ECS Logo - The national forum on education policy Thank you  National Forum Sponsors - July 13-16 - Orlando, Florida
Program for 7/14/2004

Highlights and

National Forum

View/print entire program
Create your own custom program
Wednesday, July 14, 2004

7:30 AM -- 5:30 PM
Registration Desk Open
Convention Lobby

7:30 AM -- 5:30 PM
Cyber Cafe Open
Florida III

7:30 AM -- 9:00 AM
Plenary Breakfast: The Progress of NCLB
Plaza D/E
Don't miss the release of ECS Report to the Nation: State Implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act. ECS has tracked and analyzed states' efforts to meet NCLB, and listened to the ideas and reactions of governors, legislators, chief state school officers, state board members and others. Hear what ECS has learned about the progress states are making in implementing NCLB and what adjustments are needed if NCLB is to succeed.

8:30 AM -- 10:00 AM
Spouse/Guest Hospitality Suite

9:00 AM -- 9:30 AM
Coffee Break
Convention Lobby

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,, 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.

12:00 PM -- 1:45 PM

Plenary Lunch: 50 Years of Equity and Excellence: How Far Have We Come?
Plaza D/E
The 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education had a profound effect on American education and society. Yet 50 years later, stubborn racial and ethnic gaps in educational achievement persist and continue to rank among policymakers' top concerns. Join this lively and provocative discussion about why some schools and students succeed while others fail, and what state policymakers can do about the problem.

1:45 PM -- 2:00 PM
Coffee Break
Convention Lobby

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.

3:30 PM -- 4:00 PM
Coffee Break
Convention Lobby

4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM
ECS Commissioners' Business Session
Florida II

4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM
Roundtable Discussions
Plaza D/E
Roundtable topics are designed for small-group discussions on specific issues or opportunities. A resource leader will facilitate the discussion at each table. Join your peers in this informal opportunity to learn more about the topic of your choice, share and learn from other forum participants interested in the issue and get your questions answered. The following discussions will be available:

4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM

Roundtable 1 -- Wisdom and Guidance on Planning Statewide Information Projects
Many state education agencies (SEAs) are developing a unique statewide student identification numbering system and/or a statewide student-level data collection and reporting system. Many state leaders are unsure, however, of how to effectively plan for and articulate the scope of statewide technology projects such as these. Participants will discover how to plan these projects and develop specific requests for proposals that meet urgent state needs. They also will discuss lessons learned from a variety of SEAs and explore recommendations from major vendors.

Facilitator: Nancy Smith, InfoSynthesis & Organization

4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM

Roundtable 2 -- State-Comparable Best Practice Studies
State standards and assessments vary across the nation. The State-Comparable Best Practice Studies bring them closer by using a common structure to understand both their differences and similarities. This structure is built on a consistent methodology and a common organizer the Best Practice Framework. By providing this structure, the National Center for Educational Accountability created the unique opportunity to compare best practices in high-performing schools across states. Through this, states have the flexibility to tailor the study to their specific needs, while the framework provides a common language for communicating about education.

Facilitator: Julia Lee, National Center for Educational Accountability

4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM

Roundtable 3 -- Teacher Mobility
The quality of the teaching profession is enhanced both by licensing policies that focus on capability, not locally idiosyncratic regulation, and by personnel policies that give teachers the freedom of movement afforded other professionals. To this end, ECS is collaborating with the State Higher Education Executive Officers to advance a better understanding at the national, state and local levels of the practices and policies that promote or impede mobility.

Facilitator: Lacey Jennings, consultant, Education Commission of the States

4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM

Roundtable 4 -- State Intervention in Low-performing Schools: The Maryland Story
Two of the more dramatic and controversial interventions allowed under the No Child Left Behind Act are: (1) state takeovers of schools and (2) contracting with private companies to run schools. While there has been limited experience with these interventions across the country, Maryland is combining them to deal with three chronically low-performing schools in Baltimore. Come and discuss the policy and political lessons learned from their experience.

Facilitator: Todd Ziebarth, Augenblick, Palaich and Associates

4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM

Roundtable 5 -- How Online Communities and Virtual Coaching Can Support Teaching and Learning
Reading Teachers Talking Together is an innovative online community designed to help K-3 teachers ensure every 3rd-grade student reads at grade level. It extends the research-based Reading Academy teacher training by encouraging teachers to share ideas, get expert advice and find professional development material. Another support for reading teachers is Virtual Coaching. This model provides a structured online intervention for teachers who are having difficulty in their classrooms. Learn how both a "virtual community of practice" and "virtual coaching" can support teachers and continue their professional development.

Facilitator: Courtney Glazer, University of Texas Center for Reading and Language Arts

4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM

Roundtable 6 -- Innovation Guides to Choice, Charters and Magnets
These guides have been developed to help state leaders and school districts expand school choices available to students. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, they are designed to help districts respond to No Child Left Behind. Come discuss effective strategies that give students and their families more options.

Facilitator: Kristin Arnold, Edvance

4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM

Roundtable 7 -- Knocking at the College Door: Projections of High School Graduates and the Policy Implications for States
The demographic characteristics of the U.S. population document a significant shift in the makeup of the American family and thus the composition of our schools. In terms of the numbers of children, their racial/ethnic backgrounds and their socioeconomic levels, graduates of the nation's high schools reflect a far more complex and varied group than we have seen in the past. This roundtable will draw on new projections of high school graduates produced by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education in Knocking at the College Door. The roundtable will explore some of the major findings related to high school graduates generally and to their racial/ethnic and family income characteristics.

Facilitator: Cheryl Blanco, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM

Roundtable 8 -- New Strategies for Principal Skill Development
Recent national surveys of education leaders attest that the preparation and professional development strategies for school leaders of the past simply are not adequate for school systems' current and future needs. As a result, states, districts and universities are redesigning both how we prepare and develop education leaders initially and how we continue to develop effective school leaders over time. This discussion will highlight and review what is known about various strategies to prepare, coach and develop highly qualified school leaders.

Facilitator: Katy Anthes, Education Commission of the States

4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM

Roundtable 9 -- Missed Opportunities: How We Keep High-quality Teachers Out of Urban Classrooms
The New Teacher Project reports that urban districts nationwide are losing many of the most qualified teachers because of slow hiring practices, delays in state budget timetables and union seniority rules. This session will focus on the findings of the project's new report, its implications for urban school systems and recommendations for hiring reforms.

Facilitator: Victoria Van Cleef, The New Teacher Project

4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM

Roundtable 10 -- The Dual Mission of Schools: How To Fit Citizenship Education into District Priorities
As states and school districts stretch to meet increasing accountability demands under No Child Left Behind, the historic role of schools in preparing citizens may become less of a priority. Learn how school districts across the country are using service-learning as a strategy to connect students to their communities and teach civic skills while maintaining high academic standards. The ECS National Center for Learning and Citizenship has studied state and local efforts to promote citizenship education. The results of this research, along with resources to help districts fit citizenship education into their agendas, will be shared.

Facilitator: Jeffery Miller, Education Commission of the States

4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM

Roundtable 11 -- Restructuring Time in the Schools
The 1984 landmark publication Prisoners of Time issued a clarion call for policymakers and educators to free themselves from the constraints imposed by the traditional and outdated daily schedule in our schools. Ten years later, little has been done on that front. ECS, however, is working with two districts and states to craft blueprints for a more creative use of time especially for the benefit of low-performing schools. This is an opportunity to discuss the issue of time and to share your own experiences and insights.

Facilitators: Milton Goldberg, ECS Distinguished Senior Fellow; and Michael Allen, Education Commission of the States

4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM

Roundtable 12 -- NCLB's Impact on Early Learning
Many policymakers are struggling with the effects of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) on K-12 schools, but few have asked what implications the legislation has for early learning (pre-K and kindergarten). This roundtable will discuss the adequate yearly progress, highly qualified teachers and literacy provisions of NCLB and how they impact programs and policies for young children. The roundtable will discuss what, if any, specific mandates the law holds for early learning and how state policymakers are leveraging NCLB to strengthen and move early learning agendas forward. Join ECS Distinguished Senior Fellow, Dr. Sharon Lynn Kagan, and ECS' program director for early learning, Kristie Kauerz, to discuss NCLB's implications -- both challenges and opportunities -- for early learning policy.

Facilitators: Sharon Lynn Kagan, ECS Distinguished Senior Fellow and Kristie Kauerz, Education Commission of the States

4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM

Roundtable 13 -- Paying for Standards-based Reform: A Conversation with the Experts
What is the cost of an "adequate" education? What are states being asked to pay in the wake of "adequacy" lawsuits and others activities associated with standards-based efforts to improve public schools? Come share what is happening in your state and discuss this topic with ECS Distinguished Senior Fellows.

Facilitators: James W. Guthrie, Peabody College of Vanderbilt University and ECS Distinguished Senior Fellow; and Janet Hansen, Committee for Economic Development and ECS Distinguished Senior Fellow

4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM

Roundtable 14 -- What Are Estimated State Costs of Implementing NCLB?
Analyses are underway to determine states costs to implement NCLB. Costs vary by state depending on the reform strategies they use to raise student achievement, especially for at-risk students, English language learners and special education students. Numbers of these students also affect a state's cost. This session will provide a common framework for costing NCLB implementation across states and the results of cost analyses in several states.

Facilitator: Robert Palaich, Augenblick, Palaich and Associates

4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM

Roundtable 15 -- Battelle for Kids Pilot Program on Value-added Student Data
Battelle for Kids, an Ohio-based nonprofit organization, will provide an overview of its work with standards-based education, data collection/analysis, and the various tools and trainings it has created for teachers and administrators. Information about the 64-district value-added pilot program known as Project SOAR (Schools' On-line Achievement Reports) will be featured. Project SOAR is based on the value-added methodology of William Sanders and was designed to help Ohio school districts analyze student-performance data to raise student-achievement levels. The centerpiece of the project is a secure Web site where pilot participants can view their district-, building- and student-level value-added data. This approach has been adopted by the Ohio Legislature through House Bill 3 as an official component of Ohio's accountability system and will become a requirement for all Ohio districts no later than 2007.

Facilitator: Jim Mahoney, Battelle for Kids

4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM

Roundtable 16 -- Political Education: National Policy Comes of Age
This book captures lessons learned from the last half-century of federal involvement in education policy and what those lessons may tell us about the future scope and direction of federal policy. The author will discuss the themes in Political Education that have characterized federal policy and consider several major forces, such as open markets and the move toward scientifically based education, that have emerged in the past several years. Books also will be available for sale and signed by the author.

Faciliator: Christopher T. Cross, ECS Distinguished Senior Fellow

4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM

Roundtable 17 -- Aligning the College Board Proficiencies and Standards with Entry-level College Courses and High School College-prep Courses
Learn what practices a study of the alignment of the College Board Proficiences and Standards is looking at in 150 postsecondary institutions and a similar number of high schools nationally. These practices will help to determine the alignment and the gap between what's expected in college and what's taught in high school. The reference point for college courses are the Standards for Success Knowledge and Skills for University Success, and for high school the College Board Proficiencies and Standards. The results of the study will be used to help college-admissions exams such as SAT and AP better assess college-success skills and point out these desired skills to high schools. The research method can be replicated at the local or state level to determine how well high schools and postsecondary institutions have aligned their expectations for student success and how well their programs connect.

Facilitator: David T. Conley, University of Oregon, Center for Educational Policy Research and Standards for Success

4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM

Roundtable 18 -- Denver's New Teacher Pay Plan: The Start of a Revolution?
The Denver Classroom Teachers Association recently approved a new teacher compensation system that rejects the traditional seniority-based approach in favor of basing teacher pay on a number of performance and market-based considerations. Many are hailing it as the most progressive teacher pay plan in the nation and predicting it will have repercussions throughout the United States. Learn more about the Denver plan from the individual who spearheaded this effort on behalf of the teachers union and from the one who was integrally involved in the plan's conception.

Facilitators: Brad Jupp, Denver Public Schools; and Calvin M. Frazier, ECS Distinguished Senior Fellow

4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM

Roundtable 19 -- The American Diploma Project
The American Diploma Project, a partnership of national organizations and five states, has called the current high school diploma a "broken promise" and has proposed an "agenda for action" to ensure the American high school diploma prepares students for the workforce or postsecondary learning. Come listen to a discussion on the project's recommendations and state implementation issues.

Facilitator: Gene Wilhoit, Kentucky Department of Education and Jennifer Dounay, Education Commission of the States

4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM

Roundtable 20 -- Do Early Intervention Programs Work To Increase Awareness and Readiness for College?
State and federal governments have made substantial financial commitments in programs designed to increase the likelihood that children of low-income parents will enroll, persist and graduate from college at rates comparable to those of their more affluent peers. The goals of those investments, nonetheless, remain elusive. This session will share recent findings from a three-year national study of comprehensive, integrated intervention programs designed to increase the readiness of low-income middle school children and their parents for college. Analyses indicate such programs can elevate students' academic performance, and both students' and parents' perceptions of college as a future possibility.

Facilitators: Patrick Terenzini, Center for the Study of Higher Education, Pennsylvania State University; and Regina Deil-Amen, Education Policy Studies, Pennsylvania State University

4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM

Roundtable 21 -- Closing the Achievement Gap - CANCELLED
THIS SESSION IS NOW A CONCURRENT SESION ON THURSDAY, JULY 15, 4:00-5:00 PM. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) conducted a study that looked at the performance of 10 states on the National Assessment of Educational Progress 8th-grade mathematics assessment from 1992 to 2000, with specific attention to the achievement gap of blacks and whites in high- and low-poverty schools. Learn what ETS found about the relationship between state education policies and the closing of the achievement gap. Also compiled were histories of education policy in each state from 1988 to 1998. These policies were analyzed identifying patterns illuminating the relationship between states' policies and their success in closing the achievement gap.

Facilitators: Michael T. Nettles, ETS Policy Studies and Research Center and ECS Distinguished Senior Fellow; and Henry Braun, Distinguished Presidential Appointee, ETS

4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM

Roundtable 22 -- Improving Postsecondary Readiness Through P-16 Curriculum Alignment
Any job above lowest wage and/or skill level in the high-tech, information, service-based economy of the 21st century requires some form of postsecondary training. Yet large numbers of students do not finish postsecondary programs on time or at all. To reduce ambiguity and provide the greatest chance for student success in postsecondary education, secondary and postsecondary educators must agree upon the skill and knowledge expectations students need to have as they leave high school. Find out what benchmarks have been set for the ACT English, mathematics and science assessments and course sequences that increase the likelihood of meeting those benchmarks. This discussion will promote P-16 collaboration on articulation.

Facilitators: Diane Schnelker and Julie Noble, ACT, Inc.

4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM

Roundtable 23 -- NCLB Within the History of ESEA
The No Child Left Behind Act is the latest step in a federal role in education that traces its roots to the Brown vs. Board of Education decision and the adoption of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965. Every six or seven years since its initial enactment, ESEA has been reauthorized and remade. Hear from the Department of Education how the federal government has moved from closing the achievement gap as a goal worthy of national commitment, to standards-based reform of public education.

Facilitator: Ken Meyer, U.S. Department of Education

4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM

Roundtable 24 -- Flexing NCLB Muscle To Achieve
The No Child Left Behind Act provides a number of flexibility tools for states and local districts. Transferability, "Local-Flex" and State-Flex, the state plan amendment process, and other flexibility packages regarding teacher quality, testing participation, and the testing of special education and limited-English populations give state and local districts the means to mold NCLB to meet unique needs. Talk with a Department of Education official about how you can use the flexibility within NCLB.

Facilitator: Alan Endicott, U.S. Department of Education

5:00 PM -- 6:00 PM
ECS Commissioners' Reception
Florida II

6:30 PM -- 9:00 PM

Off-site Reception and Dinner -- International Perspectives
Downtown Disney
Spend the evening at Disney World! Tonight's events include a private reception and buffet dinner in Downtown Disney, followed by a presentation on "Bridging the International Gap" by Xinsheng Zhang, vice minister of education, Beijing, China. Can we prepare future generations for a global economy with an education system founded on notions of building a strong American citizenry? Can we learn from other nation's successes in student achievement, teacher preparation and assessments in spite of cultural and political differences? This evening's speakers will help us think "outside the borders."

Guests meet in the main hotel lobby at 6:00 p.m. and buses will depart at 6:15. Following the dinner, you may stay and "play" in Downtown Disney, which features nightclubs, stage shows, unique street entertainment and, of course, lots of shopping. Buses will shuttle back to the hotel every half hour until midnight.

© 2012 Education Commission of the States
"Equipping Education Leaders, Advancing Ideas"
700 Broadway, #810  |  Denver, Colorado 80203-3442
303.299.3600  |  Fax: 303.296.8332  |  Email:  |
Read our privacy policy

Home  |   Issues A-Z  |  States and Territories  |  Meetings and Events  |  Newsroom  |  Publications  |  About ECS  |  Projects and Institutes  |  Web Site User's Guide  |  Contact Staff