The Education Trust National Conference
Nov. 13-14, 2014
Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel
Baltimore, Md.


2014 CONFERENCE STRANDS

Get more information on our schedule.

Leading School Change

Helping Teachers Make the Grade in High-Need Schools

Thursday, Nov. 13, 9:50-11:05 a.m.

Hiring teachers is one of the most important decisions that a principal can make, both for school culture and for student learning. How do the leaders of high-performing high-poverty schools go about recruiting, screening, selecting, inducting, and supporting new teachers? What have they learned from their mistakes? And how do they handle teachers who don’t live up to their promise?

June Eressy, former principal, University Park Campus School, Worcester, Mass., 2005 Dispelling the Myth Award winner; Mary Haynes-Smith, principal, Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School of Literature and Technology, New Orleans, La., 2010 Dispelling the Myth Award winner; and Conrad Lopes, former principal, Jack Britt High School, Fayetteville, N.C., 2010 Dispelling the Myth Award winner. Moderator: Karin Chenoweth, writer-in-residence, The Education Trust.

Bringing Order Out of Chaos: Leading school coherence

Thursday, Nov. 13, 1:35-2:50 p.m.

Between crises in the cafeteria, demands of the central office, new curricula, and new assessments — not to mention disgruntled parents and challenging kids — schools are constantly being pulled in different directions. For schools to improve, school leaders must learn how to forge order from chaos and lead instruction. In this panel, expert leaders from Dispelling the Myth schools will talk about how they created coherent systems — from discipline policies to master schedules — to ensure that all kids learn and achieve.

Frank Lozier, principal, Bunche Middle School, Compton, Calif., and former principal, Laurel Street Elementary School, Compton, Calif., 2012 Dispelling the Myth Award winner; Cecilia Sanchez, principal, Dr. Carlos J. Finlay Elementary School, 2013 Dispelling the Myth Award winner; Diane Scricca, assistant professor of educational leadership, Mercy College, New York, N.Y., and former principal, Elmont Memorial High School, Elmont, N.Y., 2005 Dispelling the Myth Award winner. Moderator: Karin Chenoweth, writer-in-residence, The Education Trust.

Building a Culture of High Expectations

Thursday, Nov. 13, 3:10-4:25 p.m.

Research and common sense tell us that having high expectations for students matters. But how can a school leader build a school culture where expectations are high across all classrooms — and all students? Get honest answers from three proven leaders — two with a background in elementary school and one in secondary — who’ve done it. Learn about the structures and practices each of them put in place to build a school culture that supports high achievement for all students. Come with high expectations for a great conversation.

Deb Gustafson, principal, Ware Elementary, Fort Riley, Kan., 2005 Dispelling the Myth Award winner; Jennifer Black, principal, Washington Elementary, Junction City, Kan., and former assistant principal, Ware Elementary; and Joe Nelson, principal, Pass Christian Middle School, Pass Christian, Miss. Moderator: Christina Theokas, director of research, The Education Trust.

Turnaround in Overdrive: Turning around a school as standards turn up the heat

Friday, Nov. 14, 10:55 a.m.-12:10 p.m.

Several years ago, June Eressy and Ricci Hall, former principals of one of Ed Trust’s Dispelling the Myth Award-winning schools, separately took on leading the turnaround of two of their district’s lowest performers — one elementary and one secondary school. In this session, hear the real deal on school turnaround from these accomplished veterans — the successes they’ve celebrated and the challenges they’ve faced. Find out what they have learned along the way about building culture, improving instruction, and implementing the Common Core State Standards in an evolving environment.

Ricci Hall, principal, Claremont Academy, Worcester, Mass., and former principal, University Park Campus School, Worcester, Mass., 2005 Dispelling the Myth Award winner; and June Eressy, former principal, Chandler Elementary, Worcester, Mass., and former principal, University Park Campus School. Moderator: Karin Chenoweth, writer-in-residence, The Education Trust.

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Building Talent

Realizing the Vision: Using evaluation to improve instruction districtwide

Thursday, Nov. 13, 9:50-11:05 a.m.

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A key goal of teacher evaluation is to help educators improve classroom instruction. To achieve this, districts must ensure that educators understand the evaluation system and can respond to the signals it sends. In this session, learn about an Ed Trust-West study that examined teacher evaluation in several California districts to understand what training, feedback, and supports must be in place to improve teacher development. And hear from two agencies — a traditional public school district and a charter management organization — about what it means to do evaluation and support well.

Jeannette LaFors, director of equity initiatives, The Education Trust-West; Matt David, assistant principal, Nipomo High School, Nipomo, Calif.; Stacey David, master teacher, Fairgrove Elementary School, Grover Beach, Calif.;Jonathan Stewart, director of teacher development, Partnership to Uplift Communities (PUC Schools), Burbank, Calif.; and Puja Shah, math teacher and teacher leader, PUC Early College Academy for Leaders & Scholars, Los Angeles, Calif.

Cutting Red Tape: Revamping district hiring practices to improve results

Thursday, Nov. 13, 1:35-2:50 p.m.

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Until recently, Memphis exemplified the hiring dysfunction typical in many districts. Vacancies persisted while archaic hiring practices tangled qualified teachers in red tape, and principals often had no say in who taught in their schools. But a partnership between the district’s Talent Management and Human Capital departments and TNTP transformed antiquated, compliance-driven hiring practices into a powerful driver of results. Teacher vacancies that averaged 100 days are now filled in 10. And through strategic staffing decisions, the district’s lowest performing schools currently boast the highest concentrations of effective teachers. Come hear how they did it and how to fuel change in your own district.

Victoria Van Cleef, vice president of talent management, TNTP, New York, N.Y.; and Shelia Redick, director of human capital, Shelby County Schools, Tenn.

Straight From the Source: What effective teachers tell us about working in high-need schools

Thursday, Nov. 13, 3:10-4:25 p.m.

What conditions attract effective teachers to high-need schools? What keeps them there? These are critical questions facing states and districts charged with ensuring that low-income students and students of color have equitable access to strong teachers. To find answers, Ed Trust has partnered with Teach Plus to survey effective, experienced teachers working in high-need schools through the T3 (Teacher Turnaround Team) Initiative in Boston and Washington, D.C. Come get a first look at our survey findings and hear directly from T3 teachers about their experiences, challenges, and successes.

Alice Johnson Cain,vice president for federal and state policy, Teach Plus, Washington, D.C.; Mark Teoh, director of research and knowledge, Teach Plus, Boston, Mass.; Janis Dingels, T3 teacher leader, Walker Jones Education Campus, Washington, D.C.; and Erin Dukeshire, T3 teacher leader, Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School, Boston, Mass.

Beyond Box-Checking: Using classroom observation to improve instruction and retain great teachers

Friday, Nov. 14, 9:20-10:35 a.m.

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“I taught in the city for four years,” says a longtime English teacher at Elmont Memorial, a large, comprehensive high school just outside Queens, “but until I came here, I had never taught a lesson.” Join members of Elmont’s leadership team for an insider’s look into the robust, beyond-the-checklist teacher observation and support practices that make this 2005 Dispelling the Myth Award winner a place where teachers flock — and stay — to become masters of their craft, great educators for their students, and peer coaches to their colleagues.

John Capozzi, principal, Elmont Memorial High School, Elmont, N.Y., 2005 Dispelling the Myth Award winner.

A League of Their Own: Ensuring strong principals for high-need schools

Friday, Nov. 14, 9:20-10:35 a.m.

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The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district is a national leader in staffing high-need schools with effective principals and teachers. This work has not only meant making smart decisions about how to ensure that the highest need schools have the strongest leaders today, but also developing a strong pipeline of new talent for tomorrow. Join district leaders to learn how Charlotte is preparing, selecting, and supporting the next generation of school leaders.

Ann Clark, deputy superintendent, and Trish Sexton, learning community executive director, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Charlotte, N.C.

Degrees of Preparation: Ensuring students have the classroom-ready teachers they need

Friday, Nov. 14, 10:55 a.m.-12:10 p.m.

Teachers’ jobs are too demanding and too important to leave their preparation to chance. But too often, that’s what we’ve done. Consequently, too many enter the profession each year lacking the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver strong instruction. So how can advocates best press for every new teacher to have the preparation they need — and students deserve? The experience of two leading states — Tennessee and Delaware — offers some insight. Hear representatives from each one detail what they’re doing and lessons they’ve learned in working to improve the quality of their prep programs.

Victoria Harpool, First to the Top program coordinator, Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Nashville, Tenn.; and Shana Young, chief of staff, teacher and leader effectiveness unit, Delaware Department of Education, Dover, Del. Moderator: Arthur McKee, managing director, Teacher Preparation Studies, National Council on Teacher Quality, Washington, D.C.

Getting Strong Educators to the Students Who Most Need Them

Friday, Nov. 14, 10:55 a.m.-12:10 p.m.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg is at the forefront in taking on one of the most important challenges facing public education: creating systems to attract and retain strong teachers and leaders in high-need schools. Through its Strategic Staffing Initiative, the district has helped raise achievement in previously low-performing schools by focusing on five key factors: strong leadership, teams of effective teachers, differentiated compensation, community engagement, and autonomy coupled with accountability. Come hear seven years’ worth of lessons learned from this trailblazing work.

Ann Clark, deputy superintendent, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, N.C.

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Raising the Bar for All

American Grit

Wednesday, Nov. 12, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Start your conference experience with a toast…and a powerful call to action. Drop your bags in your room and join us for a pre-conference happy hour and a performance from Ed Trust senior playwright-researcher Brooke Haycock. Weaving data with narrative drawn from more than 300 interviews with youth, educators, and leaders from higher education, business and industry, American Grit whips into a fever pitch a 100-year-old debate in education about the very role of secondary schools in America and what — and whose — children need to succeed. This docudrama follows cousins Deja and Darnell out the high school doors and deep into a post-industrial America, exposing the fault lines in the rhetoric of college and career readiness "for all" that swallow too many students and shake the very foundation of American Prosperity.

Reconnect with old friends, make new ones and get fired up for conference.

What’s the Latest From PARCC?

Thursday, Nov. 13, 9:50-11:05 a.m.

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This is the first year that the full PARCC assessments will be administered in multiple states. These assessments are intended to align with the Common Core State Standards and represent a sea change for students as well as educators. Come hear the latest — including lessons from last year’s field test — from a senior PARCC representative. Bring your questions about assessment design, technology requirements, accessibility and accommodation, timeframes, reporting, performance-level descriptors, and more to this highly interactive session.

Jeff Nellhaus, director of policy, research & design, Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, Washington, D.C.

Aligning K-12 Instruction for Common Core Success

Thursday, Nov. 13, 9:50-11:05 a.m.

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To reap the benefits of Common Core State Standards, districts must ensure that teachers understand what students need to know and be able to do at each grade level. Hear how Pass Christian, Mississippi, took on a big challenge with a little budget and deputized teachers to work with elementary and middle school colleagues to align instruction and deepen content knowledge.

Beth John, superintendent, Pass Christian School District; Leslie Leyser, teacher and Common Core liaison, and James Ashley Phillips, teacher and Common Core liaison, Pass Christian High School, 2013 Dispelling the Myth Award winner; and Mary Cordray, teacher and Common Core liaison, Pass Christian Elementary School, Pass Christian, Miss.

Closing the Word Gap: Systematic vocabulary instruction for high-poverty schools

Thursday, Nov. 13, 1:35-2:50 p.m.

On average, children from low-income families are likely to know about half as many words by first grade as children from higher income families. This means that for low-income students, having high-quality vocabulary instruction is that much more important. In this session, hear from educators at Dispelling the Myth Award winner Bethune Elementary in New Orleans how they systematically approach the task of helping their students — all of whom qualify for free or reduced-price meals — learn the vocabulary they need to understand the world around them and to meet high standards.

Mary Haynes-Smith, principal, Kim Duronset, teacher, Ingrid Rachal, teacher, Medina Romain, teacher, and Sherice Walker, teacher, Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School of Literature and Technology, New Orleans, 2010 Dispelling the Myth Award winner.

What’s the Latest From Smarter Balanced?

Thursday, Nov. 13, 1:35-2:50 p.m.

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This is the first year that the full Smarter Balanced assessments will be administered in multiple states.  These assessments are intended to align with the Common Core State Standards and represent a sea change for students as well as educators. Come hear the latest — including lessons from last year’s field test — from a senior Smarter Balanced representative. Bring your questions about assessment design, technology requirements, accessibility and accommodation, reporting, timeframes, achievement-level descriptors, and more to this highly interactive session.

Jacqueline King, Director of Higher Education Collaboration, Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, Washington, D.C.

From the Core to the Classroom: Modeling good instruction

Thursday, Nov. 13, 3:10-4:25 p.m.

The Common Core State Standards place greater demands on students — and educators — than ever before. So what does instruction designed to meet the more rigorous standards actually look like in classrooms and schools, especially those serving significant numbers of students who enter behind? And what can secondary schools do to systematize that kind of instruction? Back by popular demand, instructional leaders from University Park Campus School in Worcester, Mass., will model this kind of instruction and share tools and strategies they’re using to support teachers and students in meeting the new expectations.

Daniel St. Louis, principal, University Park Campus School, Worcester, Mass., 2005 Dispelling the Myth Award winner; and Ricci Hall, principal, Claremont Academy, Worcester, Mass., and former principal, University Park Campus School.

Tiered Intervention: Helping students catch up and soar 

2014 Dispelling the Myth session

Thursday, Nov. 13, 3:10-4:25 p.m.

2014 100% Agenda

Academic Plan

Behavior Plan

Differentiation Behavior Tracking Sheets

Protocol and Decision Rules

Triangle of Support Systems

When students arrive behind, "Response to Intervention" can provide a structured way to meet their needs. But figuring out how all the elements jibe can pose a challenge for any school. One of this year's Dispelling the Myth Award winners began RTI long before it was adopted widely and has worked out many of the kinks, including for their many students who are learning English. Join a team of Menlo Park educators to hear how RTI has helped them improve instruction and achievement and what they've learned along the way.

Kellie Burkhardt, principal; Christine VanDaele, student achievement specialist; Margie Menzia, language development specialist; and Michelle Armstrong, teacher, Menlo Park Elementary School, Portland, Ore.

Catalyst

Friday, Nov. 14, 7:00-8:00 a.m.

Back at conference by popular demand is Ed Trust senior playwright-researcher Brooke Haycock’s powerful docudrama Catalyst. Based entirely on interviews conducted in some of America’s highest-performing schools and some of its lowest and performed for audiences across the country and abroad, Catalyst offers an unflinching portrayal of the power of educators to change students’ lives. Following two young men, Carl and Isaiah, Catalyst takes on the tough questions of student engagement, bringing audiences face to face with some of the most devastating and inspiring images of student transformation. If you’re looking for a reminder of why you got into this work in the first place, don’t miss this.

Translating the Core: Implementing Common Core for English learners

Friday, Nov. 14, 9:20-10:35 a.m.

Transitioning to Common Core isn’t easy for any school. It’s harder still for schools where many students are learning English. In the heart of Compton, Laurel Street Elementary — where more than 60 percent of students are English learners — is stepping up, translating the new standards into powerful instruction for all students. Join us for a conversation with Laurel Street’s team and the reporter who’s been documenting their work to learn about the challenges they’ve faced, and get strategies your school or district can use to deliver on Common Core’s promise.

Angel Chavarín, teacher, and Rebecca Roundtree Harris, teacher, Laurel Street Elementary School, Compton, Calif., 2012 Dispelling the Myth Award winner; Alejandra Monroy, literacy coach, Compton Unified School District, Compton, Calif.; and Pat Wingert, reporter, The Atlantic, Washington, D.C.

Navigating Common Core Implementation: A compass for your journey

Friday, Nov. 14, 10:55 a.m.-12:10 p.m.

As school leadership teams navigate Common Core implementation, how should they decide on priorities, strategies, and sequencing? In this session, learn about a free online tool the Aspen Institute developed to assess Common Core implementation efforts and engage teachers and school leadership teams in planning for improvement. School and district leaders who have used the tool to focus intensively on the transition will share what’s worked, what hasn’t, and lessons gleaned along the way. Come explore how your school or district can accelerate and deepen implementation by recognizing important issues up-front.

Ross Wiener, vice president and executive director, Education and Society Program, The Aspen Institute, Washington, D.C.; Dawn Clemens, principal, Capitol Hill Cluster School, Washington, D.C.; District and school administrators.

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Getting to Graduation and Beyond

Using SAILS to Help Students Soar

Thursday, Nov. 13, 9:50-11:05 a.m.

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More than half of students entering two-year colleges require remediation. Using the senior year of high school to catch up students lagging behind in math, Tennessee’s Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support (SAILS) initiative is ameliorating that trend. It achieves impressive results by partnering community colleges with high schools to offer targeted instruction and support: In 2014, SAILS served nearly 8,500 high school students, saving over 90 percent at least one semester of remediation. Learn how SAILS supports teachers and students and about the successes and challenges of developing the program and expanding it statewide.

John Squires, math department head, Chattanooga State Community College, Chattanooga, Tenn., Dru Smith, math director, SAILS Tennessee, Chattanooga, Tenn.: and Deb weiss, math teacher, Red Bank High School, Red Bank, Tenn. 

Shattering Expectations: Closing gaps at the high end of the achievement spectrum

Thursday, Nov. 13, 9:50-11:05 a.m.

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Real gap-closing in high schools means not just catching students up who are academically behind, but also accelerating those who are ahead. Join the Ed Trust researchers behind the Shattering Expectations series as they share data on the trajectories of students of color and low-income students who are high-achieving when they enter high school. Plus, hear advice from two high achievers profiled in the series on how high schools can support high-achieving students and prepare them for success beyond graduation day.

Gregory Brown and Rosa Prigan, Young Scholars Program alumni, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation; and Marni Bromberg, research associate, and Christina Theokas, director of research, The Education Trust.

It Takes a School: Working together to get all students to graduation day

Thursday, Nov. 13, 1:35-2:50 p.m.

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In New York state, about 60 percent of black and Latino high school students graduate on time. But Elmont Memorial High School, nestled in Nassau County just outside Queens, continually produces dramatically different outcomes for its mostly black or Latino students, 96 percent of whom graduate on time, nearly all college bound. Learn how faculty at this large, comprehensive high school collaborate across teams and disciplines in dynamic, targeted ways to advance all students to graduation and beyond in what Principal John Capozzi calls “the relentless pursuit of success.”

John Capozzi, principal, and Caron Cox, chairperson of pupil personnel services, Elmont Memorial High School, Elmont, N.Y., 2005 Dispelling the Myth Award winner.

Expanding Access and Increasing Success for All Students in Advanced Courses

Thursday, Nov. 13, 3:10-4:25 p.m.

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Less than half of students who could successfully complete an AP course take that class, with even lower participation by students of color. That’s especially troubling because a rigorous high school curriculum is a key predictor of college success. In this session, learn how Auburn, Wash., has increased AP access and success — and how the district is working to prepare more students for these classes. Hear how leaders drew from other districts to inform their work, challenges faced, supports they implemented, next steps — and how you can create the conditions for similar success in your district.

Kip Herren, superintendent, and Rod Luke, associate superintendent for student learning, Auburn School District, Auburn, Wash.

College Counseling: From restricted access to all-access

Friday, Nov. 14, 9:20-10:35 a.m.

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Affluent students generally have access to a wealth of knowledge about how to prepare for college: what courses to take, how to search for colleges, and how to apply. But low-income students rarely receive that same level of guidance, information, and exposure. Nina Marks, a former teacher and school-based college counselor long known for successful college advising, is working to address that inequity. Hear about the counseling, academic supports, and insider advice she and her team use to support low-income students on the way to and through college, and learn how you can bolster college-going in your school or community.

Nina Marks, founder, Collegiate Directions, Inc., and principal, Marks Education, Bethesda, Md.; and Rachel Mazyck, president, Collegiate Directions, Inc., Bethesda, Md.

Getting College Results: Helping students navigate the road map to college success

Friday, Nov. 14, 10:55 a.m.-12:10 p.m.

Not all colleges — even those serving students with similar academic backgrounds — are equally successful at getting students to graduation day. So how can students, parents, educators, and advocates see beyond the glossy brochures to identify the institutions that will give students the best chance of success? The answer: College Results Online, a Web-based tool that lets users compare similar schools to identify which one is the best fit. In this session, learn how to use CRO — and hear about the College Decision Road Map, which lays out the key questions to consider when researching colleges.

Andrew Nichols, director for higher education research and data analytics, The Education Trust.

Readiness for Whom, Readiness for What: Patterns in college and career preparation through an equity lens

Friday, Nov. 14, 9:20-10:35 a.m.

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Join Ed Trust’s research team for an instructive look at the state of college and career readiness. Through a dynamic, off-the-charts presentation of statistics and stories, get the big picture on high schools and what data, school artifacts, and student experiences reveal about how well high schools are preparing all students for the world beyond graduation. You’ll also learn about tools that can help you assess academic opportunity and readiness in your own school, district, or community.

Marni Bromberg, research associate, Brooke Haycock, senior playwright-researcher, and Christina Theokas, director of research, The Education Trust.

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Creating Conditions for Change

Election 2014: What do the outcomes mean for education?

Thursday, Nov. 9:50-11:05 a.m.

Come hear a former House staffer and a former Senate staffer, both with years of experience in education policy and politics, discuss the possible federal- and state-level impact recent elections will have on education. What will Congress’ education priorities be? Will Congress finally reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act? What do state election results suggest about coming trends in education? How will state results affect the implementation of Common Core State Standards? And what does this all mean for students of color and low-income students?

Alex Nock, executive vice president, Penn Hill Group, Washington, D.C.; and Celia Sims, vice president of government relations, Knowledge Universe, Washington, D.C. Moderator: Alyson Klein, reporter, Education Week, Bethesda, Md. Ryan Reyna, program director of education division, National Governors Association, Washington, D.C.

Stemming the Slide: Lessons on effective summer learning programs

Thursday, Nov. 13, 9:50-11:05 a.m.

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To combat summer learning loss and ensure continuous and equal access to educational enrichment for students, numerous districts have instituted summer learning programs. But what practices make a program effective? The National Summer Learning Association partnered with a network of districts to answer that question and help districts strengthen their programs. Join leaders from NSLA’s New Vision for Summer School network and member district, Baltimore, to learn about the research on components of effective summer learning programs and how districts can operationalize that research.

Monica Logan, vice president of program quality, National Summer Learning Association, Baltimore, Md.; and Anne Lilly, program evaluator, Baltimore City Public Schools, Baltimore, Md.

From Policy to Reality: Getting implementation right on equitable school funding reform

Thursday, Nov. 13, 1:35-2:50 p.m.

In 2013, California dramatically reformed its school funding system to drive additional resources to the highest need districts and schools. But advocates and district administrators knew that translating reform into reality would require substantive changes in how districts planned, budgeted, and engaged stakeholders. In other words, getting implementation right was critical to ensuring that the additional dollars helped the students most in need. Join Ed Trust-West and district and community partners from San Bernardino to learn about first-year challenges districts and other stakeholders faced and what it takes to translate policy reform into a game-changer for students.

Carrie Hahnel, director of research, The Education Trust-West; Rev. Samuel Casey, executive director, Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement, San Bernardino, Calif.; and Matty Zamora, assistant superintendent, San Bernardino City Unified School District, San Bernardino, Calif.

Equity Isn’t a Fad: Keeping equity front and center in the education reform conversation

Thursday, Nov. 13, 3:10-4:25 p.m.

For generations, our nation’s schools have undereducated and underserved low income students and students of color, yet equity often remains an afterthought in the education reform movement. Changing these patterns is a moral and economic imperative. Join us for a discussion about how we, as advocates, can establish equity’s centrality to any conversation about improving our education system. Share your experiences and get expert perspectives on the challenges of drawing attention to equity in today’s reform environment — and opportunities to focus conversations on ensuring that a high-quality education isn’t reserved for a privileged few.

Delia Pompa, senior vice president, programs, National Council of La Raza, Washington, D.C.; and Gretchen Susi, director of Roundtable on Community Change, Aspen Institute, New York, N.Y. Moderator: Deborah Veney, vice resident of government affairs and communications, The Education Trust.

‘Help! My State Wants to Drop Common Core’: Using statewide coalition-building to defend the Common Core State Standards

Friday, Nov. 14, 9:20-10:35 a.m.

The past two legislative sessions have spelled anything but good news for the Common Core State Standards in many states. A few loud voices have moved some legislators to call for repeal, threatening to undo years of work by educators and renege on the promise of raising expectations for all students. Now, many state legislatures are eyeing repeal bills again. Learn how advocates in Alabama, a state with one of the toughest anti-Common Core atmospheres, formed the statewide Alabama GRIT coalition, engaged legislators to stave off repeal, and continue to incorporate educator and parent voices to advocate for college- and career-ready standards.

Thomas Rains, policy director, A+ Education Partnership, Montgomery, Ala.; and Rebecca Vansant, president, Alabama PTA, Montgomery, Ala.

Keeping Kids in Class: Improving teacher-student relationships to reduce discipline disparities

Friday, Nov. 14, 10:55 a.m.-12:10 p.m.

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Strong relationships between teachers and students are central to establishing fair, effective school discipline practices and, critically, to reducing racial disparities in suspensions and expulsions. Come learn how improving teacher-student interactions in the classroom and implementing restorative practices in your school have the potential to close the racial discipline gap. And learn how schools and districts can support teachers in improving classroom climate and student engagement to reduce reliance on exclusionary discipline. Participants will see the research behind this work as well as examples of what it looks like in practice.

Anne Gregory, associate professor, Rutgers University, Piscataway, N.J.

Looking Back to Map a Course Forward: Recent and upcoming education policy developments

Friday, Nov. 14, 9:20-10:35 a.m.

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Join Ed Trust staff for a clear-eyed look at recent education policy developments, upcoming federal initiatives, and the implications of both for equity. Hear what student performance data are telling us about whether new state accountability systems are demanding improved performance outcomes for all groups of students. Brainstorm what to push for when your state applies to renew its waiver from No Child Left Behind. And learn about the U.S. Department of Education’s new Teacher Equity Initiative and how you can harness this opportunity in your state.

Daria Hall, director of K-12 policy development, and Natasha Ushomirsky, senior K-12 policy and data analyst, The Education Trust.

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Project-Based Learning: It’s not about dioramas

2014 Dispelling the Myth session. Please check back for details. 

Rural Teachers Leading Improvement: Collaborating across schools

2014 Dispelling the Myth session. Please check back for details. 

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2013 Conference Highlights


The Education Trust promotes high academic achievement for all students at all levels — pre-kindergarten through college. Our goal is to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement that consign far too many young people — especially those from low-income families or who are black, Latino, or American Indian — to lives on the margins of the American mainstream.


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Important Dates

Tuesday, September 30: Early bird registration closes
Monday, November 10: Regular registration closes