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Program — Plenary Sessions

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Wednesday, July 14, 2004

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.


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.


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.


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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.


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.


7:00 PM -- 8:45 PM
James Bryant Conant Award Banquet
Plaza D/E
The Conant Award for exceptional service to education, named for ECS' co-founder, is one of the most prestigious honors in the education community and recognizes an individual for outstanding contributions to American education. This year's award will be presented posthumously to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and former Governor of Illinois John H. Stelle. Business attire is suggested.




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