Spring Forum 2010

Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
2600 Woodley Road, NW
Washington, D.C.  20008
April 8-10, 2010

NCSL Standing Committee on Education - Meeting Summary

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Thursday, April 8th

1:00 pm - 2:15 pm

School Turnaround Strategies
NCSL Contacts: Lamar Bailey, Robert Strange, David Shreve

The Administration recently announced its plan for turning around struggling schools.  The plan offers four levels of intervention from replacing at least half of a school's staff, to closing and dispersing students to other public schools and charter schools.  At this session, a panel will address questions of what works, where school turnarounds have been successful, what alternatives should be considered and what role state legislators can play in this effort.


  • Representative Cindy Winckler, Iowa


  • Kandace Jones, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C.

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2:30 pm - 3:45 pm

Update on Federal and State Activity to Improve College Completion
NCSL Contact: Brenda Bautsch

This session provides the status of federal policy on college completion, particularly the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act. Speakers also will discuss innovative action states are taking to improve college completion.


  • Cheryl Reinhart, Bureau of Legislative Research, Arkansas Staff Vice Chair, NCSL Standing Committee on Education 


  • Sarah Flanagan, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, Washington, D.C.
  • Glenn Cummings, Office of Vocational and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C.
Friday, April 9th 

8:45 am - 9:45 am

The State of Education Budgets
NCSL Contact: Dan Thatcher

More than half the states have cut or have propsed cuts to K-12 or higher education. These cuts have taken different forms and sizes. This session offers an overview of how and how many states have made cuts to education in the past and current fiscal years. It also will offer a look into what projected budget gaps may portend for state education budgets in the fiscal years ahead.


  • Senator John Vratil, Kansas
    Vice Chair, NCSL Standing Committee on Education


  • Julie Bell, NCSL Education Program, Colorado

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  View Julie Bell's Power Point Presentation


  • Michael Griffith, Education Commission of the States, Colorado

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  View Michael Griffith's Power Point Presentation

9:45 am - 11:30 am

Federal Update: Education Task Force Report and Career and Technical Education
NCSL Contacts: David Shreve and Robert Strange

The first part of this session will update committeee members on federal legislative activity, including ESEA reauthorization and the final report of the NCSL Task Force on Federal Education Policy. The second part will examine the role of Carl D. Perkins formula grants to states for career and technical education and explore connections between associated programs and the workforce system.


  • Representative Betty Komp, Oregon
    Vice Chair, NCSL Standing Committee on Education

Speakers:  Session 1

  • David Shreve, National Conference of State Legislatures, Washington, D.C.
  • Robert Strange, National Conference of State Legislatures, Washington, D.C.

Speakers:  Session 2

  • Glenn Cummings, Office of Vocational and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C.
  • Wendy Kang, Workforce Policy and Evaluation, Virginia Community College System
  • Sharon Miller, Office of Academic and Technical Education, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C.

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   View this session's Power Point Presentation

11:30 am - 1:00 pm


General Session Luncheon

Remarks from Mr. Gary Doer, Ambassador of Canada to the United States.

Before taking up his current post in Washington, Ambassador Doer served a premier of Manitoba for 10 years.  During that time, he worked extensively with United States' governors to enhance Canada-United States cooperation on trade, agriculture, water protection, climate change and renewable energy.

Presentation by Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.

Since his departure from the U.S. House of Representatives, Mr. Gingrich has served as a consultant, film producer and television commentator, and has authored both fiction and non-fiction New York Times best sellers.  Mr. Gingrich's interests and expertise span a wide spectrum of issues including world history, military issues, health care, environmental studies, basic science research, national security and volunteerism.  He serves in a variety of leadership positions on government and industry commissions and boards that address these topics.  Newt Gingrich is chairman of the Gingrich Group, a communications and consulting firm that specializes in transformational change. 

1:15 pm - 2:45 pm 

State Efforts to "Race to the Top"
NCSL Contacts:  Michelle Exstrom and David Shreve

In competition for federal education dollars, 40 states and the District of Columbia charted out education reforms and passed supporting legislation to become eligible for the competitive grants in "Race to the Top."  Two states werte awarded funding in Phase 1 of 2 phases—Tennessee and Delaware.  During this session, we will review reforms proposed in the applications and hear from states about their efforts to secure federal Race to the Top funding.


  • Representative Rae Ann Kelsch, North Dakota


  • Representative Mark Maddox, Tennessee
  • Joanne Weiss, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C.

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  • Andy Smarick, Thomas B. Fordham Institute, Washington, D.C. 
  • Dr. Richard Long, National Title I Directors Association, Washington, D.C.
Saturday, April 10th

11:00 am - 3:30 pm

NCSL Task Force on School Dropout Prevention
NCSL Contacts:  Sunny Deyé and Lamar Bailey
Sponsors of this session are AT&T and Walmart

The social and economic costs of high school dropouts are staggering.  There are many factors contributing to the dropout problem - family demands, poverty, schools that do little to encourage students to stay, and classes that don't engage students.  The task force will hear from top researchers about programs that work to improve dropout rates and how state legislatures might bring them to scale.  The task force is working to develop a series of recommendations for state legislatures to improve the nation's dropout rates.


  • Kati Haycock, The Education Trust, Washington, D.C.

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  • Betsy Brand, American Youth Policy Forum, Washington, D.C.

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  View Elizabeth Gaines's Power Point Presentation