Beyond Ideology: A Bipartisan Approach for Education Reform
Bipartisanship is a powerful driver of lasting change. Over the last two decades, we’ve seen an alliance between policymakers on the left and right create and grow the charter school sector, and more recently, pass the Every Child Succeeds Act. Under the Trump Administration, however, this alliance is beginning to fracture. Our opening panel will engage educators and advocates on both sides of the aisle in a lively debate about the place for activism within the education reform space. How can we get past partisan politics and do what’s right for children?
Shavar Jeffries, President, Democrats for Education Reform
Thomas Toch, Director, FutureEd
Robert Pondiscio, Senior Fellow and Vice President for External Affairs, Thomas B. Fordham Institute
Derrell Bradford, Executive Vice President, 50CAN
Jal Mehta, Associate Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Suzanne Tacheny Kubach, Executive Director, PIE Network
Advocacy and the Changing Role of Schools
In a volatile political environment, where there appears to be a disconnect between the federal administration and its subordinate institutions, decisions instituted by the former do not always align with with values of the latter. This disconnect is particularly prevalent in the education space, which is intimately linked to contentious national issues such as immigration and income inequality. Schools, in turn, are pushed to assume a more proactive role in defending the values of accessibility, equitability and inclusivity. The Trump administration’s September decision to end DACA, for one, saw an outpouring of support for “Dreamers” from educators who vowed to stand by their students, regardless of immigration status. This panel will examine challenges to advocacy on a school level and resources schools can leverage, and will propose realistic goals they can work towards in advancing their causes.
Mira Debs, Executive Director, Education Studies Program at Yale University
Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers
Rosa Kelley, Director, International Student Services, City University of New York
Khin Mai Aung, Director of English Language Learner Civil Rights & Policy, New York State Education Department
Alicia Johnson, Chief Operating Officer, KIPP NYC
A STEM Curriculum for the Future
There are more than 500,000 unfilled jobs in computer science-related fields. By elevating the importance of computer science in schools, we have an opportunity to close this employment gap while offering students a path to high-paying careers. We’re beginning to see momentum behind this effort, with some states pushing legislation to make computer science a mandatory subject, but there is still work to be done. Research studies have revealed that students who take AP Computer Science in high school are six times more likely to major in computer science than those who do not. This panel will explore the strategies at the policy, district, and school levels for integrating computer science into the curriculum and ensuring that students are prepared for the jobs of the future.
Kevin Wang, Founder, TEALS
Dr. Chris Stephenson, Head of Computer Science Education Strategy, Google
James Maroney, Director, First Choice College Placement
Cameron Wilson, President, Code.org Advocacy Coalition
Chinma Uche, President, Connecticut Computer Science Teachers Association
Diversifying the Human Capital Pipeline
Students of color in the United States account for half of all students, yet teachers of color comprise fewer than 20% of public school teachers. Closing this gap is critical. Research has linked same-race teachers to better academic achievement and lower rates of exclusionary discipline among students of color. This panel will explore strategies for building a more diverse human capital pipeline to the classroom and beyond.
Dr. Constance Lindsay, Research Associate, Education Policy Program, Urban Institute
Talisha White, Executive Director, Teacher Pathways Initiative, Relay GSE
Pema Latshang, Founding Executive Director, Teach Western Mass
Patrice Fenton, Associate Director, NYC Men Teach
Having the Conversation: Political Dialogue in the Classroom and on Campus
The U.S is politically divided. The degree of polarization is exacerbated by a barrage of “fake news,” harsh rhetoric, and inflammatory comments made from both sides of the aisle. Social media makes confirmation bias more rampant. From an education perspective, how do we teach civics in a balanced fashion to encourage a more open dialogue? How do we program on campuses to foster conversation and tolerance? This session aims to answer those questions and provide concrete ideas to help bridge the divide in classrooms and on campuses.
Harris Sokoloff, Faculty Director, Penn Project on Civic Engagement, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education
Joe Salvatore, Clinical Associate Professor of Educational Theatre, NYU Steinhardt School
Adi Grabiner Keinan, Director of the Intergroup Dialogue Project, Cornell/Intergroup Dialogue Project
Alethea White, Co-Director, Multicultural Teaching Institute
Lizzy Carroll, Program Associate, Facing History and Ourselves
From Concept to Scale: A Deep Dive Into Achievement First’s Greenfield Redesign
Redesigning schools isn’t just about ideas, it’s about creating sustainable educational models. This panel will examine Achievement First’s Greenfield model from the design thinking phase to implementation. The network’s Co-CEO, Doug McCurry, will discuss what happens when the rubber hits the road, and how savvy operators adapt along the way.
Doug McCurry, Co-CEO, Achievement First
Ashia Parks, School Leader, Achievement First
Intelligence as Social Currency: Building Community Around Achievement for Black Males
This panel is an in-depth look at a district’s attempt to support a student-led initiative aimed at building community for black male students around academic achievement and mentorship through an organization called The Brotherhood. We’ll hear about the successes, challenges and lessons learned from stakeholders across an organizational, faculty and district level. The panel will be moderated by Yale School of Management associate professor, Michael Kraus, whose current work explores the behaviors and emotional states that maintain and perpetuate economic and social inequality in society.
Michael Kraus, Associate Professor, Yale School of Management
Christian Caldwell, Founder & Chairman of the Board, The Brotherhood
Michael Giles, Executive Director of Inclusive Intelligence, Cherry Creek School District (CCSD)
Kendall Gregory-McGee, Brotherhood Chief Academic Officer & English/AVID Teacher, Overland High School - CCSD
Investing in Education: Private Equity & Venture Capital
As a public good, primary and secondary education in the US has historically been funded mostly by public sources. Technological disruption and intensifying labor markets have increased private investment in education to an all-time high of $6B in 2015 and similar levels thereafter. The nature of venture capital and private equity funds raises many questions about the impact of these investments on the education ecosystem: How are student outcomes affected by privately backed services? Should education-focused funds function differently from other sectors? Will investment continue to focus on EdTech and ancillary services, or will more central education functions start to receive private money?
Julie Maier, Partner, Charter School Growth Fund
Andy Kaplan, Managing Partner, Education Growth Partners
Don Burton, Managing & Founding Partner, LearnStart Capital
Troy Williams, Managing Director, University Ventures
Bill Hughes, President & Founder, Open4 Learning
The Future of Personalized Learning
In recent years, the approach to personalized learning was through the lens of high-tech enterprise platforms that guide students through curated curriculum playlists. The purpose was to create an equitable and highly tailored learning experience. Today, however, we are beginning to ask what else must be true in a school or district in order to realize the desired outcomes of personalized learning. Leaders in the education technology space will share their thoughts on what large scale personalized learning tools should look like and the challenges they expect to face in the coming years. We’ll also ask them to respond to criticisms of the proliferation of educational technology products and what methods they have observed or used themselves to combat those criticisms.
Steve Snyder, Co-Founder and CEO, 74 Million
Mark D’Agostino, Vice President of Product & Services, Dreambox Learning
Richard Culatta, CEO, International Society for Technology in Education
Aungar Chatterjee, Dean of Academics and Culture, Blackstone Valley Prep
Fawas Onifade, Student, Blackstone Valley Prep
Leveraging Data for Impact
This panel will explore the opportunities and challenges involved with leveraging data to impact school and student outcomes. Some questions our panelists will consider include: What are best practices for effective use of data that districts, CMOs, and schools should be doing right now? Where are the biggest opportunities to leverage data in the future? What are the greatest hurdles that stakeholders face to use data strategically?
Miriam Greenberg, Director of Education and Communication, Harvard Strategic Data Project
Lynzi Ziegenhagen, CEO, Schoolzilla
Ken Herrera, Senior Director of Data Analytics, Uncommon Schools
Christopher Leake, National Vice President for Data, Reporting, and Insights, Teach for America
Adrienne Dominguez, Deputy Executive Director of Data and Analytics at the New York City Department of Education
Dynamic Approaches to Proactive Disciplinary Practices
This panel will explore the evolution of disciplinary practices, with a particular focus on the role that implicit bias plays in school discipline. What are the consequences of current and past practices, and what options are available to schools and educators moving forward?
Dr. Gisele C. Shorter, Vice President, Policy and Partnership Engagement Turnaround for Children
Nancy Hanks, Chief of Public Schools, Madison Public Schools
Shannon Benson, Dean of Students, North Star Academy
An Update from Brick City
Newark Public Schools has been the subject of much national debate in recent years. A 2015 ELC session examined the district’s reform efforts and posed the question: “What’s next for NPS?” Three years later, Michele Mason, Executive Director of the Newark Charter School Fund, will facilitate a conversation with former NPS Superintendent Chris Cerf about Newark’s education revival efforts.
Michele Mason, President, Newark Charter School Fund
Chris Cerf, Outgoing Superintendent, Newark Public Schools
Grit and the Psychology of Success
In recent years, educators have been increasingly focused fostering non-cognitive skills, like grit and resilience. Research tells us that character matters, but we haven’t yet figured out a reliable way to teach these skills. This panel will concentrate on stories of achievement in the face of incredibly challenging circumstances. We’ll explore non-traditional paths and examine the characteristics and support systems that lead to success in the face of adversity.
Chime Dolma, President, YindaYin
Tenzin Dickyi, Co-founder, Munsel
Valerie Palamountain, Dean of Workforce Services, Piedmont Virginia Community College
Gabrielle Ramos-Solomon, Chief of the Division of School Planning, Enrollment, Data Transparency and Family Support, Newark Public Schools
Building High-Impact and Inclusive International Education Programs for High Schools
In the increasingly globally-connected world, it is imperative for our students and teachers alike to develop cross-cultural competency and adaptability. This panel seeks to examine the effectiveness of international education programs in addressing this need, whether in the forms of inbound and outbound student exchange programs, international study trips or teachers’ exchange programs. The panel also seeks to unpack other benefits of international education programs and to discuss the challenges of developing effective and inclusive international education programs. Finally, the panel seeks to shed light on best practices and potential solutions to these challenges through the diverse expertise and experience of the panelists.
Keri Dooley, Chief Government Relations and Sponsored Programs Officer at AFS Intercultural Programs, USA
Amy Roberts, Vice President of Academic Exchanges at Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE)
Allison de Horsey, Director of Signature Programs and French Teacher at St George’s School
Leah Mason, Lead Project Manager for Fullbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program at Institute of International Education (IIE)
Camino de Paz, Managing Director of Global Initiatives, Yale School of Management