3:30  – 8:00 PM

Early Registration & Help Desk

6:00 – 7:30 PM

Welcome Reception


7:00 AM – 5:30 PM

Registration & Help Desk

7:00 – 8:00 AM

Networking Breakfast

8:00 – 9:15 AM

Opening Breakfast Keynote | Gov. Jeb Bush

9:15 – 9:30 AM

Networking Break

9:30 – 10:30 AM

Strategy Sessions

How States Are Building Stronger Teacher Pipelines

The pandemic exposed a problem already plaguing many districts and states: fewer young people are becoming teachers. As a result, some districts are struggling to put a qualified teacher in every classroom. Yet some innovators are tackling this problem. Join us to learn about new approaches to attracting high-quality, diverse candidates to the teaching profession.

Moderator: Dr. Cara Candal, Managing Director, Policy, ExcelinEd


  • Commissioner Penny Schwinn, Tennessee Department of Education
  • Senior Chancellor Henry Mack, Florida Department of Education
  • Representative Robert Behning, Indiana House of Representatives
  • Dr. Marni Baker Stein, Chief Academic Officer and Provost, Western Governors University

How Test-Based Accountability Helps Students Far Beyond the Classroom

Initial findings from new research confirm the importance of test-based accountability, the value of long-term tracking and the implications of test score increases on students’ earnings, educational attainment and even arrest rates. Our expert panel explores findings, practices and perspectives from the National Assessment Governing Board, Harvard University and Stanford University, with perspectives from the state of Virginia on the long-term impact of accountability on student outcomes.

Moderator: Dr. Marty West, Harvard Graduate School of Education


  • Dr. Tom Kane, Harvard Graduate School of Education 
  • Aimee Guidera, Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Virginia
  • Christy Hovanetz, Sr. Policy Fellow, ExcelinEd
  • Eric Hanushek, Hoover Institution of Stanford University

Power to the Parents: Policies that Give Kids the Experiences They Need

Parents are demanding different, more personalized experiences for their children, and some states are responding by “unbundling” education. From eliminating district boundaries to micro- and transportation grants, creative new policies are putting families in the driver’s seat. Join this session for insights about the newest school choice reforms that give families access to innovative educational options, from Pre-K to 12.

Moderator: Derrell Bradford, CEO 50CAN


  • Senator Ann Millner, Utah Senate
  • Antonio Parés, Founder + Principal, Walnut Hill Workshop
  • Emily Ann Gullickson, CEO, A for Arizona

10:30 10:45 AM

Networking Break

10:45 – 11:45 AM

Strategy Sessions

Pathways Matter: Putting Education-to-Workforce Pathways into Action

How can states keep pace with meaningful education-to-workforce pathways in today’s rapidly evolving job market? Learn from the Pathways Matter strategies ExcelinEd developed that identified states’ most common challenges—and the policy solutions to address them. This session digs into lessons from states that are aligning programs with business and industry needs, expanding student access to high-quality pathways, reskilling and retraining and more.

Moderator: Dr. Tequilla Brownie, CEO TNTP   


  • Dr. Katie Jenner, Superintendent of Education, Indiana
  • Ryan Miller, Executive Director, AccelerateMS
  • Dr. Harrison Keller, Texas Commissioner of Higher Education
  • Adriana Harrington, Policy Director, ExcelinEd                                                                             

Maximizing Opportunity: Designing Choice Programs for Impact and Sustainability

What are the most important lessons learned from the past 30 years on designing private school choice programs that work for students and families? This session looks at elements of choice program design, including scope, size and student eligibility to highlight the best ways to ensure programs are designed successfully without foreclosing opportunities for any family.

Moderator: Shaka Mitchell, Director of State Strategy and Advocacy, American Federation for Children


  • Kate Baker Demers, Executive Director, Children’s Scholarship Fund New Hampshire
    Dr. Albert Cheng, Assistant Professor at the Department of Education Reform,University of Arkansas
    Sarah Raybon, Director of Communications and Engagement Arizona Department of Education

Choosing the Right Curriculum to Ensure Children Can Read

The science of reading is transforming how educators across the nation are being trained to more effectively teach students how to read. But what happens when a district has an outdated curriculum, leaving teachers to fend for themselves? Learn from literacy and policy experts as they discuss evidence-based strategies for selecting high-quality curricula that aligns with the science of reading and builds students’ knowledge— essential elements for improving reading outcomes for all students.

Moderator: Robert Pondiscio, Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute


  • Representative Richard Nelson, Louisiana House of Representatives
  • Kari Kurto, National Science of Reading Project Director, The Reading League
  • Ernesto Ortiz, Jr., Senior Literacy Engagement Specialist, AIM Institute for Learning & Research
  • Casey Sullivan Taylor, Policy Director, ExcelinEd

11:45 AM – 12:00 PM

Networking Break

12:00 – 1:30 PM

Keynote Lunch | Stay Tuned for Updates

1:30 – 1:45 PM

Networking Break

1:45 – 2:45 PM

Strategy Sessions

$45 Billion for Broadband: Is Your State’s Workforce Trained and Ready?  

Are states ready for the explosion of broadband jobs? A huge need is looming for K-12 tech programs, higher ed/tech schools and re-training efforts to achieve a trained and ready workforce for broadband deployment. As this national effort unfolds, every state will be competing for a skilled workforce. This session explores how to align future opportunities with existing STEM, manufacturing and computer science programs while giving students clear pathways to in-demand broadband careers.

Moderator: Dr. Amy Owen, Policy Director, ExcelinEd


  • Dr. Rikin Thakker, Chief Technology Officer, Wireless Infrastructure Association
  • Shawn Orr, Interim Dean of eAshland, Ashland University

Investing in Student Success: Tennessee’s New Funding Formula

Tennessee successfully overhauled its school funding system this year, transforming its outdated model from an input-based approach to a modernized, student-centered formula where money follows the students to all public schools. The new system includes substantial funding weights for low-income students, financial rewards for school excellence and incentives to districts to offer high-value career and technical education. Learn more from Tennessee’s top leaders about what policymakers achieved and how they did it.

Moderator:  David Mansouri, President and CEO, TN SCORE 


  • Dr. Penny Schwinn, Tennessee Commissioner of Education
  • Brent Easley, Office of Governor, Tennessee
  • Dr. Maya Bugg, CEO, Tennessee Charter School Center

2:45 – 3:15 PM

Networking & Snack Break

3:15 – 4:30 PM

General Session | Stay Tuned for Updates

5:00 – 5:45 PM

Sponsored Roundtables

6:15 – 7:45 PM

Film Screening: Stay Tuned for Updates


7:00 AM – 12:15 PM

Registration & Help Desk

7:00 – 8:00 AM

Networking Breakfast

8:00 – 9:15 AM

Breakfast Keynote | Solving America’s Literacy Crisis with the Science of Reading

Join journalist Emily Hanford, education leader Kareem Weaver and ExcelinEd’s Dr. Kymyona Burk for a keynote conversation on solving the early literacy crisis in America’s elementary schools. They’ll dive into why millions of students nationwide are struggling to read and lead a tactical discussion on the proven policies – grounded in the science of reading- needed to turn things around. Policymakers and educators in every state will want to hear more about these timely solutions to one of education’s most serious and pressing problems. 

Emily Hanford

Kareem Weaver

Dr. Kymyona Burk

9:15 – 9:45 AM

Networking Break

9:45 – 11:00 AM

General Session | Recovering Learning: How Are Countries Faring Since the Pandemic?

International International expert Andreas Schleicher returns to the National Summit with his well-researched and insightful global perspectives on education. With data gleaned through his work at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Schleicher will share insights on how dozens of countries are performing, intervening and helping students recover from the pandemic. He’ll address what high-performing countries have in common as well as the education policies needed to foster improvement. Education leaders at every level, whether focused on nations, states, communities or classrooms, will want to learn more about these proven and impactful strategies to turn around student achievement.

11:00 – 11:15 AM

Networking Break

11:15 AM – 12:15 PM

Strategy Sessions

Overcoming Obstacles to Postsecondary Credentials

Despite states’ efforts at improvement, the national attainment rate for postsecondary credentials is barely above 50%. Learn how three states are improving student access and attainment of postsecondary credentials in response to an ever-increasing body of evidence connecting postsecondary degrees, certificates and in-demand industry credentials with student success.

Moderator: Claire Voorhees, Senior Program Officer, Walton Family Foundation 


  • Scott Leband, President, Colorado Succeeds
  • Samantha Gutter, Chief Access and Outreach Officer at the Tennessee Higher Education Commission

Experience Matters: How Can States Retain High-Quality Teachers?

Building stronger teacher pipelines is critical, but schools also need experienced teachers to mentor their peers and provide students with a sense of stability and continuity. Join this discussion for strategies states can use to keep the nation’s most experienced teachers (happily) in the classroom.

Moderator: Lizzette Reynolds, Vice President of Policy, ExcelinEd


  • Meagan Comb, Executive Director, Wheelock Educational Policy Center, Boston University
  • Superintendent Catherine Truitt, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction 

Innovative Learning, In and Beyond the Classroom

Join state leaders from Utah, Idaho, and North Dakota as they share their unique approaches for expanding learning opportunities for students. By looking beyond the traditional classroom and thinking differently about when and where a student can learn, these states have introduced new approaches to giving students innovative learning experiences.

Moderator: Adam Peshek, Senior Fellow, Stand Together


  • Superintendent Sydnee Dickson, Utah Department of Education
  • Superintendent Kirsten Baesler, North Dakota of Education

12:15 – 12:30 PM

Networking Break

12:30 – 1:45 PM

Closing Lunch Keynote | Stay Tuned for Updates

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