2010 Ed Trust National Conference

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Thursday, November 4, 2010 - 10:00am - Saturday, November 6, 2010 - 12:00pm
Crystal Gateway Marriott, Arlington, Va.



Concurrent session presentations are being uploaded to our website, please check back for the full listing of sessions and their materials. Download a copy of the Program Book.  


Presentations From Concurrent Sessions

2:00pm - 3:00pm Opening Plenary: Take Charge of Change: Effective Practices to Close Gaps and Raise Achievement

Ed Trust President Kati Haycock will take us where the newest data goes, helping us to better understand achievement patterns for different groups of students and the practices that can change them. Visit the states, schools, and districts of leaders who have taken charge of change, and learn what is working for them—and what isn’t. Hear about teachers who have transformed what they do in their classrooms with stunning results.

3:15pm - 4:30pm Closing Achievement Gaps: The High School Experience

When white kids succeed in school but students of color are struggling, what can a principal do? The work of raising quality and forging equity begins with one core value: rigorous learning for all. Hear from a principal who walked into an underperforming school on Long Island and built a culture of high expectations, resulting in high student achievement. It took aiming to create the best hiring practices, professional and instruction.

3:15pm - 4:30pm Common Standards: What They Will Mean for You

Change is afoot in the education field, with the adoption of common standards by a majority of states. Maybe your own state has signed on. Now what? Learn what teachers can expect to find in these guidelines. And hear predictions on new developments likely to follow in the wake of standards. From study of rhymes in kindergarten to Renaissance literature in twelfth grade, America’s schools may never look the same.

3:15pm - 4:30pm Courting Parents: Proven Ways to Engage Then in Your School

How can educators help low-income parents play a greater role in their kids’ education? Hear about two approaches that open doors. As past principal of North Godwin Elementary School and now assistant superintendent of Godwin Heights School District, Arelis Diaz has invited immigrant families—from as far a field as Bosnia and Mexico—to join her as partners in improving schools.

3:15pm - 4:30pm History Comes Alive: The School Writing Fair

Hunting for time to teach history—on top of high-stakes math and reading standards? George Hall Elementary School in Mobile, Ala., a 2009 winner of the Dispelling the Myth Award, shares its solution: a writing fair that draws its themes from social studies. In this year end project, a hallway timeline runs from 1607 to the present, kids take Internet field trips, fifth-graders pose as Uncle Sam or Rosie the Riveter, and student writing papers the corridors.

3:15pm - 4:30pm Planning for Mastery: Pre-Teaching Tactics

The day is full, the curriculum bursting. How do you make sure students grasp a lesson? Veteran educators from a Dispelling the Myth Award winner show how they carve out time to fill the knowledge and skill gaps kids bring to a lesson. Call it the successful teacher’s paradox: Making time to pre-teach ensures mastery, and avoids taking time later for remediation.

3:15pm - 4:30pm Strategic Staffing: Matching Top Educators With High-Need Schools

How can districts lift struggling schools? Across the education world, people are grappling with this crucial question. In this session, district leaders can learn from key players behind innovative efforts in Charlotte-Mecklenburg that show early promise. This North Carolina district has developed the Strategic Staffing Initiative, a three-year plan for school transformation that taps proven principals, fields teams for change, removes poor performing teachers, and builds in bonus incentives.

3:15pm - 4:30pm Success in High-Need Schools: How It’s Being Done

Thriving high-poverty and high-minority schools have done the educational equivalent of inventing the wheel, argues author Karin Chenoweth. As she takes attendees through a whirlwind tour of what she calls “It’s Being Done” schools, Chenoweth will present the basic elements of what the schools (many of them Education Trust Dispelling the Myth Award winners) did to succeed. Their secrets range from keeping a laser-like focus on what students need to learn, to using formative assessments, and developing personal bonds between educators and students.

3:30pm - 4:15pm Success in High-Need Schools: How It’s Being Done

Thriving high-poverty and high-minority schools have done the educational equivalent of inventing the wheel, argues author Karin Chenoweth. As she takes attendees through a whirlwind tour of what she calls “It’s Being Done” schools, Chenoweth will present the basic elements of what the schools (many of them Education Trust Dispelling the Myth Award winners) did to succeed.

4:45pm - 6:00pm Crafting Curricula to State Standards: Tips from Roxbury Prep

Find new tools for gap closing, as staff members from Roxbury Preparatory Charter School demystify the Curriculum Alignment Template (CAT). Using this home-grown model, teachers mine data from state tests and standards—plus their own creativity—to build a challenging curriculum. Session participants will get practice using a CAT. Such teacher-crafted plans guide students toward Comprehensive Exams and Projects, rigorous assessments offered three times yearly at this Boston middle school.

4:45pm - 6:00pm More than Measurement: Teacher Evaluation in TAP™

What kind of evaluation helps teachers hone their skills? TAP™: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement has answers. In some 50 schools across Texas, TAP’s model is helping support and develop talented people who are entering the teaching profession. Hear about TAP’s teacher-evaluation system—from its use of classroom observations to its inclusion of student achievement data.

4:45pm - 6:00pm Scaling and Sustaining Change: The District Role in School Turnarounds

How can districts boost the success and staying power of their school turnaround efforts? Explore a four-step process to align district resources and policies to support strategies for school turnaround. Assess your current turnaround approach, learn the key elements of a successful district strategy, and develop an action plan using data and experience from work with urban districts by Education Resource Strategies (ERS).

4:45pm - 6:00pm Shopping for College Success: The CRO Web Tool

Helping students pick colleges? College Results Online (CRO) can help you. This interactive database lets you compare the graduation rate at your chosen institution with similar ones. That means you can find out which colleges do better at graduating students than others. You’ll learn where significant gaps persist in graduation rates by race, ethnicity, and gender. CRO aims to provide credible data in one convenient place on how colleges and universities are delivering on their promise. View a hands-on demonstration of CRO and see what it can do for you.

4:45pm - 6:00pm Tackling Turnaround: A Tale of Two Principals

When your school scores at the bottom on every measure, where do you start? The principal of George Hall Elementary tells how she propelled her school from the academic rubble into the ranks of Alabama’s top performers. Hall’s former assistant principal recounts how that experience helped her transform the school she now leads. Expect to hear about putting student growth first, hiring the best staff, helping teachers raise academic results, and making the hallways shine. The takeaway: Improved instruction equals happy outcomes at one 2009 Dispelling the Myth Award winner—and beyond.

4:45pm - 6:00pm The Path to College: Building Equity and Rigor for All

Ensuring educational equity and creating rigorous coursework for all students daunts most districts. Oakland Unified School District recently reset the bar for graduation to match college entrance requirements in California. Learn how OUSD is partnering with The Education Trust to assess institutional barriers impeding student academic achievement. School counselor-led task forces identified and are changing district policies and practices that hinder academic achievement.

9:45am - 11:00am Driving Achievement: What Districts Can Do

If the central office leaves them alone, most principals are happy with their superintendents. But school district administrators have much to bring to the work of boosting student performance and closing achievement gaps. Superintendents and their staff can offer the kind of data, human resource help, and professional development for both principals and teachers that supports school improvement. How should district leaders organize this work?

9:45am - 11:00am High Hopes, Stellar Results: Griegos Elementary School

With most of their students coming from working-class Hispanic families, Griegos Elementary isn’t the kind of school that ordinarily attracts wealthy white families. But in recent years, reports Principal Tom Graham, white parents from the affluent neighborhood nearby have been enrolling their children, drawn by student achievement at Griegos that considerably outpaces statewide results. Hear how this Albuquerque school matches its instruction to its high expectations for all students.

9:45am - 11:00am Lifting School Achievement: It Takes a Team

It takes a team to drive equity. Armed with vision, data, and drive, school counselors—together with principals and teachers—in the Mobile County Public School System are propelling school improvement. Watch a school team conduct a weekly data meeting that zeroes in on student progress. The goal: to boost student achievement in this Alabama district.

9:45am - 11:00am Roads to Reform: How One Race to the Top Winner Keeps Running

To drive improvements in student performance and help close achievement gaps, Tennessee has launched an Education Delivery Unit. The unit checks student data, visits schools to witness how strategies are working, and fine-tunes plans to meet changing conditions. The ultimate aim: a culture shift in Tennessee’s education system that delivers results for kids. At this session, state and district leaders will learn how the education department in this early Race to the Top winner is using a small, centralized, and capable team to turn policies into classroom realities.

9:45am - 11:00am Secrets of Secondary Success: Jack Britt High School

With 1,800 students roughly split between white students and students of color, Jack Britt High School shows that with thoughtful instruction and careful attention to school environment, diverse high schools can produce academic excellence. Hear about the high school that is widely credited with sparking a building boom in its neighborhood near the Fort Bragg army base. As Britt’s reputation grows, more and more families want to send their children there. “Everybody wants to know the secret sauce,” says Principal Denise Garison.

9:45am - 11:00am Telling Data: Early Clues to High School Success

Nearly one-third of students nationwide don’t graduate from high school. Youth with disabilities lag even further behind: Only 57 percent earn their high school diploma. Yet signs of trouble in ninth grade—low attendance, poor grades, and course failure—could arm educators with clues to stem these trends. Meanwhile, strong relationships with teachers and learning leavened with relevance fuel success. Learn how to use on-track indicators to gauge student outcomes.

9:45am - 11:00am When Teachers Lead: Keys to Classroom Results

How do star teachers help students soar in school, no matter what their background? Research at Teach for America has yielded some compelling answers based on two decades of experience in high-poverty schools. Hear from the author of a new book on what breeds success: setting high goals for student achievement, involving families, planning each activity to support learning, tracking progress and adjusting plans, and honing instruction—while toiling to surmount all obstacles to academic performance.

11:15am - 12:30pm Driving School Change: One District’s Model

How do you maintain momentum as you revamp your public schools? Find out how the Mobile County Public School System uses a system of continuous improvement to help educate all its students. The Continuous School Improvement Cycle starts with creating school plans, and then uses data to inform planning, enhance instruction, and monitor student progress. The central office furnishes support to schools based upon information gathered during scheduled school visits, school data meetings, and quarterly school plan reviews.

11:15am - 12:30pm From Storm to Student Growth: Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary

In a neighborhood still struggling to recover from Hurricane Katrina, students at Bethune Elementary have no time to waste. But teachers there have spent a great deal of time learning their craft and can help all their students learn at high levels. Learn how the school’s close emphasis on early reading and math instruction, plus a commitment to offer students the best of New Orleans, yields top-notch results.

11:15am - 12:30pm Gearing up for College with AVID

High schools in 45 states get AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) to prepare students for higher ed. Based in San Diego, the AVID Center serves some 400,000 students in roughly 4,500 schools in 16 countries and territories. The program seeks to turn young people into active learners and critical thinkers to boost their chances for college entry and success. Learn about the program’s features: a site team comprising subject-area teachers, parents, tutors, and the AVID coordinator; a college-preparatory elective course; rigorous curriculum; and trained college tutors.

11:15am - 12:30pm Starting Young: The PreK-Third Strategy

How can educators carry kids from preschool learning through to third-grade achievement? With its PreK-3 strategy, New Jersey is closing achievement gaps in districts like Red Bank, where 91 percent of fourth-graders meet math standards and more than 77 percent are proficient readers. These stellar results stem from an aligned system of preschool and early primary curricula that is propelling the state toward equity in its schools. Hear about the PreK-3 movement among early educators, factors in the performance of New Jersey districts, and secrets of Red Bank’s success.

11:15am - 12:30pm The Art of Delegation: Turning Department Chairs Into Instructional Leaders

Given the size of most high schools, a principal can’t singlehandedly keep tabs on the quality of all the teaching. How to square that circle? John Capozzi, principal of Elmont Memorial Junior-Senior High School on New York’s Long Island, gives his answer: putting department chairs on the instructional leadership team in a way that counts. This approach builds high standards and challenging curricula within each subject area. At Elmont, a 2005 Dispelling the Myth Award winner, chairs coach department teachers and drive school improvement.

11:15am - 12:30pm Time=Learning: New School Schedules That Work

Can expanded learning time (ELT) help your students succeed? The After-School Corporation (TASC) says “Yes”. This New York-based nonprofit presents findings from a three-year study of its ELT program now piloting in ten NYC public schools. Early results show promise: Students improve behavior and achievement, principals align in-school and after-school learning, teachers seize chances to help students beyond class time, and families get involved. Come hear the lessons learned from this experiment and see how they might apply to your own schools.

2:30pm - 3:45pm Breaking Barriers: How to Help Black Males Achieve

As graduation rates plummet and dropout rates soar among male African-American teens, what can educators do to flip those trend lines? Learn how research on links between student resilience and school achievement can help you boost performance in your classroom or school. Hear about Success Highways, a classroom tool that helps teachers assess the social and emotional skills of their students—and their chances for academic success.

2:30pm - 3:40pm College Bound: Spotting and Closing Gaps

Are your students prepared for the college classroom? What can research teach us about the best ways to get them ready? The National Center for Educational Achievement (NCEA) will share its answers. By studying more than 550 schools in 20 states, NCEA has developed a framework of 15 core practices found in high-performing school systems. Session participants will learn more about what college and career readiness means, how to measure it, and, most of all, how to build education systems that prepare all students for college and beyond.

2:30pm - 3:45pm Leadership Lessons: A District’s Journey From Sanctions to Success

In less than three years, high-poverty Caldwell School District vaulted from federal sanctions to Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in nine out of ten schools. Hear this compelling turnaround story from a diverse corner of southern Idaho. Partnering with a university and the state department of education, the Caldwell Academy of Leadership trained principals how to set high goals for student achievement and retain the strongest staff.

2:30pm - 3:45pm Raising Reading Levels: Lessons From a High-Poverty High School

A decade ago, 20 percent of tenth-graders met state reading standards at Granger High School in Washington’s Yakima Valley. Thanks to former Principal Richard Esparza and his reading consultant, Will Roulston, that number nearly quadrupled in seven years. Learn about their secret weapon: “Second Shot Reading.” Required for students two grades behind in reading, this program uses dilemma-based stories as brief as one paragraph to build confidence and skill in fluency and comprehension.

2:30pm - 3:45pm Stopping “Summer Slide”: Summertime Learning That Counts

Want to boost academic achievement for low-income kids, who tend to tread water or lag behind peers in summer months? The Higher Achievement Program, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, has ideas. Find out about its Summer Academy, which moves beyond the usual remedial work to offer an advanced curriculum. It also trains its teachers to balance content and youth development.

2:30pm - 3:45pm Tough Calls: Sustaining Change in Hard Times

Guarding big gains in student achievement takes values and attitudes—along with knowledge and action—that a principal must convey relentlessly to staff and students. Budgets are just one part of what principals must confront, but they can test a school leader’s mettle. To guide a school through budget cuts requires a commitment to boost student learning, no matter what.

9:30am - 11:15am The Feds and Our Schools: Today’s Challenges, Tomorrow’s Policy

Targeted stimulus funds from the Education Department are raising hopes for meaningful reforms in schools nationwide. And as the Elementary and
Secondary Education Act heads toward reauthorization, people who care about school improvement are debating how federal policy can boost student
achievement and close achievement gaps. All of this adds up to an exciting time for educators and policymakers. Hear from Ed Trust staff on new federal policies to raise achievement, close gaps, and promote college and career-readiness for all students.