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LESN 2013 Fall Seminar A State Legislative Perspective

LESN 2013 Fall Seminar: A State Legislative Perspective

1/17/2014

The Legislative Education Staff Network sponsored a Fall Seminar, "Turning Around Low-Performing Schools" on December 6-8, 2013 in Washington, D.C. The network is comprised of two organizations: The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the Education Commission of the States (ECS).  Legislative staff from 23 states attended and participated in this seminar held at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. This meeting was made possible with generous support from the American Institutes for Research, The Wallace Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The agenda for this seminar with speakers and their resources is offered here.

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friday, Dec. 6
1:00 pm -1:30 pm Registration

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Welcome and Large Group Discussion

After a brief welcome and overview of the meeting agenda and goals, legislative staff will have the opportunity to report on specific successes and challenges of turning around low-performing schools in their respective states. Please come prepared for the discussion and feel free to bring copies of reports, legislation, etc. to share with colleagues.

 

Speakers:  Sara Shelton, Program Principal, National Conference of State Legislatures

Tonette Salazar, State Relations Director, Education Commission of the States

 

2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Grounding in Research and Practice: What Works to Turnaround Low-Performing Schools

Are there examples of successful school turnarounds? What critical elements are essential to turnaround? What specific interventions (or models) are most effective? Can successful school turnaround be replicated? What barriers need to be removed to accelerate reform? Top researchers will answer these qestions and more.  Participants will learn about the latest research and lessons from the field.

 

Moderator: Angela Minnici, Principal Researcher, American Institutes for Research

 

Speakers: Kerstin Le Floch, Principal Research Analyst, American Institutes for Research

Catherine Barbour, Senior Consultant School Turnaround, American Institutes for Research

3:30 pm - 3:45 pm Break
3:45 pm - 5:00 pm

Successful School Turnaround: Lessons from the Trenches

This dynamic session will feature practitioners in the trenches who have successfully turned around low-performing schools. Learn first-hand about their succcesses and challenges and the implications for state policy. Following the panel discussion, staff will have the opportunity to break into small groups and talk further with the speakers.

 

Moderator: Alicia Garcia, Senior Plicy Analyst, American Institutes for Research

 

Speakers: Judy Leahy, Coordinator of School Improvement Grants, Gaston County Schools, North Carolina

Michael Brown, Principal, Berkeley Elementary School, Virginia

James Johnson-Waldington, Superintendent, Holandale School District, Mississippi

Other Resources

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Dinner at Lillies Restaurant - 2915 Connecticut Avenue, NW

We have reservations at Lillies Restaurant, a cozy neighborhood Italian-Mediteranean restaurant and bar in the DC Woodley Park neighborhood, approximately three blocks from the hotel.  Meet in the lobby at 5:45 pm to walk over or meet us there.

Saturday, Dec. 7
7:30 am - 8:30 am

Networking Breakfast and LESN Steering Committee Business Meeting

8:30 am - 9:45 am

A Critical Link to School Turnaround: A Spotlight on Principal Preparation and Support
School leaders play a critical role in school improvement and student academic achievement. Effective principals shape a vision of academic success for all students, create a climate hospitable to education, cultivate leadership in others, improve instruction, and manage people, data and processes. This session will focus on how principals are being prepared, through traditional university-based preparation programs and alternative programs, and continuously supported to lead school turnaround. Staff will have the opportunity to discuss in small groups ways in which states can support the preparation and ongoing support for principals who take on our most challenging schools.

 

Moderator: Sara Shelton, Program Principal, National Conference of State Legislatures

 

Speakers: Jackie Gran, Chief Policy and Partnerships Officer, New Leaders

Michelle Young, Executive Director, University Council for Educational Administration

9:45 am - 10:00 am Break
10:00 am - 11:15 am

What Principals Need to be Successful in Turning Around Low-Performing Schools

As principals strive to meet increasingly demanding state and federal accountability and take on school turnarounds, they are seeking greater autonomy over staffing, budgets and curriculum. In response, states are granting principals more autonomy using a variety of approaches, including mutual consent laws and providing schools with innovation zone status. This session will highlight efforts at the state and district level to provide principals, particularly those charged with turning around low-performing schools, with more autonomy in exchange for greater accountability.

 

Moderator: Catherine Barbour, Senior Consultant School Turnaround, American Intitutes for Research

 

Speakers: Melissa Irby-Marshall, Senior Consultant School Turnaround, American Institutes for Research

Tonya Kales, Zone Superintendent, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, North Carolina

Julie Pelegrin, Assistant Director, Office of Legislative Legal Services, Colorado General Assembly

11:15 am - 12:15 pm

Reconnecting McDowell

Learn about how a labor/business/community partnership is addressing issues that impact student outcomes and school improvement in a rural county in West Virginia. This panel will describe the critical activities and initiatives that this collaborative is leading to address economic decline, housing shortages, technology shortcomings and the supports that students need in order to turn around the school system.

 

Moderator: Leah Daughtry, Assistant to the President, American Federation of Teachers

 

Speakers: Bob Brown, Project Manager, Reconnecting McDowell

Chris Kyle, Vice President, ShenTel Communications Company, Virginia

Delegate Clif Moore, Chair, House of Delegates Banking and Insurance Committee, West Virginia and McDowell County Board of Directors

Senator Bob Plymale, Chair, Senate Education Committee, West Virginia and McDowell Conty Board of Directors

12:15 pm - 1:15 pm Lunch
1:15 pm - 2:15 pm

Breakout Discussions

  • State Takeovers: Delegate Rob Krupicka, Virginia, facilitator
  • SIG Grant Update: Carlas McCauley, Office of School Turnaround, US Department of Education
2:15 pm - 3:30 pm

Lessons Learned from Charter Schools

As one of the federally permissible school interventions, charter schools have frequently been used as a school turnaround strategy. Hear from researchers about the successes and challenges of using charter schools as a turnaround strategy as well as what lessons struggling schools can learn from successful charter schools.

 

Moderator: Josh Cunningham, Policy Specialist, National Conference of State Legislatures

 

Speakers: Taishya Adams, Senior Technical Consultant, American Institutes for Research

John Bray, Senior Communications Specialist, American Institutes for Research

Tammie Knights, Senior Technical Consultant, American Institutes for Research

Darren Woodruff, Principal Researcher, American Institutes for Research

3:30 pm - 3:45 pm

Break

3:45 pm - 5:00 pm

Improving Student Outcomes Through Deeper Learning

Research confirms that opportunities for learning are not equal for all children. Some students--primarily those who are white and affluent--are exposed to "deeper learning" opportunities where they can gain the skills to critically think, analyze and reason. Other students--primarily low-income students of color--have educational experiences focused on mastery of only basic skills and knowledge often through rote memorization and worksheets. Hear from experts about policies state legislators might consider to create a deeper learning experience for all children.

 

Moderator:  Dan Thatcher, Senior Policy Specialist, National Conference of State Legislatures

 

Speakers: Bob Rothman, Senior Fellow, Alliance for Excellent Education

Elizabeth Schneider, Sneior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Alliance for Excellent Education

 

5:00 pm

Dinner on Your Own

NCSL will cover dinner on Saturday night, December 7, up to $50 with a receipt. Enjoy your night out in the city!

Sunday, Dec. 8
7:30 am -8:30 am Networking Breakfast and LESN Steering Committee Business Meeting
8:30 am -10: 30 am

New Standards and Assessments: Meeting the Need for Deeper Learning

During this session, we will hear how state efforts to adopt new higher standards and assessments can ensure that all students, including those in low-performing schools, receive opportunities to learn deeply and hone new skills to be successful in this 21st century economy.

 

 Moderator: Dan Thatcher, Senior Policy Specialist, National Conference of State Legislatures

 

Speakers: Bob Rothman, Senior Fellow, Alliance for Excellent Education

Elizabeth Schneider, Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Alliance for Excellent Education

10:30 am -10:45 am Break
10:45 am - 11:30 am

Interactive Discussion: A State of the States

Bring your cell phones for this interactive session! Building on previous discussions about deeper learning, standards and assessments, legislative staff will have the opportunity to participate in an anonymous, live poll on the condition of their states' policies related to these topics. After each poll question, staff can engage an open forum to discuss how these policies do or do not fit into the broader objective of ensuring all students--especially those attending low-performing schools--enter college or the workforce ready for success.

 

Moderator: Dan Thatcher, Senior Policy Specialist, National Conference of State Legislatures

11:30 am - noon

Final Wrap-up:  Connecting the Dots and Next Steps

Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on the seminar, apply new learnings to their state policy context and identify next steps.

Noon Meeting Adjourns
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