NASBE: Monday, March 20 2017

Speaking to Board members at the quarterly meeting yesterday, "It's been a very active period", said President/CEO Kristen Amundson, "NASBE is on the verge of hosting the largest-ever (or largest-in-a-long-time) Legislative Conference, featuring not one but TWO current [Betsy DeVos] or former [John B. King] Secretaries of Education, a former Governor [Bob Wise, WV], a sitting Senator [Chris Murphy, D-CT, Senate HELP Committee] and a House member [Todd Rokita, R-IN] who is the chair of a critical education subcommittee [Subcommittee on Early Education, Elementary, and Secondary Education]."

Below, the schedule for today. I plan to blog the general sessions, when possible, beginning with the Opener. Sessions I plan to attend are indicated with an "*". Now that BESE Student Rep, Nathan Moore is on site, perhaps we'll be able to tag-team it through a couple of those afternoon sessions.

* Networking Breakfast A chance for state board members to connect with colleagues from other states, as well as leaders who are shaping national education policy.

* Opening General Session NASBE Board Chair Jay Barth and Kris Amundson welcome attendees, introduce Secretary Betsy DeVos. The Secretary has indicated she will share her thoughts on "her priorities as Secretary of Education, including priorities for implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)".

* General Session and Moderated Discussion: Forging Partnerships to Shape and Advance Education Policy Agendas: Players, Perspectives, and Possibilities As state boards of education make key decisions about accountability, equity, and excellence, they need to hear from and involve a wide range of stakeholders. This panel will feature representatives of key groups who will share their thoughts. Panelists: Bob Wise, Alliance for Excellent Education, former West Virginia Governor; Cheryl Oldham, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Marla Ucelli-Kashyap, American Federation of Teachers; Merrit Jones, Student Voice; Kris Amundson, NASBE President/CEO (moderator)

* General Session: Components of a Changing Education Policy Agenda States have new authority to determine the components of a high-quality education. What are some of the major educational opportunities that state boards of education should be aware of as they plan their policy agenda for the future? Panelists: David Griffith, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development; Melissa Tooley, New America

* Lunch Session: Policy Landscapes and the Environment for 2017: How Will Upcoming Federal Policy Affect State Actions? Panelists: Reg Leichty, Foresight Law + Policy; Patrick Lyden, Foresight Law + Policy

Concurrent Session: Beyond the Test: Well-Rounded Education ESSA promotes the importance of providing a “well-rounded” education (including, but not limited to, the arts, STEM, civics, physical education, foreign language, and computer science) for all students. This “policy and proof points” session will help participants explore what should be included and how best to ensure a well-rounded education for all students. Panelists: Jane Best, Arts Education Partnership; David Griffith, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development; Sara Vecchiotti, Foundation for Child Development; Courtney Tanenbaum, American Institutes for Research

Concurrent Session: Exploring Options for Parents: Innovation & Alternatives in Schooling Today in public education, parent and students have an array of innovative alternative approaches to schooling including charter schools, magnets, digital learning, personalized learning, and public school choice. This “policy and proof points” session will delve into the options available to state boards to ensure a high-quality education for every child and new ways to expand public school choice in education. Panelists: Todd Ziebarth, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools; Robin Lake, Center for Reinventing Public Education; Todd Mann, Magnet Schools of America

Concurrent Session: Ensuring High-Quality Educators for All Our Students Teachers and school leaders have a profound impact upon student learning and school conditions. This session will cover challenges and opportunities states face in supporting teachers and school leaders to improve their craft and ensuring equitable access to high-quality educators. This “policy and proof points” session will feature the latest research available along with practical on-the-ground approaches by states. Panelists: Melinda George, Learning Forward; Steve Tozer, University of Illinois

* Concurrent Session: Relentless Pursuit of Equity in Education Policy Panelists: Peter Cookson, American Institutes for Research; Kimberly Charis, NASBE

Concurrent Session: Chair to Chair (State Board chairs only) As state boards assume more responsibility, the role of the board chair is even more important. In this session, NASBE experts will provide information and specific assistance for state board chairs. Panelists: Jay Barth, NASBE Board Chair; Kris Amundson, NASBE President/CEO

* General Session: Power of the Question Panelists: Kris Amundson, NASBE President/CEO; Anne Hyslop, Chiefs for Change; Sandy Boyd, Achieve (moderator)

* Networking Reception