This blog is a guest post by Rep. Wendy Horman. She represents District 30 in Idaho Falls, Idaho. She currently serves on the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee, serving as House lead for all state education budgets. She also serves on House Local Government, House Commerce and Human Resources and the Capitol Services Committee. Additionally, Rep. Horman is an Education Commission of the States Steering Committee Member and Commissioner.

More than a decade ago, as a local school board member and Vice President of the Idaho School Boards Association, I had the opportunity to represent Idaho at the Education Commission of the States National Forum.

I still remember hearing Clayton Christensen introduce us to his theory of disruptive innovation, long before it was a book.

I remember how one speaker helped me realize that the work I had done to start a fine arts program at my children’s elementary school had more important implications for student learning and creativity than I realized.

I remember the opportunity to sit at a roundtable with members of the Denver School Board who were then exploring some groundbreaking ideas in compensation, as was my own school district.

I remember that some of the policy ideas I heard at that National Forum showed up the next session as bills in the Idaho Legislature. I noted then that if I wanted a preview of what was coming in education policy, with good information from the highest quality speakers and folks doing groundbreaking work, this was the place to be.

I’ve always wanted to return and this year I will have the opportunity to do so as a legislator and Education Commission of the States Commissioner.

This year, we kick off the National Forum with a governors panel exploring high school transitions and dual enrollment. That is followed by a series of concurrent sessions that dive into school finance and college readiness assessment, among other issues, before ending the opening day with our Commissioners’ Business Session and a networking reception.

The second day features two exciting morning sessions: Gallup’s Brandon Busteed discusses fundamental education trends before a panel of experts addresses the persistent issues of poverty and the achievement gap. As the day continues, sessions dig into the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), college affordability and the always-popular Ed Talks featuring some of today’s top education minds.

On the closing day, a panel looks at the teacher pipeline and clearing the path to improved learning. And the final round of concurrent sessions focuses on computer science, teacher shortages and educator preparation.

The National Forum on Education Policy provides state education leaders with an opportunity to hear the latest innovative ideas, discover emerging issues, collaborate with colleagues from across the country and leave with strategies on how to improve education policy.

Wherever you work on the education spectrum — from early learning and K-12 through college and the workforce — attending this event will help you improve education in your state.

Good education policy happens when leaders from across the education spectrum can collaborate. It takes everyone, from governors to teachers, to develop strong education policy. That’s why the National Forum is a valuable opportunity for leaders within and across states to work together and learn from each other.

Please join us in Washington, D.C. June 29-July 1 for a learning experience you won’t forget.


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 PUBLISHED: April 26, 2016

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