demonstrate the efficacy of choice in education. Gold-standard studies on charter schools, vouchers and other options evidence time and again the significant benefits choice programs provide students, parents and even traditional school systems. These findings are consistent with broad international findings on the benefits of increased parental choice. Join several of the nation’s leading education researchers as they discuss the proven results of school choice options and the policies that make it possible to achieve them.
Moderator: Ed Kirby, Deputy Director of the K-12 Education Reform Focus Area for the Walton Family and Foundation
Massive online open courses (MOOCs) are the latest disruptive education trend – one which will permanently and advantageously alter the way elementary, secondary, undergrad and graduate students learn. What happens when students can enroll in free courses and education programs that offer the same quality of teaching found in America’s storied Ivy League institutions? How will K-12 schools verify learning and recognize credit, and how will they utilize this technology-powered tool to expand learning and courses to their students? Join this session to hear panelists discuss the exciting potential of this newly chartered territory.
Moderator: John Bailey, Executive Director of Digital Learning Now!
Next to parents, teachers are the most influential people in a child’s academic life. Yet, decades of research confirm that many teachers are ill-prepared to help students learn to their full potential. While everyone acknowledges this problem, very little has been done to reform a major source of the issue: poor teacher preparedness programs. Hopefully, that’s about to change. A comprehensive, revealing new study by the National Council on Teacher Quality has shined a light on the failure of the nation’s higher education institutions, finding nearly 80 percent of teacher prep programs are, at best, “mediocre.” This panel will explore strategies for policymakers and state leaders to advance reforms to overhaul America’s teacher prep programs and better equip educators for success.
Moderator: Jonah Edelman, CEO of Stand for Children
The Business Case for Common Core State Standards
Jorge Benitez, Chief Executive United States and Managing Director of North America at Accenture, Fred Humphries, Vice President of U.S. Government Affairs for Microsoft Corporation, Rex Tillerson, chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, and Joe Tucci, Chairman and CEO of EMC Corporation, with Amanda Ripley, investigative journalist and author Presented by the Foundation for Excellence in Education and the Business Roundtable
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act establishes a floor – not a ceiling – on what states can do to protect the rights of parents and students with disabilities and increase the quality of education and services offered to them. Unfortunately, many states maintain policies that hinder parents’ rights to challenge their child’s individual education plan, choose the appropriate enrollment path, or select the school or program that best fits their child’s unique needs. In this session, learn what states can do to ensure that every single child has access to a quality education, regardless of circumstance.
Moderator: Karla Phillips,Director of Cross-Divisional Leadership Initiatives at the Arizona Department of Education – Download Presentation (PDF)
Quality pre-kindergarten programs can significantly boost school readiness for a wide range of children, but not every pre-K provider is high quality. Rather than continuing to throw taxpayer dollars at pre-K programs that have no clear structure and too much bureaucratic red tape, states are implementing reforms to improve the learning of their youngest students. During this session, hear how some states are focusing on literacy, accountability and choice to invest in early childhood learning.
Moderator: Rayne Martin, Executive Director of Stand for Children Louisiana
Students don’t have the luxury to wait for higher expectations as states transition to new education standards and assessments. Even now, schools must be accountable for helping every student to learn at least a year’s worth of knowledge in a year’s time. As states continue to move toward higher standards and their subsequent assessments, a dozen states have implemented an A – F school grading policy. Learn what these states are doing to ensure their students aren’t put on the sidelines during this time of change.
Moderator: Patricia Levesque, CEO of the Foundation for Excellence in Education
In the United States, the healthcare and education sectors – though tremendously unique – share many similar challenges, including fragmentation of providers, cost containment, unnecessary government bureaucracy, lack of competition and inefficient use of data. Both sectors also struggle to measure and reward quality outcomes. While this panel will not provide a test-driven plan for success, it will draw on the expertise of leading healthcare experts to lend fresh perspective to the work of both education experts and citizen legislators alike. Join this session to hear one of the most fascinating conversations about domestic policy solutions that will happen all year.
Moderator: Tevi Troy, Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute
Teacher evaluation systems and school accountability models have been in place in states across the country, but they are only as good as the data that fuels them. Next generation adaptive learning platforms need quality data to personalize education for students. Learn how state of the art technology and effective policies can enable next generation models of instruction in today’s schools while ensuring thoughtful privacy and security measures.
Moderator: Tom Vander Ark, CEO of Getting Smart
Strong leadership is a key to success in any field. With the recent focus on teacher evaluations and effectiveness, we cannot neglect the influence of school leaders on student achievement. For good or bad, principals play a central role in determining the level of student learning at their schools. Just like teachers, great principals are essential to providing kids with a high-quality education. Join this session to learn new approaches to training and developing the successful principals our states need to prioritize students and lead schools.
Moderator: Deborah A. Gist, Rhode Island Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education and Vice Chair of Chiefs for Change