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Tuesday, July 13, 2004

4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM
Putting a Face on No Child Left Behind
Plaza G
As a recent chief state school officer having the responsibility of implementing NCLB in a state, and now as assistant secretary of education overseeing NCLB implementation in all 50 states and territories, Raymond Simon will put a face on the challenges and potential of NCLB as states and districts respond to the legislation. ECS President Ted Sanders will introduce Simon.


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Wednesday, July 14, 2004

9:30 AM -- 11:30 AM


Using Data To Make Better Decisions
Florida III
The School Information Partnership (SIP) is a public-private initiative focused on giving all education stakeholders information and analytical resources to help them use education data to make informed decisions about student achievement. SIP's Web site, www.schoolresults.org/, publicly reports and analyzes the teacher profile and disaggregated student achievement data that No Child Left Behind requires for every public school and district. Learn how policymakers and educators are using the Web site and interactive analytical tools from Just for the Kids and Standard & Poor's School Evaluation Services to improve student learning.


9:30 AM -- 11:30 AM


State Strategies to Improve Higher Education: Developing a Public Agenda
Plaza B
Changes in the past two decades the transition to a knowledge-based economy, the growing number of young people and adult learners seeking access to postsecondary education, the increased diversity of students and the workforce are forcing public leaders to rethink some fundamental assumptions about how to achieve the public purposes of higher education. This special governors' session will highlight the work of the National Collaborative for Postsecondary Education Policy, a joint effort of three policy organizations whose ultimate goal is to help states improve their quality of life by rethinking the delivery and nature of postsecondary education. Governors from states participating in the collaborative will share their experiences and thoughts, and discuss the challenges and benefits of looking at postsecondary education from a state, rather than an institutional, perspective.


9:30 AM -- 11:30 AM


High-quality Teachers: Is NCLB Getting Us There?
Plaza A
As the 2004 elections draw closer, the discussion about the adequacy of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) continues to heat up. One of the act's key provisions is that all states are to have "highly qualified teachers" teaching every core academic subject by the end of the 2005-06 school year. How are states responding to this law? What impact, if any, is the law having on states' efforts to improve teaching quality? What are the biggest obstacles to its effectiveness or implementation? This session will present several states' efforts to comply with the "highly qualified teacher" provisions. It also will feature expert analyses of those efforts and of NCLB's role in improving teacher quality.


2:00 PM -- 3:30 PM


Do Vouchers Fulfill the Democratic Purposes of Public Education?
Plaza F
A long-standing purpose of public education in this country is to educate students so they are able to participate in our democratic political system. How do vouchers that allow students to attend private schools with public funds affect this purpose? Do they help or hinder efforts to fulfill it? Hear a provocative debate on an important question.


2:00 PM -- 3:30 PM


Standards, Assessments and School Readiness: Who's Measuring? Who's Tested? And Who Cares?
Plaza B
Standards detailing what young children should know and be able to do have become a hot topic. Many states not only are developing early learning standards but also assessments that document children's readiness for school. At the same time, educators and policymakers are concerned that high-stakes accountability, often associated with standards and assessment, is being "pushed down" onto our youngest children. This session will discuss the nature of this controversy and look at state efforts to develop early learning standards and school readiness indicators. Participants will leave with an understanding of the important role of, and promising practices in, standards and assessment in early childhood education.


2:00 PM -- 3:30 PM


Preparation, Price and Performance: Barriers to College Access and Success, and What State Policymakers Can Do About Them
Plaza C
Almost everyone today agrees some form of education and training beyond high school is mandatory for a good life. Demand for postsecondary education and training is expected to increase substantially over the next decade as the full impact of demographic and economic forces is felt. But in a growing number of states, people's opportunity to obtain a postsecondary education as well as the state's ability to provide one is being seriously challenged. Learn about barriers to college access and success, and hear about state policies and programs that are helping to ensure all prospective students are prepared to go to college, able to afford the costs of attendance and capable of completing their learning goals once enrolled.


2:00 PM -- 3:30 PM


Paying for Standards-based Reform: Assuring Results for Adequate Resources
Plaza G
States' push to provide adequate resources so all students meet academic standards often is coupled with accountability for results. States are developing new accountability mechanisms to ensure additional resources lead to improved teaching and learning. For example, Maryland requires districts to use a sophisticated planning process and assess their results annually. Florida focuses on student achievement and the added value of the education process. Two states, New York and Arkansas, are considering these and other approaches. Learn how such efforts are working and what new accountability mechanisms states are considering to help policymakers be sure increased resources lead to better results.


2:00 PM -- 3:30 PM


What's New and Promising in Teacher Preparation?
Plaza A
While the debate over alternative teacher preparation has been pretty well laid to rest, questions about what's really effective in teacher preparation remain. One conclusion that can be drawn from the ECS report Eight Questions on Teacher Preparation: What Does the Research Say, is that the research is inconclusive about what works. Several new efforts are under way to improve the way teachers are prepared, including increased clinical training, more-rigorous alternative preparation and an extended role for community colleges. This session will explore these efforts and discuss their promise.


2:00 PM -- 3:30 PM


The State Role in Creating the Next Generation of Citizens
Plaza H
As the fall elections grow near, young people's declining voting rates likely will get attention. What responsibilities do governors, state legislators and education leaders have in improving citizenship education for students and encouraging student involvement in civic affairs? What roles do schools play? Policymakers, practitioners and researchers have been working with ECS' National Center for Learning and Citizenship to develop state- and district-level policy options to help schools improve and fortify their approach to citizenship education. Find out how your state can become a leader in developing the next generation of citizens and ensuring not only that young people vote, but also are being prepared to enter public life.


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Thursday, July 15, 2004

10:15 AM -- 11:45 AM


Good to Great, Few to Many: The Role of State Policy in Creating Education Leaders
Plaza A
A number of national efforts to improve education leadership are well under way. The new Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning study, Balanced Leadership, links leadership factors with student achievement gains. States involved in the State Action for Education Leadership Project have developed strategies to ensure well-developed leaders operate within conditions that support their ability to raise student achievement. Panelists will explore these and other efforts, and their implications for policy changes to improve education leadership.


10:15 AM -- 11:45 AM


Full-day Kindergarten: A Key Strategy for Closing the Achievement Gap
Plaza B
A growing body of research indicates that as children enter kindergarten, a profound achievement gap exists between poor children and their middle- and upper-class counterparts. To address these inequities, more states are focusing on the importance of full-day kindergarten as a means of raising student achievement. This session will highlight how full-day kindergarten helps to close the achievement gap and will provide state-based strategies for implementing full-day kindergarten. Participants will leave with an understanding of the reforms needed to strengthen kindergarten and with an overview of how some states and districts are tackling the challenge.


10:15 AM -- 11:45 AM


Paying for Standards-based Reform: Are State Tax Structures Up to the Job?
Plaza C
Many tax experts and some political leaders argue that state tax structures are outdated and not up to the job of paying for the public services citizens demand such as improved education systems. What's wrong with state tax structures? How might they be reformed? What will it take to help the public understand how current and possible new tax systems will affect public services and quality of life?


10:15 AM -- 11:45 AM


What -- and How Much -- Do Students Learn in College?
Plaza F
Since the release of Measuring Up 2000, the National Forum on College-Level Learning has been addressing the issue of student learning in higher education. This session will inform state policymakers about the findings from a five-state trial of a model for assessing the intellectual skills of the college-educated population. In addition to the feasibility of the model and what it reveals about collegiate learning in the pilot states, the panel will discuss the study's possible implications for state policy.


10:15 AM -- 11:45 AM


State Strategies That Turn Around Low-performing Schools
Plaza G
Learn how state education leaders are working with districts to help them turn around low-performing schools. Three chief state school officers will discuss their strategies for assisting low-performing districts and schools, and provide evidence of effectiveness. This session will help policymakers understand effective interventions, strategies and policies for supporting and improving schools and the research upon which these strategies are based.


10:15 AM -- 11:45 AM


Preparing America's Future High School Initiative
Plaza H
In October 2003, Secretary of Education Roderick Paige launched the Preparing America's Future High School Initiative. This initiative is designed to support leaders at the state and local levels in creating educational opportunities that will fully prepare American youth for success in further education and training, as participants in a highly skilled U.S. workforce, and as productive and responsible citizens. A critical component of this initiative has been a series of seven regional high school summits to help state teams work through and create short- and long-term plans for strengthening outcomes for youth, improving high schools and meeting the vision of the No Child Left Behind Act.


2:15 PM -- 3:30 PM


Connecting the Dots: What State Policymakers Need To Know about Federal Higher Education Legislation
Plaza F
Congress is currently engaged in reauthorizing two major pieces of legislation affecting community colleges and universities the Higher Education Act (HEA) and the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Both have considerable implications for state higher education policy, particularly in the areas of affordability and accountability. But just how do pending actions in Washington translate to the statehouse? The session will provide a "real-time" update on important bills, and engage participants in a dialogue about what it means for the states.


2:15 PM -- 3:30 PM


The Arts for a 21st-century Education
Plaza A
A growing body of evidence points to the important role of arts education in improving student achievement, engaging troubled youth and preparing the workforce for an increasingly knowledge-based global economy. This session will explore what the research says on the power of integrating arts into school curricula and programs to improve student achievement and prepare tomorrow's workforce. Implications for state policy will be drawn.


2:15 PM -- 3:30 PM


Paying for Standards-based Reform: Increasing Education Productivity
Plaza C
New money from school finance reform will increase achievement only if these resources are allocated effectively. Recommendations from a recent Committee on Economic Development report suggest that redesigning funding policies, including using resources more effectively; making teacher pay more reflective of labor market realities; creating incentives for improved performance; and linking funding levels to the costs of meeting education standards will be essential to transforming schools into high-performance organizations. These policy recommendations, along with related findings from research centers in New York and Washington, will be discussed.


2:15 PM -- 3:30 PM


IDEA Meets NCLB: Clash of the Titans
Plaza B
This session will focus on adequate yearly progress, teacher quality and assessment as they relate to students with disabilities. What issues need to be addressed? Some questions will be resolved in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act legislation, but which ones won't? From a statistical standpoint, how big a problem is it to include students with disabilities? This session will look for consensus on the changes and policy levers needed to maximize performance of students with disabilities, including interventions to help reduce special education referrals.


2:15 PM -- 3:30 PM


Paying Teachers for Performance: Let's Pull Off the Gloves and Get to the Bottom of the Issue
Plaza H
The groundswell in favor of paying teachers on the basis of their classroom performance continues to rise. The last few months have seen the publication of a major report by The Teaching Commission, and several new books and articles strongly advocate replacing the traditional teacher pay structure with a pay-for-performance system that includes student achievement in the calculation. Detractors see too many difficulties in creating a fair pay-for-performance system. Can states move forward on such plans, or is it time to lay the idea to rest?


2:15 PM -- 3:30 PM


Using State Policy To Improve Academic Achievement in Urban Schools
Plaza G
Many urban districts are successfully improving the academic achievement of their students meeting or even outperforming state averages on state achievement assessments. Two urban superintendents will discuss state policies that help or "get in the way." Come hear candid assessments of how state policy can better support urban reforms that increase student achievement.


4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM


Higher Education Reform: Ready or Not?
Plaza F
For most of the last decade, public opinion has been remarkably complacent about higher education. Beyond concerns about the price tag, the public has been more or less satisfied with the product. The most recent surveys, however, suggest a possible change in attitude. But is the public really ready for the kind of radical reform being called for by a growing number of forward-thinking campus and state leaders? Hear about and debate new ideas currently being tested or tried in the states, including offering competency-based degrees, freeing colleges from state regulation, operating campuses year-round and giving tuition "vouchers" directly to students. Is the public ready for such changes? Are you?


4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM


The Teaching Gap: Reflections on Teaching and How To Improve It
Plaza H
Videos of classroom teaching collected as part of the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) reveal that teaching is a cultural activity, varying more across cultures than within. Teaching is learned, largely based on hidden cultural scripts, embedded in wider cultural beliefs and practices, and difficult to change, according to TIMSS. Given these factors, how can teaching be improved? This presentation will describe the most recent findings from the TIMSS video studies of mathematics and science teaching in seven countries, and discuss the implications of these findings for (1) current debates about mathematics teaching and learning in schools, and (2) teacher professional learning.


4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM


Competing in the 21st-century Economy: State Education Strategies To Meet Workforce Needs
Plaza G
More than two-thirds of the jobs being created in the fastest-growing sectors of the U.S. economy office jobs, health care jobs and teaching positions require at least some education beyond high school. Creating enough college-educated workers to meet the demand will require smarter investment strategies for the dollars currently devoted to postsecondary education. States that do not get enough of their students through college are going to lose jobs, skilled workers and tax revenue to states that do. Learn how a large multinational company views the need for skilled workers and how two- and four-year institutions are responding.




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