3:30  – 7:00 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

Gov. Jeb Bush

Hanna Skandera, Moderator

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. Christy Hovantez, Sr. Policy Fellow, ExcelinEd


  • Dr. Tom Kane, Harvard Graduate School of Education 
  • Aimee Guidera, Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Virginia
  • Dr. 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 | A 21st Century Education: Critical Skills for Every Student’s Success founder Hadi Partovi, finance expert Tim Ranzetta and mathematics professor Dr. Steven Strogatz create a vision to prepare students for lifelong success with courses in computer science, data science and financial literacy. These critical skills are fast becoming an essential part of a 21st-century education, which every student will need to learn and employ during their school years and beyond.  

Moderator Stefanie Sanford leads an engaging discussion with these innovators who are at the forefront of big ideas—and bold actions—to propel students forward. Stefanie is Chief of Global Policy and External Relations for the College Board and president of the College Board Foundation, working with policymakers and building partnerships to measurably advance educational access and opportunity for all students. 

Stefanie Sanford, Moderator

Hadi Partovi

Tim Ranzetta

Steven Strogatz

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
  • Veneeth Iyengar, Executive Director, ConnectLA

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

Solutions for Math Success: Start with a Comprehensive K-8 Policy

Our nation has relinquished its mathematical prowess, with declining performance trends in both international and national measures. It’s time to start bending the curve upward, so all students can achieve math success in school and beyond. This spotlight session has the solutions that state leaders need most, from experts who unpack the policy essentials, the innovations and the science for implementing a high-impact, comprehensive K-8 mathematics strategy.

Moderator:  Dr. Christy Hovanetz, ExcelinEd


  • Kristen DiCerbo, Chief Learning Officer, Khan Academy   
  • Dr. Sarah Powell, Associate Professor, University of Texas at Austin 
  • Shalinee Sharma, CEO and Co-founder, Zearn

2:45 – 3:15 PM

Networking & Snack Break

3:15 – 4:30 PM

General Session | Smart Brevity with Mike Allen

Today’s media landscape is littered with content. One media company, Axios, is dominating the market with effective and concise messaging. How? Their strategy dubbed Smart Brevity™ is a transformative approach for punching through the noise and bringing attention to what matters most. 

In a compelling keynote session, Axios co-founder Mike Allen will share powerful communications lessons and provide essential advice on how to use Smart Brevity.

Mike Allen

Romy Drucker, Moderator

5:00 – 5:45 PM

Sponsored Roundtables

Join the American Federation for Children in conversation with former Assistant Secretary of U.S Department of Education, Jim Blew. Hear takeaways from the effort to make K-12 education parent- and student-centered, confronting a pandemic that shuttered schools, and working in an administration unlike any other.

Join Amplify Education to learn more about the high quality, successful learning acceleration approaches anchored in the Science of Reading and powered by mCLASS® with DIBELS® 8th Edition, the gold-standard in early literacy formative assessments. 

The Covid pandemic fundamentally changed education and is forcing policymakers to rethink their approach to accountability. This session will be an interactive discussion with participants sharing ideas and innovative approaches to focus on how metric and data driven accountability systems can intersect, overlap, and complement school accreditation systems and continuous improvement efforts. Learn from experts and each other about how policymakers are reimagining oversight and accountability to be more student focused and growth minded. We look forward to having a robust discussion that results in a list of actionable ideas. 

As you may have guessed, student learning has not yet fully rebounded from the setbacks caused by the pandemic’s disruptions. More students are below grade level in phonics than before the pandemic, and more students are behind in numbers and operations. However, there are some bright spots where learning is approaching pre-pandemic averages and schools that are beating the odds and accelerating learning for students furthest behind. Join a Roundtable hosted by Curriculum Associates learning more about the State of Student Learning from two recently released National Research Reports using iReady data. 

As we look at the challenges our K-12 education system faces, it’s clear that virtual learning has an important role to play. But key questions remain: what should that role be, and how do we ensure that virtual learning experiences are high-quality? Join Edmentum and Whiteboard Advisors for an important conversation that explores topics and themes from the recent whitepaper, A Human-Centered Vision for Quality Virtual Learning. Based on input from dozens of experts and practitioners, this work delves into the opportunities presented by virtual learning to provide the learning experiences our students want and need while highlighting secrets of success for quality programs already in place. Spoiler alert: it’s about the people, not the technology.

State leaders from North Carolina are committed to making a difference in the lives of teachers and students, including life-changing professional learning. Early literacy results indicate they are on the path to success!  Join this session to hear precisely how North Carolina leaders are leading a collaborative initiative to positively impact education from PreK – Higher Education – focusing on the science of reading, what is proven to work, and building a coalition to further student outcomes by investing in teachers.  Participants will hear directly from colleagues and subject-matter experts how LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) practices lead to enhanced teaching, improved learning, and better outcomes for all students. 

During this roundtable, Dr. Katie McClarty, Chief Academic Officer for McGraw Hill, will discuss how to both create clear, consistent expectations for education while retaining flexibility in execution. We will discuss how to set appropriate expectations for all K12 students but allow flexibility in how students get there – including where standardization is critical, where flexibility and choice can better personalize and accelerate the learning experience for students, and where decisions about flexibility should be made. 

The pandemic has underscored both the importance and fragility of state assessment and accountability systems, while the influx of federal funds makes new investments possible at an unprecedented scale. Please join NWEA for a discussion about what our data is showing about the disproportionate impacts of the pandemic on student growth, as well as what we are learning from our state and district partners about recovery and transformation. We are excited to share how we are working with states to rethink measurement of student progress and navigate some of the federal policy obstacles to innovation. 

Personalization is a buzzword in 2022. Across the economy, companies are changing their business models to provide consumers a more personalized experience – from shopping to dining to medical appointments and beyond. But how can we personalize education for students, families, and educators? This session will explore ways that policymakers can embrace personalization in education and how that can deliver improved outcomes for every child. 

Tutoring programs have become a leading strategy to address COVID-19 learning loss, but not all tutoring is created equal. What evidence-based principles can district and school leaders draw on to design, implement, measure, and improve high-quality tutoring programs? And what are districts who are piloting these programs learning about how to maintain fidelity to those principles, while also adapting to the specific needs of their contexts? Get on-the-ground insights from experts on building a sustainable, district led high-impact tutoring program.  

Parent appetite for nontraditional education models grew to record levels during the pandemic. Many of these started outside of conventional education systems: as microschools, learning pods, hybrid homeschools, community centers, online platforms, and much more. Many of them were the embodiment of “permissionless education,” families and educators coming together to solve education challenges and innovate at a scale not seen in decades. Join Stand Together Trust and the Vela Education Fund to learn about this bottom-up approach to education and the implications for policymakers and public policy. 

During this roundtable discussion, Dr. Stacey Ludwig Johnson, acting Senior Vice President of WGU and Executive Dean of the School of Education, will offer insights into how WGU’s Community of Care is a pioneering model of student support intervention. With lessons learned over the past two decades at WGU, Dr. Ludwig Johnson will also share with educators and administrators across the education ecosystem the expertise on how they can start their own institution’s Community of Care, how to measure success, and how to engage faculty in this model to strengthen their own experiences and those of students.  

6:15 – 7:45 PM

Film Screening: The Right to Read

Join us for a private rough-cut screening of The Right To Read. This documentary shares the stories of an Oakland NAACP activist, a teacher and two American families who are fighting to provide our youngest generation with the most foundational indicator of lifelong success: the ability to read.

Pre-Film Reception and Screening sponsored by Amira Learning.



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

Derrell Bradford, Moderator

9:15 – 9:45 AM

Networking Break

9:45 – 11:00 AM

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

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.

Andreas Schleicher

Dr. Penny Schwinn, Moderator

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 
  • Kelvey Oeser, Texas Department of Education
  • Dr. Cara Candal, ExcelinEd

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
  • Debbie Critchfield, Candidate, Idaho Superintendent of Education

12:15 – 12:30 PM

Networking Break

12:30 – 1:45 PM

Closing Lunch Keynote | What Do Schools of the Future Look Like

Join Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, Governor Kevin Stitt and education visionary Sal Khan, founder & CEO of Khan Academy, for an inside look at the education innovations unfolding in Arizona and Oklahoma.

Learn about Arizona State University’s groundbreaking partnership with Khan Academy in launching Khan World School @ ASU Prep – plus how Arizona’s pioneering policy landscape is fostering innovations with the power to transform education and transform lives.

Gov. Kevin Stitt has made improving education a priority of his administration and most recently set priorities to expand choice for families and students. In proposing an education scholarship account where money follows the student -and not the system- Gov. Stitt offers insights and inspiration for placing students at the center of education.

Governor Jeb Bush moderates this leadership session and will cap the event by presenting Governor Ducey with ExcelinEd’s Excellence in Education Award. The award recognizes the trailblazing contributions of visionaries who are transforming education and elevating student achievement. Prior honorees include Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Success Academy’s Eva Moskowitz and Khan Academy’s Sal Khan.

Gov. Doug Ducey

Gov. Kevin Stitt

Sal Khan

Gov. Jeb Bush

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