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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


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.


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


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


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.


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 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 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 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 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 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


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.


Back to top.
Thursday, July 15, 2004

8:15 AM -- 9:45 AM


Chairman's Breakfast: Ensuring Teaching Quality in Hard-to-staff Schools
Plaza D/E
America is unlikely to close the achievement gap between majority and minority students unless policymakers and stakeholders are willing to rethink how public school teachers are recruited, trained, assigned and rewarded. Current practices and policies undermine the efforts of visionary educators who believe children in poor urban and rural communities can learn and achieve. Mark R. Warner, governor of Virginia and 2003-04 ECS chairman, will present the Frank Newman State Innovation Award, the ECS Corporate Award and the Chairman's Award also will be made during this session.


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.


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


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?


12:00 PM -- 1:45 PM


Plenary Lunch: 50 Years of Equity and Excellence: Unfinished Business
Plaza D/E
Fifty years after the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision, gaps in educational achievement along racial and ethnic lines persist. What will it take to fully realize the promise of an excellent and equitable education for every young American? Learn more about the issues and challenges facing state policymakers.


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.


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?


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.




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