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2011 Agenda

Education Everywhere: National Summit on Education Reform 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011
7:30AM Registration Opens
7:30–8:15AM Breakfast Buffet
8:30–9:00AM Welcome from Jeb Bush, Chairman
9:15-10:30AM Strategy Sessions

Strategy Session #1: The Teaching Profession 2.0

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During the last two years, states across the country have ushered in the most sweeping reforms of the teaching profession in our nation’s history. More meaningful evaluations. An end to tenure and destructive last-in, first-out policies. Salaries that reflect student learning rather than seniority. Learn how lawmakers and policymakers from states around the nation are changing the paradigm of the teaching profession.

Moderator: Kate Walsh, President, National Council on Teacher Quality


  • Tony Bennett, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction and Chair, Chiefs for Change
  • Erik Fresen, Florida House of Representatives
  • Bryan Hassel, Co-Director, Public Impact
  • Kimberly Lightford, Illinois Senate
  • Tom Luna, Idaho Superintendent of Education

Strategy Session #2: Don’t Let a Financial Crisis Go To Waste

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The United States spends $500 billion annually on K-12 education. While spending for education consistently rose during the last three decades, student achievement did not. Declining revenue in states across the country has already started to reverse the trend in funding, at a time when the demand for a more educated workforce is increasing. Learn the best and worst components of education funding formulas, and just what lawmakers and policymakers can do to get a better return-on-investment for their education dollars.

Moderator: James Guthrie, Senior Fellow and Director of Education Policy Studies, George W. Bush Institute


  • Don Gaetz, Florida Senate
  • Hanna Skandera, New Mexico Secretary-Designate of Public Education and member, Chiefs for Change

Strategy Session #3: Rebooting State Education

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In 1998, almost half of Florida’s fourth graders were functionally illiterate. Today, nearly three-quarters of fourth graders are reading on or above grade level, according to the National Assessment for Educational Progress. That’s not all. Hispanic fourth graders in the Sunshine State read as well or better than the average of all students in 31 states and the District of Columbia. Learn how high expectations for students, accountability for schools, choices for families and rewards for progress reversed a generation of decline in Florida’s public schools.

Moderator: F. Philip Handy, CEO, Strategic Industries and Foundation for Excellence in Education board member


  • Matt Ladner, Senior Advisor on Policy and Research, Foundation for Excellence in Education
  • Patricia Levesque, Executive Director, Foundation for Excellence in Education

10:45AM-12:00PM Strategy Sessions

Strategy Session #4: How Can Locally-Controlled Education Fuel a Global Economy?

The foundation of America’s education governance – locally-controlled school boards – was established in the 18th century. Today, nearly 100,000 individuals across America serve on nearly 15,000 local school boards. In a world that has changed dramatically since these institutions were formed, what is the role of local school boards in delivering a high quality education that prepares all students to succeed in the global economy? Hear different perspectives on the challenge

Moderator: Chester E. Finn, Jr., President, Thomas B. Fordham Institute


  • Anne Bryant, Executive Director, National School Boards Association
  • Joel Klein, Executive Vice President and CEO, Education Division News Corporation and former New York City Schools Chancellor
  • Gene Maeroff, Board of Education of Edison, New Jersey and author, School Boards in America: A Flawed Exercise in Democracy

Strategy Session #5: R U Ready, Grads?

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Just one-third of the nation’s high school students earn a diploma and graduate from 12th grade with the knowledge to succeed in college and careers. Two-thirds don’t gain the skills to compete in the global economy or don’t earn a diploma at all. Leaders from across the nation are confronting the challenge. Learn how states are expanding and accelerating high school students’ opportunities to earn college credit, and what is being done to get students ready for post-secondary education and the workplace that awaits them after high school.

Moderator: Pam Stewart, Chancellor, Florida Public Schools


  • John Gubera, Indiana Department of Education
  • Gayle Manchin, West Virginia Board of Education and former first-lady of West Virginia
  • Lizzette Gonzales Reynolds, Deputy Commissioner for Policy and Programs, Texas Education Agency

Strategy Session #6: Fed Up With Failure?

America is experiencing a renaissance in education. Yet, nearly every state in the nation faces a chronic problem with a pool of historically poor-performing schools. How do you turnaround a school or school district that has fundamentally institutionalized failure? Learn how bold leaders are altering the course of history at these schools and changing the lives of students who attend them.

Moderator: Lindsey Burke, Senior Policy Analyst, The Heritage Foundation


  • Ben Austin, Executive Director, Parent Revolution
  • Paul Pastorek, Former Louisiana State Superintendent of Education and Chiefs for Change emeritus member

12:15–1:30PM Lunch Keynote – Sal Khan, Founder and Executive Director of Khan Academy

1:45–3:00PM General Session – Roadmap for Reform: Digital Learning

The Roadmap for Reform: Digital Learning provides Governors, education chiefs, lawmakers and policymakers with tangible steps to transform education so every student graduates from high school with the skills and knowledge to succeed in college and careers.

3:15–4:30PM Strategy Sessions

Strategy Session #7: Building Your Education Playlist

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Technology has transformed nearly every aspect of our day-to-day life – work, communication, commerce and entertainment – except education. That is about to change. The seeds of the coming digital revolution are taking root in states across the nation. Digital learning – whether online or in a classroom – is yielding rising student achievement and, at the same time, addressing a myriad of modern-day challenges, including class-size mandates and teacher shortages. Learn the essentials of digital learning from pioneers and practitioners of this new delivery system for education.

Moderator: Deirdre Finn, Deputy Executive Director of Foundation for Excellence in Education


  • John Danner, Co-founder and CEO of Rocketship Education
  • Rick Ogston, Founder and Executive Director, Carpe Diem Collegiate High School
  • Darren Reed, Vice President, Blended Schools, K12, Inc.
  • Mickey Revenaugh, Connections Academy
  • Julie Young, President and CEO of Florida Virtual School

Strategy Session #8: The Third-Grade Graduation Strategy

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Learning to read in the third grade may determine whether a student will graduate from high school. According to a recent study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, students who couldn’t 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 the policies that will put students on the path to a lifetime of success.

Moderator: Reba Dominski, Director of Education, Target Foundation


  • Tony Bennett, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction and Chair, Chiefs for Change
  • Jay Greene, Department Head and 21st Century Chair in Education Reform, University of Arkansas
  • Donald Hernandez, Professor of Sociology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York and author of Annie E. Casey Foundation’s “Double Jeopardy”
  • Clark Jolley, Oklahoma Senate

7:00–9:00PM Dinner Keynote – Melinda Gates, Co-Chair, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Friday, October 14, 2011
7:30-8:15AM Breakfast Buffet
8:15–9:15AM Morning Keynote – Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, News Corporation
9:30–10:45AM General Session – Roundtable with Chiefs for Change
Members of Chiefs for Change will discuss the education reform movement in their states and across the country.
11:00AM–12:15PM Strategy Sessions

Strategy Session #9: Just When You Thought You Did It All…

2011 will mark the 20th anniversary of the country’s first charter school. While 80 percent of states now authorize charter schools, the potential for innovation continues to grow – along with the public demand for this educational option. Learn how lawmakers and policymakers are expanding capacity of charter schools as well as charter options.

Moderator: Todd Ziebarth, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools


  • Rich Crandall, Arizona Senate
  • Jed Wallace, President and CEO, California Charter Schools Association
  • Fernando Zulueta, President, Academica Corporation

Strategy Session #10: Got Choice? Get Choice!

States around the nation are proving that there are as many wants to achieve choice as there are educational choices themselves. Explore the many ways states are empowering parents with the financial freedom to choose the school that’s right for their child. Learn what’s worked in recent years to overcome the obstacles to vouchers and expand the options for students.

Moderator: William Oberndorf, Managing Director, SPO Partners & Co.


  • Robert Behning, Indiana House of Representatives
  • Rick Murphy, Arizona Senate
  • Joe Negron, Florida Senate
  • Gary Simrill, South Carolina House of Representatives

12:30–1:45PM Lunch and Closing Keynote – Roundtable with Mayors Adrian Fenty and Antonio Villaraigosa on Closing America’s Achievement Gap

*Times listed are PDT