6:30 AM – 5:30 PM

Registration & Help Desk

7:00 – 7:45 AM

Networking Breakfast

7:45 – 8:45 AM

Opening Breakfast Keynote with Governor Jeb Bush
Moderated by Romy Drucker

Governor Jeb Bush

Governor Jeb Bush

9:00 – 10:00 AM

Strategy Sessions

Let’s Start at the Very Beginning: Teacher Prep for Early Literacy Excellence

A collaboration of the Barksdale Reading Institute, Belk Foundation and Hunt Institute brought together six states to build strategies that support excellence in early literacy education. The results? Six crucial findings each state can use to ensure every young reader has access to quality instruction. You’ll want to hear what these literacy experts advise.

Ralph Smith, Managing Director, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

Mary Bivens, Director of Educator Development, Colorado DOE
Kymyona Burk, Policy Director for Early Literacy, ExcelinEd
Kelly Butler, CEO, Barksdale Reading Institute

Education Unbundled: A New Education System for All Learners

Reimagine education through the lens of unbundling and explore how the innovations of today can lead to a new education system designed around individual students. Whether it’s pods, microschools, parent-teacher compacts, part-time public school enrollment, or parent directed funding, emerging policy solutions are expanding learner opportunities and helping students succeed. Join this lively discussion about what barriers exist today and what policy conditions are needed to unbundle the system.

Adam Peshek, Senior Fellow, Education, Stand Together

Bernita Bradley, Midwest Regional Advocate, National Parents Union
Representative Wendy Horman, Idaho
Patricia Levesque, CEO, ExcelinEd
Juliet Squire, Partner, Policy & Innovation, Bellwether Education Partners

Closing the Digital Divide: Real Solutions from State Leaders

Students without internet access are being left behind – especially in an era of unprecedented learning disruptions. Learn how state leaders are using innovative practices and game-changing policies to support device access, connectivity and digital skill-building for all K-12 students. From procurement strategies, legislation that creates affordability programs and policies for 1:1 devices, this panel of forward-thinkers highlight high-impact solutions that are closing the digital divide.

Andy Rotherham, Co-Founder and Partner, Bellwether Education Partners

Daniel Linville, Chair, Technology & Infrastructure Committee, State of West Virginia
Stephen Osborn, State Strategy Director, Rhode Island Department of Innovation
Earnie Holtrey, Program Manager, Indiana Broadband, Office of Lt. Governor

10:15 – 11:15 AM

Strategy Sessions

The Year of School Choice

2021 was a historic year for families with a dozen states creating or expanding education choice programs. What’s driving this revolution to empower parents with education scholarship accounts and microgrants, and what will this year’s dramatic expansion mean for the future? Join policymakers, parents and education leaders as they explore these strategic and timely questions.

Dr. Cara Candal, Managing Director, Policy, ExcelinEd

Emily Ann Gullickson, CEO & Founder, A for Arizona
Senator Patricia Rucker, West Virginia
Ryan Walters, Secretary of Education, Oklahoma
Juliette Harrell, Parent

Skills for Success in Learning, Work, and Life: How Durable Skills Transform A Student’s Experience

Every child has tremendous potential and it’s important our education system provides a personalized, engaging framework so that students are able to develop their cognitive, emotional, social, and academic skills. Combined, these skills put every learner on a successful path of life-long learning an fulfillment. This session will explore how states can design systems to support the whole child, engage adolescents in their own development, and how “Durable Skills” will provide students with the necessary tools to be successful on their personal pathways throughout life.

Adam Peshek, Senior Fellow, Education, Stand Together

Cherisse Campbell, Zone Superintendent, Fulton County Schools
Jake Hirsch-Allen, PPP, Workforce Development and Skills Lead, Linkedin
Tim Taylor, President, America Succeeds

Course Access: Personalization, Opportunity and Choice

Can course access take individualized learning to the next level? There’s no reason why every student shouldn’t be able to access courses and classes beyond their assigned school. Venture into a modern education where virtual learning infrastructure creates course access, closes opportunity gaps, and opens up high-quality learning experiences for all students.

Gerard Robinson, Vice President for Education, Advanced Studies in Culture Foundation

Denise Forte, Interim CEO, The Education Trust
Dr. Cory Kanth, Statewide Online Education Program Lead Educational Specialist, Utah State Board of Education
Julie Young, Vice President, Arizona State University

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Keynote Lunch

Dr. Cornel West and Professor Robert George: Fostering Civil Discourse in Divisive Times
Moderated by Juan Williams

Dr. Cornel West

Professor Robert George

1:15 – 2:15 PM

Strategy Sessions

School Accountability: Answers. Not Excuses, For Enhanced Student Outcomes

In the past, designing an accountability system that satisfied everyone from parents and policymakers to school leaders and administrators came with unfortunate tradeoffs. But it doesn’t have to be that way! An accountability system can both serve our students and deliver robust information that leads to enhanced student outcomes, holding the key to the future of school accountability. Join this expert panel to learn more.

Aimee Guidera, President, Guidera Strategy

Christy Hovanetz, Senior Policy Fellow, ExcelinEd
Ian Rowe, Resident Advisor, American Enterprise Institute
Terra Wallin, Associate Director for P-12 Accountability and Special Projects, The Education Trust

Innovations in School Finance: Bold Strategies in Three States

State education funding flows along fixed, long-established channels—or does it? Join these state leaders for an inside look at bold actions in school finance that are better serving students. From improved formulas to support high-needs students and strategic use of federal stimulus dollars to school incentives aimed at postsecondary readiness, you’ll want to hear how these innovations came about and what new, student-centered ideas lie ahead.

Matthew Joseph, Policy Director for Education Funding, ExcelinEd

Senate President Matt Huffman, Ohio
Commissioner Penny Schwinn, Tennessee DOE
Commissioner Mike Morath, Texas Education Agency

Spotlight Session – Silicon America: How Ed Policy Can Build a Diverse Workforce Pipeline for the Tech Industry

One of the country’s most dynamic industries needs more of the country’s dynamic talent. Building more diverse, creative pathways into the tech industry requires a mix of public investment, policy changes and employer buy-in. Led by Governor Asa Hutchinson, learn how Arkansas created some of the nation’s strongest pathways into the tech sector and how employers and practitioners are transforming the tech sector from middle school to Mountain View.

Stefanie Sanford, Chief of Global Policy and External Relations, College Board

Governor Asa Hutchinson, Arkansas
Dwana Franklin-Davis, Chief Executive Officer, Reboot Representation
Victor Reinoso Director of AFE, Amazon
Jackie Smalls, Chief Programs Officer,

2:30 – 3:45 PM

General Session

Erasing the Red Lines: Overcoming Inequity in School Attendance Zones

Tim DeRoche

Valencia Stovall

Kelley Williams-Bolar

Moderator Derrell Bradford

Patricia Levesque

4:30 – 5:15 PM

Sponsor Roundtables

The Current Crisis – Let’s Discuss the Shortage

With new partners, iteach now offers a more holistic approach to recruitment, training, development, and retention. We welcome stakeholders to join the discussion to develop actionable next steps and initiatives to begin addressing the teacher shortage now.

Andrew Rozell, President
Alice Rolli, Vice-President

How to Make State Summative Assessments More Purposeful, Actionable, and Meaningful

Statewide summative assessments remain an integral component of an equitable, valid, and balanced assessment program. Technology can provide powerful, personalized insights that empower students, parents, and educators and improve student outcomes. This timely session will examine mechanisms state officials can deploy to design and deliver a more purposeful, actionable, and meaningful assessment system.

Trent Workman, Senior Vice President, School Assessment, Pearson

Tech Promoting School Choice with Lincoln Network and EdChoice

Lincoln Network showcases tools that can benefit students and parents in uncovering and accessing educational options and alternatives. Launched in 2020, Schoolahoop is a school discovery app that can help families everywhere find schools that truly meet the needs of their children. Experience the demo and learn how this technology-based solution, coming soon to Texas, Florida and Arizona, can empower families with opportunity in your state.

T. Garrett Johnson, Co-founder & Executive Director of Lincoln Network
Brandon Detweiler Head of Product at Lincoln Network
Robert C. Enlow is president and CEO of EdChoice

What Does it Mean to Have a Meaningful Educational Experience in Literacy?

Research shows that the best start for every student has its foundation in early literacy success. Join Learning Ovations for a lively discussion about what it means for both students AND their teachers to receive a meaningful educational experience and leave with an understanding of how you can bring meaningful impact and meaningful growth in the K-3 literacy space, even within the challenging environment of the modern classroom.

Jay Connor, JD, MBA, Founder & CEO of Learning Ovations
Dr. Sarah Siegal, Vice President for Research & Practice

Value of Higher Education – Increasing the ROI for Students

The cost of college has dominated higher education policy discussions, and while affordability matters, it obscures other critical issues around access and value. How can higher education renew its promise as the surest path to opportunity? How can institutions lower costs, improve completion rates, facilitate transfer, and ensure that every student graduates with cutting edge skills? How can higher education drive value for every student? Join us as we seek to answer these questions and more.

Dr. Kim Estep, Regional Vice President and WGU Tennessee Chancellor
Chancellor Henry Mack, Florida Department of Education

Learner Variability, Data Models, Privacy, and the Promise of Personalized Learning

Join McGraw Hill to preview an intuitive digital tool designed to give educators instructional insights and education content recommendations that are personalized to each student in their class, based on the characteristics of how students learn: their background, cognitive functioning, social-emotional learning, and academic performance. Can these insights and technology solution be valuable to educators?

Dr. Shawn Smith, Chief Innovation Officer, McGraw Hill

Imagining the Future of Assessment and Accountability

With an unprecedented disruption of assessment and accountability systems and an influx of federal funding, state leaders have an opportunity to imagine and implement education systems that better support students and educators. Join NWEA in a conversation on how policymakers and educators can use this opportunity to rethink assessment and change accountability.

Peyton Rodriguez, Senior Vice President of State Partnerships, NWEA
Katie Carroll, Director of Policy and State Engagement, NWEA

Academic Achievement in Fall 2021: Insights as Students Return to School

Pandemic-related educational disruptions raised new questions about how and where students are learning and whether that learning environment impacted academic progress. Join Curriculum Associates for a debrief on its Fall 2021 Diagnostic Report and discussion on the recently released i-Ready Diagnostic data that provides insight on how students are performing now that they’re back in the classroom.

Dr. Tracy Nicholson, Regional Vice President of Government Relations at Curriculum Associates

Life-Changing Professional Development for Literacy: How State Leaders are Using LETRS to Transform Teaching and Learning Outcomes

State leaders from around the nation are taking note of Mississippi’s amazing growth in student literacy. Join this session to learn how Mississippi used LETRS to provide professional learning to teachers about the science of reading and its contribution to the Mississippi Miracle. Hear directly from colleagues and subject-matter experts about professional development practices that lead to enhanced teaching, improved learning, and better outcomes.

Toni Backstrom, Strategic State Solutions Manager, Lexia Learning
Shelby Proebstle, Literacy Manager, Michigan Department of Education
José A. Viana, Senior Education Advisor, Lexia Learning

School Choice Myths with Corey DeAngelis

COVID-19 exposed many of the problems with one-size-fits-all public school systems and fueled momentum for empowering families with educational options. But are there any legitimate arguments against funding students instead of systems? Does school choice “steal money” from public schools, lead to inequities, and harm students? Join AFC Growth Fund’s Corey DeAngelis for a discussion on busting the biggest myths in the school choice debate with evidence and logic.

Corey DeAngelis, National Director of Research, AFC Growth Fund

Making Sense of the Data: Best Practices in State Analytics Efforts

States and districts are leveraging data in new and impactful ways to understand the needs of the whole student — and by doing so, are reimagining personalized learning. We’re seeing, in real time, the benefits of connecting a multitude of data points to distill meaning and drive purposeful action at the school, district, and state levels. Looking at each student as an individual with their own needs, aspirations and challenges enables state and district leaders to address many of the equity goals they’ve been working on for years, to increase buy-in from teachers, to empower local control, and to more efficiently allocate resources.

This roundtable discussion will feature state leaders discussing efforts to harness the power of data to finally see the whole child, understand near-term academic and non-academic needs, and to be prepared for new challenges on the horizon.

Anna Edwards, Chief Advocacy Officer, Co-Founder, Whiteboard Advisors
Dr. Courtney Stevens – Vice President of Education Research, PowerSchool
Sarah Singer – Education Solutions Director, PowerSchool

5:30 – 7:00 PM

#EIE21 Welcome Reception


7:00 AM – 12:15 PM

Registration & Help Desk

7:00 – 7:45 AM

Networking Breakfast

7:45 – 9:00 AM

Breakfast Keynote

High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out – A Conversation with Amanda Ripley
Moderated by Stefanie Sanford

Amanda Ripley

9:00 – 9:30 AM

Networking Break

9:30 – 10:45 AM

General Session

Raising the Grade: Policy, Perseverance and Progress in the Sunshine State and the Road Ahead
Moderated by Lane Wright

Florida Speaker of the House Chris Sprowls

Florida Senator Kelli Stargel

Florida Senator Manny Diaz

T. Willard Fair

Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Strategy Sessions

Learning from Disruptions: How States Can Reimagine Learning and Embrace Innovation

The pandemic continues to demonstrate the need for a more adaptable, flexible and resilient student-centric education system. Now more than ever, states have an unprecedented opportunity to build upon adaptations that support innovative instruction and personalized learning to better serve students, no matter the setting. Learn how leaders are putting the building blocks in place and leveraging policy and partnerships to innovate in classrooms and reimagine learning.

Phyllis Lockett, CEO, Leap Innovations

Superintendent Sydnee Dickson, Utah State Board of Education
Superintendent Jhone Ebert, Nevada DOE
Commissioner Frank Edelblut, New Hampshire DOE

Pathways Matter: High-Quality Ed-to-Workforce Pathways for All Students

States have the power to transform their fragmented education-to-workforce policies into a comprehensive and cohesive continuum focused on student success. ExcelinEd’s Pathways Matter provides the strategic research, data and recommendations to achieve this. This session explores essential policies and showcases work by several states making real progress in building quality career pathways, beginning in K-12 and extending to postsecondary and beyond.

Jade Grieve, Advisor, Bloomberg Philanthropies

Commissioner Shannon Gilkey, Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner
Secretary Katie Jenner, Indiana DOE
Quentin Suffren, Senior Advisor, Innovation Policy, ExcelinEd
Representative Clay Yarborough, Florida

The State of Black Education

One area in which our nation’s education system continues to fail is closing the academic gap between racial groups, especially for Black students. Low literacy rates, a dearth of Black teachers and a lack of access to education options all contribute to this stark and unacceptable reality. This session brings together solutions-minded experts in early literacy, teacher development and school choice for a frank discussion on the state of Black education in America and improving outcomes for Black students.

Chris Stewart, CEO, Brightbeam

Kymyona Burk, Policy Director for Early Literacy, ExcelinEd
Sharif El-Mekki, Founder & CEO, The Center for Black Educator Development
Shaka Mitchell, Director of State Strategy and Advocacy, American Federation for Children

12:15 – 1:30 PM

Dr. Jo Boaler: Learn, Lead and Live Without Barriers
Moderated by David Coleman

Dr. Jo Boaler

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