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#AskExcelinEd: National Summit edition featuring Q&A with Cari Miller

• ExcelinEd

We are just four weeks away from ExcelinEd’s 2017 National Summit on Education Reform (#EIE17)! During this four-part #AskExcelinEd series, we will share Q&As with some speakers from our upcoming event. This week, hear from Cari Miller, ExcelinEd’s Policy Director of K-3 Reading, who will moderate a panel on early literacy at our National Summit.



Q&A with ExcelinEd’s Cari Miller
Moderator for the #EIE17 session “Doubling Down on Early Literacy: Ensure Every Child Can Read”


How many National Summits have you attended, and what are you looking forward to at this year’s event?

This year will be number six. I always love hearing from unbelievably smart, passionate individuals about ways to provide the best education for our most prized possessions, our children. Innovative ideas are always shared, while the audience engages in conversation of how to apply such education reform policies in their state. The National Summit is a dynamic gathering of experts and policymakers creating a great deal of energy around the most effective ways to educate our children with the common goal of ensuring they prosper in the 21st century, and it’s hard not to get excited about that!

Cari Miller speaking on a panel at the 2014 National Summit on Education Reform.

What is your favorite book?

I’m a hopeless romantic so in my spare time, I love Nicholas Sparks books! Professionally, I live and breathe learning about effective reading assessment, instruction and intervention that best meet the needs of our children, so anything and everything to do with that, I’m in. Finally, I’m a huge Anita Archer fan; she has unbelievable knowledge, and SKILL, about the most effective way to deliver reading instruction for our most struggling readers. I highly recommend reading “Explicit Instruction, Effective and Efficient Teaching.”

What has been your greatest reward or achievement during your career in education?

When I first started teaching, I quickly discovered that the majority of my students severely struggled with reading. Following this discovery, I quickly determined that I wasn’t prepared to teach them to read. I was blessed with an unbelievable principal that provided a great deal of support through professional development, and I found myself wanting to learn as much as possible about research-based reading instruction to ensure I could address my students’ needs. It was hard work but well worth it! I noticed the reading instruction I was delivering specific to each of my students’ needs was starting to work. When you start to see kids putting the pieces together and reading words and understanding what they are reading, it is incredibly rewarding. Teaching students the skill of reading is critically important to their future success, and I had a hand in that.

Also, in my current role as Policy Director of K-3 Reading at ExcelinEd, there is great reward. I have the opportunity to help states craft effective reading policy, followed by providing support to states with effective implementation of that policy. And reading policy done right positively impacts thousands of children across the United States!

Where do you see the future of education in the U.S. over the next ten years?

I want to see that all children, regardless of their start in life or socioeconomic circumstance, are given the opportunity to reach their full potential. The ability to read remains a basic predictor of a person’s educational and lifelong success. To truly center education around our students, we need to ensure all children are equipped with the foundational reading skills they will need to learn, graduate and succeed. Over the past six years, I have engaged with 12 states to create and/or implement a comprehensive K-3 Reading policy. In the next ten years, I would love to double or even triple that number.

Join ExcelinEd for the 2017 National Summit on Education Reform!


On the Calendar for Next Week:
#AskExcelinEd: National Summit on Education Reform Edition
Stay tuned for a Q&A Session with another #EIE17 moderator!


Additional Resources:

Previous posts in our #AskExcelinEd series on Innovation policies:

Previous posts in our #AskExcelinEd series on ESSA State Plans:

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