Ed Talks at this Year’s National Forum on Education Policy

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Modeled on the popular Ted Talks, Education Commission of the States incorporates from the heart, personal and inspirational Ed Talks throughout the three-day National Forum on Education Policy. Real experts who overcame challenges explain how they did it, leading audience members on their journeys and pointing out how public policy can change private lives.

We are excited to highlight the six Ed Talk speakers who will join us at this year’s National Forum on Education Policy, June 29 to July 1 in Washington, D.C.:

David Adkins, Executive Director and CEO of the Council of State Governments (CSG), will talk on state policy and the new Every Student Succeeds Act. A former Kansas legislator, Adkins’ gubernatorial appointments included the Kansas Advisory Group on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the Governor’s Task Force on Higher Education. Last year, Elsevier and the CSG released an analysis of each state’s research strengths and the potential implications for economic growth.

Fredi Lajvardi with Allan Cameron created a robotics program at Carl Hayden Community High School in Phoenix where roughly 80 percent of the students are below the poverty line. In 2004, the team won a national underwater robotics competition, defeating, among other prestigious universities, MIT.

Elizabeth “Liz” Huntley is a corporate defense litigator from Alabama, a motivational speaker, and author of “More Than A Bird.” The autobiography recounts her childhood, beginning with her mother’s suicide and the incarceration of her father, then sexual abuse by her uncle and finishes with enrollment at Auburn. Part of the book’s proceeds support efforts to advocate for expansion of Alabama’s voluntary pre-k program.

Evan Marwell, founder of Education Superhighway, discovered in 2011 that his daughter’s rich, private San Francisco school was depending on a single cable modem for Internet access and it hit him how bad things were for schools nationwide.  He read “Bold Endeavors” about 10 great infrastructure projects and saw a pattern: lack of awareness, a policy problem and scant expertise. Every project had a single person who kept at it. In the spread of Wi-Fi to the nation’s schools, that would be Marwell.

Shanna Peeples says she was a disc jockey, medical assistant, pet sitter and journalist before teaching chose her.  The 2015 National Teacher of the Year, she teaches at Palo Duro High School in Amarillo, Texas, spending half her day as an English teacher for students who tend to be poor and English language learners and the other half mentoring her colleagues.

Dana Goldstein, author of “The Teacher Wars: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession,” explains why teachers are, by and large, unable to magically make the American dream materialize for all children, rich and poor. In “Wars” she traces the history of “the most controversial profession in America,” beginning with the 1820s to standardized testing. She even offers some solutions.

Don’t miss these powerful Ed Talks at this year’s National Forum on Education Policy. Space is limited and is filling up fast so register today.

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