Winter Park, Fla. – Jan. 7, 2013 – Dr. John W. Hodge, a renowned motivational speaker and expert in helping schools plan for continuous improvement, and Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs, an internationally recognized expert in curriculum and instruction, will lead keynote presentations at the Performance Matters™ 2013 National User Group Conference. The conference will take place Jan. 16-18 in Orlando, Fla.

During the three-day event, educators from school districts across the country will gather to explore today’s hottest topics in K-12 education, including the Common Core State Standards and teacher effectiveness. In addition, participants will attend workshop sessions on timely issues such as student learning objectives, professional learning communities, Response to Intervention (RtI), and state testing.

The National User Group Conference will kick off Jan. 16 with a keynote presentation by Hodge, who is president and co-founder of the Urban Learning and Leadership Center (ULLC), an organization focused on student achievement and reduction of the achievement gap. In his presentation, titled “The Miracle Starts Here,” Hodge will discuss the power of collaboration to create excellent schools, and work to inspire participants to reflect on the true purpose of education and their role in ensuring that all children reach their fullest potential. Hodge, who is known as a master teacher and staff developer, has served as a teacher, assistant principal, AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) teacher, and associate director of AVID Center Eastern Division. He helps educators in elementary, middle and high schools make the necessary changes to help all children meet and exceed rigorous academic standards.

On Jan. 17, Jacobs will discuss how to transform schools and classrooms into 21st century learning environments in her keynote presentation titled, “Mapping to the Core: An Opportunity to Upgrade Curriculum for the 21st Century Learner.” Jacobs, the executive director of the Curriculum Mapping Institute and president of Curriculum Designers Inc., will share her “Four Phase Model,” which not only aligns and integrates the Common Core State Standards, but upgrades curriculum and assessments with contemporary alternatives, including 21st century media projects and web 2.0 resources. The presentation is based on Jacobs’ latest e-book, “Mapping to the Core: Integrating the CCSS Into Your Local School Curriculum (SINET),” which is being used across the country to assist in systemic implementation.

“Last year, we received a tremendous response to our first-ever National User Group Conference. This year we will raise the bar even higher with an outstanding conference line-up, highlighted by exciting presentations by our two keynote speakers and by a variety of workshops geared toward different educator levels,” said Woody Dillaha, co-founder and CEO of Performance Matters. “With the move to the Common Core standards and the push for student performance-focused evaluation systems for teachers, it’s vital that educators have the opportunity to learn from their colleagues about the methods and tools they’re using to meet these needs and comply with state requirements. Here at our conference, educators will have the opportunity to explore these topics and more.”

For more information about the Performance Matters National User Group Conference, visit

About Performance Matters
Performance Matters helps K-12 school systems improve student learning by providing comprehensive, integrated solutions for assessment, data management and teacher effectiveness. Based in Winter Park, Fla., Performance Matters solutions are used by school districts across the country. For more information, visit or call (407) 645-1800.

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Leslie Eicher