National education reform conference starts this week

Reform conference hosted by Jeb Bush features MOOC discussions, big data, and modern principals

national-education-reform Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and the Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE) will host the National Summit on Education Reform on Oct. 17 and 18 in Boston, Mass., which also is available via a live stream, and all strategy sessions will be filmed and available after the event.

During this two-day reform event, attendees will be immersed in briefings, discussions, and debates on the latest research, pilot programs, and policies for raising student achievement across the country.

The National Summit on Education Reform is FEE’s flagship initiative and convenes annually to share reform strategies to improve the quality of education for all students. The “one-stop policy and practice shop” offers lawmakers, policymakers, and advocates the opportunity to learn the nuts and bolts of reform, according to FEE.

(Next page: Keynote speakers and noteworthy reform sessions)

Sessions on reform, which address the larger issue of education reform, are well-suited for state leaders, superintendents, and administrators, and will cover a wide range of topics, from the value of pre-education to the growing trend of districts implementing transparent A-F grading systems.

Featured speakers include Dr. Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute; Michael Gove MP, England’s Secretary of State for Education; Theodore B. Olson, former United States Solicitor General; Dr. Condoleezza Rice, former United States Secretary of State; Dr. Clayton Christensen, professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation; and many other state, national and international reform leaders.

Reform-focused sessions include:

Day 1: “A Customized Education: Extreme Choices through Digital Learning”

Educational choice is evolving beyond simple choices between traditional public schools and alternatives such as charter and private schools. The next generation of choice introduces new ways for students to enroll in individual courses from a variety of sources. Hear state and education leaders share what they are doing–and what is yet to be done–to use digital learning technologies to create options and provide families with an education that meets the unique needs and interests of their child.

The moderator is Michael Horn, co-founder and executive director for education at the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation. The panelists include: Ken Bradford, assistant superintendent for the Louisiana Department of Education’s Office of Content; Susan Patrick, president and CEO of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL); and Howard Stephenson, Utah state senator.

Day 1: “Winning the Kitchen Table Conversation: The Art of Communicating Education Reform”

The most popular, and at the same time polarizing, of education policies is often a topic of conversation in “every home” in America, not just amongst education leaders. Some of the most important conversations about the future of schools and students aren’t happening in classrooms, but over kitchen tables, in teacher break rooms, on the airwaves, over Twitter, and in legislative buildings.

Join this session to learn how to effectively communicate issues critical to the student-centered reform movement across target audiences in your state. Panelists will draw from successful examples and personal experiences when discussing how to build comprehensive communications approaches to achieve broad-based support for education reform.

The moderator is Shannon Bream, correspondent for Fox News Channel. The panelist include: Michael Bassik, U.S. Digital Practice Chair at Burson-Marsteller and CEO of Proof Integrated Communications; Peter Cunningham, president of Cunningham Communications and Senior Advisor at Whiteboard Advisors; and Mike Murphy, partner at Revolution Agency.

(Next page: MOOCs, education and healthcare, and Twitter)

Day 1: “Education’s New Normal: Mass Access to the Best Courses and Teachers in the World through Technology”

Massive online open courses (MOOCs) are the latest disruptive education trend–one which may permanently alter the way elementary, secondary, undergrad, and graduate students learn. What happens when students can enroll in free courses and education programs that, arguably, offer the same quality of teaching found in America’s Ivy League institutions?

How will K-12 schools verify learning and recognize credit, and how will they use this technology-powered tool to expand learning and courses to their students? Join this session to hear panelists discuss the exciting potential of this newly chartered territory.

The moderator is John Bailey, executive director of Digital Learning Now! The panelists include: Dr. Anant Argawal, president of edX; Erin Knight, senior director of learning for the Mozilla Foundation; and Hadi Partovi, co-founder and president of

Day 2: “RX for Schools: Lessons for Education from the Healthcare Sector”

In the United States, the healthcare and education sectors, though unique, share many similar challenges, including fragmentation of providers, cost containment, government bureaucracy, and use of data. Both sectors also struggle to measure and reward quality outcomes.

While this panel will not provide a test-driven plan for success, it will draw on the expertise of leading healthcare experts to lend fresh perspective to the work of both education experts and citizen legislators alike. Join this session to hear one of the most fascinating conversations about domestic policy solutions that will happen all year.

The moderator is Tevi Troy, senior fellow at Hudson Institute. The panelists include: Dr. Delos Cosgrove, president and CEO of Cleveland Clinic; Dr. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum; and Alan Levine, senior vice president and the president of the Florida Group at Health Management Associates.

Day 2: “Great Coaches Call the Right Plays: Developing Strong Principals for All Schools”

Strong leadership is a key to success in any field. With the recent focus on teacher evaluations and effectiveness, it’s important not to neglect the influence of school leaders on student achievement. Principals play a central role in determining the level of student learning at their schools; and, just like teachers, great principals are essential to providing kids with a high-quality education. Join this session to learn new approaches to training and developing the successful principals states need to prioritize students and lead schools.

The moderator is Deborah A. Gist, Rhode Island commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education and vice chair of Chiefs for Change. The panelists include: Dr. Eric Hanushek, senior fellow in Education and member of the Koret Task Force on K–12 Education at the Hoover Institution; Jennifer Henry, Chief Program and Cities Officer for New Leaders; and Andrea Hodge, executive director of the Rice University Education Entrepreneurship Program.

Other sessions include K-3 reading strategies, business expectations for students, teacher prep programs, meeting the needs of students with disabilities, and more. The full agenda:

Follow #EIE13 and @ExcelinEd on Twitter for the latest news and updates regarding the 2013 summit.

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