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20th Anniversary Conference Panels and Speakers

Registration opens at 8:30am.

9-10:00 am

ANNENBERG REDUX: CAN’T WE JUST GET ALONG?

In 1995, then-attorney Barack Obama was one of eight members of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, one of nine city collaboratives granted multi-million dollar grants by Walter Annenberg to improve the worst schools in America. Seven years, thousands of people, additional local, state and federal funds combined to result in, well, nothing. The final evaluation said, “The Challenge had little impact on school improvement and student outcomes, with no statistically significant differences between Annenberg and non-Annenberg schools in rates of achievement gain, classroom behavior, student self-efficacy, and social competence.” Some think it was years wasted on fixing the public school system. Yet meanwhile, today, in cities nationwide, including Chicago, there seems to be a resurgence of the “fix-the-system-without-changing-the-contracts” mentality. From Philly to Denver, folks are getting together happily singing from the same song sheet. And to what end? How exactly do big city school districts get reformed without legal, statutory changes in contract and labor law? Does anyone remember the Annenberg Challenge? If not, it’s about time to learn.

Mike Antonucci
Owner, Education Intelligence Agency

David Hardy (Moderator)
CEO, Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia Charter School

Ted Kolderie
Founding Partner, Education Evolving

Deborah McGriff
Partner, New Schools Venture Fund, Former Detroit Superintendent

Bob Maranto
Endowed Chair, Department of Education Reform, University of Arkansas

 

10-11:30 am

HOW CHARTER SCHOOL LAWS REALLY GOT STARTED.
Long before there was a DFER, a SFER, a STAND a CAN or New Schools, individuals launched a movement with strategy and resolve. Who were they, what did they do differently, and what can we learn from their overwhelming early success?

Yvonne Chan
Founder and Principal, Vaughn Next Century Learning Center, CA

Linda Brown
Founder & CEO, Building Excellent Schools, MA

Tom Carroll
President, The Coalition for Opportunity in Education, NY

Jane Cunningham
Former Missouri State Senator

Dwight Evans
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Ted Rebarber (Moderator)
CEO, Accountability Works, DC

Ember Reichgott Junge
Former MN State Senator & Author

Melanie Schulz
Executive Director, Joint Committee on the Public Schools, NJ

 

11:30 – 12:30 pm

WILL THE REAL GRASSROOTS PLEASE STAND UP?
It used to be that the “grassroots” were the organic groups of volunteers who coalesced to initiate change in their backyard, so to speak, and in the statehouse. They were aided by numerous organizations, but rarely spoken for. They were the real “Avengers,” and as soon as they were done with their quest — even if it took years — they were back to their jobs and homes and some often went into obscurity. They were not interested in creating wholly new organizations with staff and financial statement. They just wanted to make schools better for their kids. Some of them continued to do so in other positions. But in their heart, they are still the grassroots.

Janet Barresi
Oklahoma State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Zakiya Courtney
Director of Community Relations at Catapult Learning, Milwaukee BAEO

Kara Kerwin (Moderator)
Vice President of External Affairs, The Center For Education Reform

Bill Manning
Partner, Saul Ewing LLP, DE

Kevin Teasley
Founder & President, Greater Educational Opportunities Foundation

Leah Vukmir
Senator, Wisconsin State Senate

 

LUNCH DISCUSSION

12:45 – 1:45 pm – MODERATED BY JEANNE ALLEN

BEFORE CHIEFS FOR CHANGE THERE WAS THE EDUCATION LEADERS COUNCIL.
In 1995, a group of reform-minded state education chiefs got together to form a network of education leaders to develop and advance substantive education reforms that were parent-driven, child-oriented, educator-supportive, community-based and decentralized. Many don’t realize who the first leaders of state-based reform were, and why they remain pivotal to what started a generation ago.

Jeanne Allen (Moderator)
President, The Center For Education Reform

Gene Hickok
Former Pennsylvania Commissioner of Education, Former Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Education

Lisa Keegan
Former Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

2-3:30 pm

CHANGING THE COMPLEXION OF THE ROOM.
Fifteen years ago, reformers were working merrily along to change how schools work, and despite many advocates of color working for reform at the state and local level, the board rooms were almost all white. Howard Fuller cautioned us in 1998 that to understand the impact of bad schools on the poor and children of color, they must be represented in state halls, in board rooms, on decision trees, and in the forefront of reform. Learn how Fuller and others have changed the complexion of the room, and by so doing, made the cause of equity and choice for kids real.

Kevin Chavous (Moderator)
Founder, The Chavous Group

T. Willard Fair
CEO, The Urban League of Greater Miami

Howard Fuller
Institute for the Transformation of Learning

Donald Hense
Founder and CEO, Friendship Public Charter Schools, DC

Rod Paige
Former U.S. Secretary of Education

Johnathan Williams
Founder and CEO, The Accelerated School, CA