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#AskExcelinEd: Why I Need Crisp Fall Air and #EIE18

• Claire Voorhees


During our #AskExcelinEd Summer Learning series, you’ll get to know some of ExcelinEd’s team as they share what they are learning over the summer. Remember to join us on social media to ask your burning policy questions. Enjoy!

ExcelinEd.Headshot.ClaireVoorhees.webMeet Claire Voorhees

ExcelinEd’s National Director of Policy

It’s been another tough summer in the nation’s capital. I am one of those rare creatures who was born and raised in Washington, D.C., and I love my hometown very much. But even I would admit that, this summer, Washington lived up to its reputation as “The Swamp”—politically and meteorologically. I need crisp fall air, some exciting new ideas and a little inspiration, and I don’t think I’m alone. (I should also probably cut back on my escapist consumption of Bravo television shows, but that’s a subject for another day.)

Here’s the good news: on December 5-7, the National Summit on Education Reform (#EIE18) is returning to Washington, D.C., to provide the wonky inspiration that a lot of us so desperately need. At the National Summit, ExcelinEd will convene leading thinkers, researchers and reformers including Eva Moskowitz, Dr. Howard Fuller, Raj Chetty, Andreas Schleicher and Chip Heath with the state-level education policymakers and advocates who are fighting on the frontlines of education reform to improve outcomes for our nation’s students.

Our goal is that after two days of strategy sessions, keynotes, networking, strategy swapping and war stories (not to mention late-night karaoke) with a diverse, bipartisan group of reformers united by their support for student-centered policies, attendees will leave energized and armed with information on new trends, successful strategies and the latest innovations that are transforming education for the 21st century.

I Prefer…

E-Book over Print Book 

Text over Phone Call

Traditional Watch over Smart Watch

Coffee over Tea

My Twitter Favorites





My Favorite Quote

“Excellence is the accumulation of hundreds of minute decisions; it is execution at the most granular level. Once you accept the idea that you should give in to things that make no sense because other people do those things and you want to appear reasonable, you are on a path towards mediocrity.”

— Eva Moskowitz

ExcelinEd Resource Highlight

ExcelinEd’s National Summit on Education Reform is an opportunity to get personally refreshed and inspired, while helping to accelerate the reform movement in states across the nation.

What I’m Reading

To gear up for our National Summit, I just started reading Andreas Schleicher’s book World Class: Building a 21st Century School System. The book provides a much-needed international and scientific perspective on what it takes to create an education system that prepares kids academically and arms them with the emotional skill set (empathy, understanding of right and wrong, awareness of the needs of others) required to succeed in today’s world.

About the author

Claire Voorhees

Claire is the National Director of Policy. Previously, Claire worked at HCM Strategists where she provided clients with strategic advice on new approaches to education reform. Claire was also an instructor at Koç University in Istanbul, teaching a comparative course on education rights and policies in the U.S. and Turkey. Before spending time in Turkey, Claire was an associate at Hogan Lovells law firm and served as an associate director in the White House Domestic Policy Council where she assisted senior staff in shaping the Administration’s education policies. Claire began her career as a fourth grade teacher at P.S. 43 in the South Bronx, New York. A native of Washington, D.C., Claire earned a bachelor’s degree from Duke University, a master of science in elementary education from Mercy College, a master of public policy from Georgetown University Public Policy Institute, and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.