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Driving Dramatic School Improvement: Strategies for Turning Around Our Nation’s Failing School

Date: Monday, January 11, 2010
Location: Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center, 326 Galvez Street, Stanford University
(For information about directions and parking, including a map, please click here.)

Agenda (subject to change)

7:30-8:15
Registration and breakfast

8:15-8:30
Welcoming Remarks
Regina Ridley, Publishing Director, Stanford Social Innovation Review
Eva Nico, Director, FSG Social Impact Advisors

8:30-9:15
Keynote Address: Tackling the Turnaround Challenge
Paul Pastorek, State Superintendent, Louisiana Department of Education
Andrés Alonso, Chief Executive Officer, Baltimore City Public Schools
Moderator: Jordan Meranus, Partner, NewSchools Venture Fund
This session will explore the roles of states and districts in the turnaround movement.

9:15-10:15
Plenary: The School Turnaround Landscape
Jeff Kutash, Managing Director, FSG Social Impact Advisors
Eva Nico, Director, FSG Social Impact Advisors
This session will map out the school turnaround landscape and frame key issues and challenges. There will be a brief presentation followed by structured group discussions focused on key issues in the field: human capital, policy, measurement, and state/district/operator capacity.

10:15-10:45
Break

10:45-12:00
Concurrent Breakout Sessions

A Highly Effective Leader in Every School: Finding, Developing, and Supporting Turnaround Principals
(This session is repeated in the afternoon.)
All turnaround strategies call for a strong leader in every school. Participants will engage in identifying key challenges and potential solutions to sourcing and supporting high-quality principals who can succeed in turnaround situations. 

Four Paths Forward: Choosing Among the Turnaround Models
(This session is repeated in the afternoon.)
This session will explore the four federally defined turnaround models—restart, closure, transformation, and turnaround—and the conditions that determine the choice of models, their success in implementation and a state and district’s ability to pursue each model at scale.

Turnaround Teachers: Human Capital Management for Turnaround Schools
Turnaround schools and school systems typically lack the human capital management practices—performance measurement and evaluation systems, targeted professional development, hiring flexibility, autonomy over work rules, effective dismissal procedures, and compensation systems—necessary to build a “turnaround-ready” teaching staff and create the conditions that enable those teachers to succeed with high-needs students. This session will explore the key challenges that constrain human capital management efforts for turnaround schools, and the innovative approaches that school operators, districts, and teachers unions are taking to drive teacher performance.

12:00-1:15
Lunch and Table Discussions
Table hosts will share a specific practice and facilitate an interactive discussion around lessons learned and key challenges. 

Confirmed table hosts include:
Don Fraynd, Chicago Public Schools
Kenyatta Stansberry, Harper High School
Karla Baehr, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Matt Candler, Candler Consulting
Alan Coverstone, Office of Charter and Private Schools, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
Jennifer Henry, New Leaders for New Schools
Courtney Welsh, New York City Leadership Academy
Yvette Renteria,  Alliance Academy
Gina Warner, GNO After School Partnership
Kimi Kean, ACORN Woodland
George Szkapiak, John F. Kennedy High School, Chicago
Akima White, UIC Education Leadership Program
William Melsheimer, UIC Leadership Coach
Liz Dozier, Fenger High School, Chicago
Leah Hamilton, Carnegie Corporation of New York
Catlin Scott, Center on Education Policy

1:15-2:30
Concurrent Breakout Sessions

A Highly Effective Leader in Every School: Finding, Developing, and Supporting Turnaround Principals
(Repeat of morning session.)
All turnaround strategies call for a strong leader in every school. Participants will engage in identifying key challenges and potential solutions to sourcing and supporting high-quality principals who can succeed in turnaround situations.

Four Paths Forward: Choosing Among the Turnaround Models
(Repeat of morning session.)
This session will explore the four federally defined turnaround models—restart, closure, transformation, and turnaround—and the conditions that determine the choice of models, their success in implementation and a state and district’s ability to pursue each model at scale.

What is the End-Game? Defining and Measuring Success in Turnaround
While there is considerable agreement on how to identify a school in need of turnaround, much less clarity surrounds the issues of knowing when a school has been turned around, what progress looks like along the way, and how gains can be sustained. In this session, participants will hear from turnaround practitioners and will discuss the expectations for success and leading indicators of progress.

2:30-3:00
Break

3:00-4:00
Action Planning
Eva Nico, Director, FSG Social Impact Advisors
Richard Laine, Director of Education Programs, The Wallace Foundation
Participants will engage in small group structured discussions to develop an action agenda on key turnaround issues such as: building the human capital pipeline, developing the capacity of states and districts, building the scale of operators, and identifying and addressing knowledge gaps.

4:00-4:45
Keynote Address: Call to Action
Joanne Weiss, Director, Race to the Top, U.S. Department of Education
Introduction: Eric Nee, Managing Editor, Stanford Social Innovation Review
Moderator: Jeff Kutash, Managing Director, FSG Social Impact Advisors
Ms. Weiss will discuss key action steps needed to scale and sustain turnaround efforts, followed by Q&A from the audience (pre-submitted questions).

4:45-5:00
Concluding Remarks
Jeff Kutash, Managing Director, FSG Social Impact Advisors

5:00-6:00
Networking Reception

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