2016 National Summit

December 1 - 2, 2016
Washington, D.C.

More than 1,000 education leaders from 49 states and 4 countries attended the 9th annual National Summit on Education Reform in Washington, D.C. The agenda, full length video recordings of all general, keynote and strategy sessions, as well as links to presentations from this year’s event are available below.

All available presentations are linked by speaker within each Strategy Session.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

2:30–6:00 PM –  Early Registration

Summit attendees arriving on Wednesday, November 30 are encouraged to register from 2:30-6:00 PM.

6:30–8:00 PM –  Welcome Reception 

Please join us for a Welcome Reception immediately following Early Registration.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

7:00–8:30 AM –  Breakfast

8:45–9:30 AM – Opening Keynote: Florida Governor Jeb Bush

9:45–11:00 AM – Strategy Sessions:

Strategy Session I – A-F School Grading Under ESSA

Many states must revise their school accountability systems to bring them into compliance with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This session will guide participants through the policy and politics of maintaining—and strengthening—their commitment to the simplicity, transparency and rigor of A–F School Grading in their states during the coming transition. Our panel of policymakers and experts will leverage their frontline experiences to share recommendations and lessons learned from successfully passing and implementing school accountability systems that focus on student learning outcomes and drive improvement of the lowest achieving students in each school.

ModeratorChristy Hovanetz, Senior Policy Fellow for Accountability, Foundation for Excellence in Education

Strategy Session II – ESAs the New Frontier in Educational Choice

Education Scholarship Accounts (ESAs) have emerged as a new and innovative way to provide parents with true educational choice. With an ESA, parents can direct their child’s education funds to the schools, courses, services and providers of their choice. Already, two-dozen state legislatures have filed proposals around this new policy. During this session, join our expert panel for a timely discussion of ESAs and find out how they offer unprecedented levels of educational choice for our nation’s families.

Moderator: Adam Peshek, Director of Education Choice, Foundation for Excellence in Education

Strategy Session III – Building Consensus for Personalized & Competency-Based Education

You wouldn’t build a house on top of an unfinished foundation. So why do we push students to the next level of learning even when they haven’t mastered the basics? Unlike traditional time-based education models, competency-based education ensures that students master key concepts and skills before advancing to the next level. This approach builds a solid foundation for educators to personalize learning and meet students where they are. In this session, hear from national and state leaders who are leading the effort to transition to more student-centered models, and learn the steps they have taken to build consensus among educators, families and policymakers along the way.

ModeratorKarla Phillips, Director of Competency-Based Education, Foundation for Excellence in Education

11:15 AM–12:45 PM – Keynote Lunch: USED Secretary Panel on the Every Student Succeeds Act

The passage of the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) represents a significant shift from federal to state authority over education policies. This change creates an enormous opportunity for states to demonstrate leadership, but it also places at risk the education reforms of the last decade. Before diving into the details of ESSA implementation, it’s important to step back to ask how we got here and where our education reform movement should be heading. Join us for lunch with an esteemed, bipartisan panel of national education leaders, including three former secretaries of education, to discuss: ESSA’s historical context; the law’s major themes; and how state policymakers can harness ESSA to maintain accountability and effect bold and innovative policies that support the academic success of all young people.

Moderator: Condoleezza Rice, 66th Secretary of State of the United States

1:15–2:30 PM – Strategy Sessions:

Strategy Session IV – ESSA Interventions and Supports

Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states and districts are faced with the opportunity—and the challenge—of developing rigorous strategies for turning around their struggling schools. Our panel of experts will review ESSA’s provisions, describe how states can take an ambitious role in interventions, explore proven improvement strategies like integrated student support services and discuss how states can leverage the power of choice to turnaround low-performing schools and districts as quickly as possible.

ModeratorRebecca Goldberg, Partner, Bellwether Education Partners

Strategy Session V – Charter Schools: The Past, Present & Future

For 25 years, charter schools have been front-and-center in education debates. From the start, the “charter bargain” was simple: schools receive autonomy in exchange for producing results. As we celebrate the silver anniversary of the charter school movement, it’s time to reflect on the past and consider the future. Join this session to discuss the impact of charter schools on the American education system, what’s next for charter schools and the outcomes of the bargains struck by schools and communities.

Moderator: John Bailey, Former White House Advisor

Strategy Session VI – College & Career Pathways: Being Workforce Ready

Are you tired of all the news on ESSA or suffering from post-election fatigue? Join this session to hear how we can all work together toward a tremendously important goal: providing students with the real-world opportunities and skills they will need to succeed in the workforce and giving employers the qualified career applicants they desire. In this session, panelists will share bipartisan, common sense solutions states are using to address the skills gap through innovative apprenticeship and industry certification models. Learn how your state can prepare for a vibrant future.

Moderator: Amy Loyd, Associate Vice President for the Pathways to Prosperity Network, Jobs for the Future

 2:30–3:00 PM –  Angela Duckworth Book Signing

 3:15–4:15 PM – General Session: Grit: The Power of Passion & Perseverance with Angela Duckworth

Which counts more in determining success, raw talent or the grit to stick it out when things get tough? In this keynote address, Dr. Angela Duckworth will provide real-world examples of the relationship between grit and enhanced achievement, sharing groundbreaking research from her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. Learn how the science of character development can offer tangible tools to prepare America’s students to succeed in the classroom and everyday life.

 4:30–5:45 PM – Strategy Sessions:

Strategy Session VII – Leveraging ESSA to Achieve Fewer, Better Tests

As states transition to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), they must get one thing right above all else: a modernized assessment system that delivers timely, actionable information to families, educators and policymakers. In this session, panelists will share the latest research on parent attitudes and teacher perceptions toward testing, communication strategies, accountability implications, new flexibilities available under ESSA, and other policy recommendations designed to move beyond opt-out and toward fewer, better and more innovative assessment systems.

Moderator: David Winston, President, The Winston Group

Strategy Session VIII – Big Ideas for Bold Education Choice

What is needed to create a dynamic, student-centered system of education? How can we empower parents with the information and ability to match their child’s unique needs and learning style to the schools and services that fit them best? To answer these questions, reformers need to think far beyond creating a single choice program—they need to overcome the funding, supply and information challenges that keep parents relegated to a system of residentially-assigned schools.

Moderator: Bill Oberndorf, Chairman of Oberndorf Enterprises

Strategy Session IX – Keeping Our Eye on the Ball: Prioritizing Early Literacy in the Age of ESSA

Amid this year’s swirling policy changes, states must keep their eye on the ball. And ensuring that each student can read by the end of the third grade is the key to a child’s—and a state’s—educational success. Research shows that 88 percent of dropouts were struggling readers in third grade. Our panel will share how states are: using choice, transparency and customized early literacy intervention to expand access to highquality Pre-K; taking a seamless approach to early literacy from Pre-K through third grade; and leveraging new opportunities under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

ModeratorRalph Smith, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, Annie E. Casey Foundation

5:45–6:15 PM – Todd Rose Book Signing 

6:30–8:30 PM – Keynote Dinner: The End of Average with Todd Rose

Are you above average? Is your child an A student? Every day we are measured against the “average person,” judged according to how closely we resemble the average—or how far we exceed it. And we rarely stop to question whether average-based yardsticks even reveal anything meaningful about our abilities. During this keynote address, Harvard scientist and The End of Average author Dr. Todd Rose will offer a powerful alternative to the average and discuss its implications for a 21st century education system. Learn how shifting the focus of education from the average to the individual could maximize the learning potential of every student and provide an environment for achieving success in a diverse and changing world.

Friday, December 2, 2016

7:30–9:00 AM –  Breakfast & Networking

8:45–9:15 AM – Sal Khan Book Signing

9:30–10:30 AM – General Session: A Level Playing Field—A Conversation with Sal Khan and David Coleman

If your child came home with a 90 percent on a math test, you might think, “That’s great. She understands the material.” But what about the 10 percent she missed? Conventional teaching can rush students through subject matter when they haven’t always grasped the basics. Over time, small gaps in knowledge—even just 10 percent—can turn into seemingly insurmountable walls.

This approach leaves countless students on the sidelines—not because they can’t learn, but because they weren’t given the time to build a strong foundation or the opportunity to persevere and truly master a subject. In this session, join leading disrupters in education Sal Khan and David Coleman for a 21st century vision of teaching for mastery and mindset, turning struggling students into scholars and overcoming America’s tragedy of lost potential.

11:00 AM–12:15 PM – Strategy Sessions:

Strategy Session: X – Reinventing School Report Cards

The time is now to transform the school report cards required by federal law from a compliance exercise to a 21st century mobile tool that empowers parents with timely information about their child’s school. This shift requires states across the country to confront complex issues, like how to simplify reporting while prioritizing visualization, privacy and accessibility. In this session, learn from states that have tackled this challenge and organizations that are leading the charge to help states grow their capacity and culture for increased transparency and reporting that clearly communicates results to parents and informs decisions.

ModeratorCarissa Moffat Miller, Deputy Executive Director, Council of Chief State Officers

Strategy Session: XI – The Politics of Education Reform

This January, we welcome a new presidential administration into office—right as states gear up for a new era of state-led education policy under the Every Student Succeeds Act. This bipartisan panel of advocates will discuss the likely changes to the policy and political landscape across states and explore how policymakers, from both sides of the aisle, can cultivate the policy conditions, implementation support and education policy champions required for sustainable reform in a new political era.

Moderator: Andy Rotherham, Partner and Co-Founder, Bellwether Education Partners

Strategy Session: XII – Making the Switch to Student-Centered Funding

When was the last time your state took a real look at the way it funds student education? Was it back in the 1980s when Game Boys were the newest tech? Outdated funding formulas often force districts to focus on inputs rather than the unique needs of each child. Student-centered funding formulas, on the other hand, are more equitable, transparent and promote local empowerment and choice. These formulas are simple—all students receive base funding with additional amounts depending on student characteristics. This panel of state leaders will explain how their states are overcoming obstacles to implement student-centered funding and how states can incorporate federal dollars into a student-centered funding formula.

Moderator: Matthew Joseph, Director for Education Funding Reform, Foundation for Excellence in Education

12:30–2:00 PM –  Lunch Keynote: Redesigning Education with Diane Tavenner

Are you crazy enough to believe all kids can succeed in school? Diane Tavenner is just that audacious. The founder and CEO of Summit Public Schools is changing how and what students learn while cultivating independence that will serve them for a lifetime. As a result, Summit is among the top public schools in the nation and its graduates are soaring. Join this session to hear Tavenner share how her schools leverage personalized learning with technology to empower students to own their learning.