Spring Forum 2010

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

 NCSL Standing Committee on Education


Friday | Saturday|

Thursday, April 8

7:30 am - 5:30 pm
Registration A, Mezzanine Level


7:30 am - 5:00 pm
Thurgood Marshall Foyer, Mezzanine Level


A special thank you to Transurban for providing coffee breaks throughout the day during the forum.

1:00 pm - 2:15 pm
Wilson B, Mezzanine Level

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.
  • Gerald Tirozzi, National Association of Secondary School Principals, Virginia 
  • Representative from the NEA

2:30 pm - 3:45 pm
Wilson B, Mezzanine Level

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.

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Thurgood Marshall Southwest, Mezzanine Level 

Opening General Session

Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson of the Scottish Parliament brings greetings from Scotland to the Spring Forum.  The Scottish Parliament is a member of NCSL.  Mr. Fergusson presides over sessions of the Parliament in a politically impartial fashion and the additional responsibility of representing the Parliament abroad.

United States Secretary of Energy and Nobel Prize winner Steven Chu is the speaker at this opening general session.  Secretary Chu is charged with leading the administration's agenda to invest in alternative and renewable energy sources, reduce our use of foreign oil, and address issues of climate change. He brings us his views of the energy challenges facing the United States today. 

6:15 pm - 7:30 pm 
Thurgood Marshall Northeast, Mezzanine Level 

 Reception at the Marriott Wardman Hotel

A special thank you to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, National Air Transportation Association, National Business Aviation Association, National Association of State Aviation Officials and Redbird Flight Simulations for sponsoring this reception.

Friday, April 9

7:00 am - 5:00 pm
Registration A, Mezzanine Level


8:00 a - 8:30 pm
Thurgood Marshall Foyer, Mezzanine Level

Continental Breakfast

8:45 am - 9:45 am 
Wilson B, Mezzanine Level

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
  • Michael Griffith, Education Commission of the States, Colorado


9:45 am - 11:30 am
Wilson B, Mezzanine Level 

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.


11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Thurgood Marshall Southwest, Mezzanine Level  

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
Wilson B, Mezzanine Level


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

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Site Visit to Oyster-Adams Bilingual School
NCSL Contact:  David Shreve

Members of the Education Committee will walk to nearby Oyster-Adams Bilingual School to learn about some of the innovative strategies the school employs.  Oyster is a nationally and internationally recognized bilingual program for grades Pre-K-8.  All instruction and school activities are conducted in a dual-language immersion environment, with equal weight given to learning in English and Spanish.

Saturday, April 10

8:00 am - 11:00 am
Registration A, Mezzanine Level


8:30 am - 11:00 am
Thurgood Marshall Southwest, Mezzanine Level

Special Briefing Breakfast and Business Meeting

Hear an overview of state transportation funding issues as to where we are and the outlook from Joung Lee, Associate Director for Finance and Business Development, at AASHTO.  He will speak on lessons learned from Recovery Act implementation, what's happening with federal transportation funding, and what states are going.  Legislators on the panel will comment on issues of national interest from their states, and the session will be opened to comments and responses from the audience.

Presiding:  Senator D. Scott Dibble, Minnesota


  • Representative Terri Austin, Indiana
  • Representative Linda Harper-Brown, Texas
  • Senator Bruce Starr, Oregon

The business meeting will follow. 

11:00 am - 3:30 pm
Wilson C, Mezzanine Level

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.
  • Betsy Brand, American Youth Policy Forum, Washington, D.C.
  • Elizabeth Gaines, Forum for Youth Investment, Washington, D.c.
  Meeting Adjourns


2010 Committee Officers
Chair: Representative Larry Bell, North Carolina
Vice Chairs: Representative Betty Komp, Oregon
Representative Joseph Mitchell, Alabama
Representative Phil Owens, South Carolina
Representative Emma Rous, New Hampshire
Immediate Past Chair: Delegate Nancy King, Maryland
 Staff Chair: Paul Aguilar, New Mexico
 Staff Vice Chairs: Paula Dominguez, Rhode Island
Bridget Godes, Iowa
Cheryl Reinhart, Arkansas
Immediate Past Chair:   Shirley Iorio, North Carolina
NCSL Staff: Michelle Exstrom, Denver
Yilan Shen, Denver
David Shreve, Washington, D.C.
Robert Stran