#EIE15 – Live-tweeting the 2015 National Summit on Education Reform

I am en route to Denver for the 2015 National Summit on Education Reform. I’ll be live-tweeting on Thursday and Friday. You can view the live-tweets below or just follow me on twitter and join in the conversation. @ethandemme

Preview of the 2015 National Summit on Education Reform


I am getting ready to attend the 2015 National Summit on Education Reform in Denver Colorado. The theme for this year’s summit is Onward and Upward: Operation Student Success. Here are some of the sessions I am looking forward to attending:

Strategy Session 1 – Turn and Face the Strain: Problem and Solutions

This session will explore how coming demographic changes – impending retirement of the Baby Boomers and a population boom of school-age children – will lead to challenges in state funding. I reviewed the report on this data a few months ago: click here to read the review.

Strategy Session 4 – Communicating Student Data Privacy: Challenges and Opportunities

This session will explore the challenge of student data privacy and provide guidance on forming thoughtful policies. I recently took Foundation for Excellence in Education’s online course on Data Privacy. For an overview of this and two other courses, click here.

Strategy Session 5 – 2015: The Year of Education Savings Accounts

“Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) started as an experiment in 2011 to offer educational choice and customization in Arizona. Since then, the program has grown. Florida passed an ESA program in 2013, and this year three more states created programs and lawmakers filed ESA bills in nearly two-dozen states. Nevada, the latest state to create an ESA program, will soon have all 450,000 public school students eligible to participate.” (from the session description)

For an overview of Education Savings Accounts (what they are, how they work), click here. To read about Nevada’s implementation of ESAs, click here.

I will be live-tweeting from the event so be sure to follow me: @ethandemme

EdPolicy Online Courses

Foundation_for_Excellence_in_EducationThe Foundation for Excellence in Education is a leading think-tank in the world of education reform. Leaders associated with the organization include former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education Joel Klein.

Recently, ExcelInEd launched three online courses – self-paced and free – on education policy. I have taken two of the three courses and benefited from the videos and assigned readings.

The first course was Securing Our Nation’s Future: The Urgent Need For Education Reform

A main reading resource: Turn and Face the Strain

The second class was Data Privacy? Get Schooled.

The third class is Communications Boot Camp Winning the Ed Reform Conversation

A main reading resource: 5 Essential Habits of the Network’s Top Communicators

All of these courses are highly informative and worth taking. Best of all,  these courses are student-paced so you can fit it around your schedule and get access to great information free of charge.


Democrat Candidates: Education Records


A recent post recent post highlighted statements and voting record on education (school choice and the role of parents) of GOP presidential candidates. If you haven’t read that post, you can read it by clicking here. Today, I want to look at the history/record of the Democrat presidential candidates as well as their personal history of education to see how they match (or don’t) with their statements.

Lincoln Chafee: is wary of charter schools [source] and one of his main advisers, Diane Ravitch, is a harsh critic of school choice education reform. [source] He attended elite prep schools, including Andover (where he was a schoolmate of Jeb Bush). He did his undergrad at Brown University but also attended Montana State University. His daughter Louisa also attended Brown University. [source]

Chafee is hard to pigeonhole but it seems that he is not a proponent of school choice and is most likely opposed to vouchers, charters schools, etc..

Hillary Clinton: is opposed to school vouchers but is supportive of charter school. [source] Clinton graduated from Maine South High School (public) and attended Wellesley College. Her daughter Chelsea attended the elite Sidwell Friends School and did her undergrad at Stanford University.

Clinton is a firm advocate for public schools but also supports parents and parental choice. Her perspective on school choice is mixed.

Martin O’Malley: As mayor of Maryland in 2014, he celebrated National School Choice Week. [source] He has supported charter schools and voucher systems. [source] He attended Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School and Gonzaga College High School (Catholic, private) and did his undergrad at The Catholic University of America. Two daughters of O’Malley attended Georgetown University and College of Charleston [source] (previously attending Notre Dame prep school.)

O’Malley remains a proponent of school choice despite the general opposition of his party to school choice initiatives.

Bernie Sanders: is not a proponent of school choice and has opposed vouchers. [source] He graduated high school from James Madison High School (public) before doing his undergrad at the University of Chicago.

Sanders is opposed to school choice initiatives.

Jim Webb: is not a proponent of school choice and opposes vouchers. [source] He did his undergrad at University of Southern California. Webb’s children attended public school. [source]

Webb has not engaged with education reform in general but is opposed to school choice initiatives.

GOP Primary: Trusting Parents In Education (School Choice)


The GOP isn’t necessarily seen as a united party at the moment. It’s hard to find a single issue where the 15 Republican presidential candidates actually agree. However, there is one message that is being consistently stated by candidates from Bush to Paul to Carson. That message has to do with education:


Take a look at what has been said. (Bold added for ephasis)

Jeb Bush: “The best solution to our nation’s failing educational system is empowering parents.” [Source]

Ben Carson: ““Education that is closest to home, local education, seems to be the most effective education. So I would tend to be much more in favor of education that is controlled at a state level and by local municipalities—and in which the parents have a much greater say about what is happening with their children.” [Source]

Chris Christie: ” I think parents are better suited to make decisions about their children’s education than union leaders.” [Source]

Ted Cruz: “Every parent has a right to educate his or her children.” [Source]

Carly Fiorina: ““Parents play incredibly important roles in a child’s education, and any successful education reform plan must embrace and encourage robust parental involvement.” [Source]

Jim Gilmore: ‘Parents should have options to home-school their children or perhaps get support in sending them to private school.’ [Source]

Lindsey Graham: “Education belongs in the hands of our parents, local officials, and states.” [Source]

Mike Huckabee: “I am steadfast in my belief that parents—parents—should ultimately decide the best venue for their children’s education.” [Source]

Bobby Jindal “Instead of the child following the dollars … we make the dollars follow the child … because we trust parents not bureaucrats to make the best decisions for our kids.” [Source]

John Kasich: “And there will be more. More school choice, giving families more control over how and where to educate their kids, including technical and vocational education.” [Source]

Rand Paul: “The responsibility for education ultimately lies with the parents and education is one of the greatest gifts parents can give their children. I believe that parents should be empowered to take an active role in their children’s education.” [Source]

George Pataki: ““One of the things I fought for but couldn’t get was an education tax credit, where we could take a part of our taxes and use it to help students to learn better— whether it was with additional support in the public system or paying for education outside in the private or parochial system.” [Source]

Rick Perry: “I see an education system that is the envy of the world, controlled by parents and the people according to the beliefs of the communities in which they live.” [Source]

Rick Santorum: “How about early parent intervention with their children? Instead of focusing on the child and getting them out of the home and into an educational setting, how about focusing on the parents and trying to get the parents more interested and involved? Parents are the first teacher.” [Source]

Marco Rubio: “We need to allow charter schools and other innovative schools to flourish. The key to that is empowering parents. Parents should be the ultimate decision makers on where their children go to school.” [Source]

Donald Trump: “And we’ve got to bring on the competition—open the schoolhouse doors and let parents choose the best school for their children.” [Source]

Scott Walker – I trust parents to make the right choice for their children and I want to help them have as many quality choices as possible.” [Source]

This post looked at the rhetoric of the candidates but do their actions support their rhetoric? My next post will look at the actions of these candidates to see how they compare to the statements.