2013 Highlights

Thousands of attendees gathered in Washington, DC for the 2013 National Charter Schools Conference. We’ve collected the best resources all in one place for you to explore:

2013 Keynote Speeches and Panel Discussion

Watch the videos from the 2013 conference:

Keynote and Featured Speakers from 2013

Our featured speakers shared their ideas about how charter schools can most effectively prepare students for success in college and their careers at the National Charter School Conference in July 2013. The conference-wide theme of “Delivering on the Dream” was in full effect as our special guests spoke about their experiences and inspired attendees to do everything they can to turn their own students’ dreams into reality.

Pitbull150pxArmando Christian Pérez
International Music Superstar Pitbull, SLAM Public Charter School
Miami-native Armando Pérez (Pitbull)—also known as “Mr. Worldwide” and “Mr. 305″—is a globally successful musician, performer, business entrepreneur, fashion icon and actor whose career sales exceed 5 million albums and 40 million singles worldwide. Pitbull has had #1 hits in more than 15 countries and his videos have been viewed more than 3 billion times. His world tour sold out concerts in Latin America, Canada and Europe, before bringing the party to the United States, Japan and Australia.

Mr. Pérez’s commercial success has solidified his influence in his hometown community. He is making the most of his position as a civic leader in Miami by opening the Sports Leadership and Management (SLAM) charter school for youth of the city. SLAM seeks to provide an in-depth educational and career-preparation program through “3 Rs”: rigor, relevance, and relationships. The school’s first cohort of students will begin classes this fall.

Keynote Panel: Educating Tomorrow’s Leaders (July 1, 2013)

This panel, moderated by Jane Pauley, brought together leaders from education, business, and government to discuss how our schools can deliver on the dream of educating tomorrow’s leaders. Their diverse perspectives led to an engaging and informative discussion on how we can capitalize on the successes of our best schools and continue improving to make sure that every child becomes college and career ready.

Pauley150pxJane Pauley
As one of broadcasting’s most respected journalists, Jane Pauley has been a familiar face on morning, daytime and primetime television for more than thirty years.

She served as the co-host of Today from 1976 to 1989, anchored Dateline NBC for eleven years, and in 2004 became the host of her own daytime program, The Jane Pauley Show. That same year, Pauley published her memoir, Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue, which became a New York Times bestseller. Pauley has received numerous Emmys and other awards, including the prestigious Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism and the Gracie Allen Award for Outstanding Achievement by American Women in Radio & Television. In 2009, in her first collaboration with AARP, she earned a public affairs Gracie for “Picking Up the Pieces,” a TV special about the families of soldiers returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Pauley is a highly regarded advocate for mental health, children’s health and education issues. She is a member of the board of the Children’s Health Fund and the Leadership Advisory Board of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT. She is active in public education reform as a board member of The Mind Trust.

BarrettHighResPhoto_150pxDr. Craig Barrett
“Investing in education and providing 21st century skills for students are fundamental to the nation’s continued growth and prosperity.” –- Dr. Barrett

A native of northern California, Dr. Craig Barrett has built a tremendously successful career in both in the academic and private sectors. Early in his life, he spent a number of years at Stanford as a student and then a faculty member, publishing dozens of technical papers and a textbook on materials science. Dr. Barrett left Stanford to join semiconductor manufacturer Intel in 1974 and steadily rose through the ranks to serve as the company’s president in 1997, CEO in 1998, and chairman of the board in 2005.

Dr. Barrett has also established himself as a strong voice for education reform. He has chaired and served on a number of boards and commissions dedicated to improving science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in the United States and around the world. Dr. Barrett currently chairs the board for BASIS, an organization that operates a number of high-performing charter schools in Arizona and Washington, DC.

LomaxHeadshotByTGS_150pxDr. Michael Lomax
“More than ever, students need a college education to compete in the 21st century economy. Almost every good-paying job and career path requires a college degree or post-high school education.” — Dr. Lomax

Dr. Michael Lomax has devoted his career to advancing educational opportunity for traditionally underrepresented students. Since 2004, he has served as the president and CEO of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), the largest private provider of scholarships to low-income students across the country. In his role, Dr. Lomax both oversees UNCF’s 400+ scholarship programs and provides support to the 39 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) that are members of the organization.

Dr. Lomax’s wide range of experience as an educator, administrator, advocate, and nonprofit executive leaves him in a strong position to both assess and how our country’s educational system shapes serves students across income levels. Dr. Lomax currently serves on a number of boards including that of Teach for America, the KIPP Foundation, and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

AnaPonce150pxAna Ponce
“Ana represents the growing number of extraordinary school leaders working to provide a transformational education that puts children in low-income communities on a different life trajectory than their socioeconomic background would predict.” — Forbes.com

Born in Mexico and raised in Los Angeles, Ana Ponce has dedicated her career to realizing dreams for youth in her MacArthur Park community. She serves as the CEO of Camino Nuevo Charter Academy (CNCA), a management organization that operates six public charter schools in and around the neighborhood. CNCA’s schools are committed to changing the math for low-income and immigrant students and supporting them in their path towards a college degree and a fulfilling career.

Originally from Mexico, Ana grew up in the neighborhood where her schools are located, and which she vowed to transform when she chose to teach. She kept her promise and built a network of schools in that community as a beacon of hope for all who dream that attaining educational success is a reality for immigrant children. In 2011, Forbes named her one of the “Seven most influential educators in the world.” Ana currently serves as the Secretary of the CCSA Board of Directors.

MargaretSpellings150pxMargaret Spellings
Margaret Spellings served as the eighth United States Secretary of Education from 2005 to 2009. After beginning her career crafting education policy in Texas, she advised George W. Bush as governor and later as president. In 2005, she became the second woman to lead the Department of Education. As Secretary, Spellings was a key figure in the implementation of the landmark 2001 No Child Left Behind legislation. She also launched what became known as the “Spellings Commission,” a high-powered governmental task force that researched and proposed a slate of changes to United States higher education policy.

After leaving the administration, she founded the public policy and strategic consulting firm Margaret Spellings & Company. Her firm bridges the gap between public and private sector leaders and works on behalf of high-impact organizations like the U.S Chamber of Commerce, ConnectEDU, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Spellings also serves as a senior advisor to the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and on a number of boards including that of America’s Promise Alliance, the Education Equality Project, and the Special Olympics.

State of the Movement (July 2, 2013)

nina_webNina Rees
Nina Rees is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Rees has over 20 years of experience in Washington, D.C., most recently as Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives for Knowledge Universe, a leading global education company with investments in early childhood education, before- and after-school programs and online instruction.

Prior to her tenure at KU, she served as the first Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement at the U.S. Department of Education. In this capacity, she oversaw the administration of 28 grant programs, supporting 1,300 projects and was responsible for spearheading innovative federal programs and policies such as school choice, charter schools, alternative routes to teacher certification and school leadership. She also helped coordinate the implementation of several provisions of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. Prior to joining the Education Department, Rees served as Deputy Assistant for Domestic Policy to Vice President Dick Cheney.

HowardFullerHoward Fuller
Howard Fuller is a distinguished professor of education and founder and director of the Institute for the Transformation of Learning at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Prior to this appointment, Fuller served as the superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools from 1991 to 1995.

Fuller is on the board of Milwaukee Charter School Advocates and is an inductee of the National Charter School Hall of Fame. Fuller has received numerous awards and recognition, including four honorary doctorate degrees: doctorate of humane letters from Carroll College; doctorate of laws from Marian College; doctorate of business and economics from Milwaukee School of Engineering; doctorate of humane letters from Edgewood College.

He is the chair of the board of CEO Leadership Academy and the chair of the board of the Black Alliance for Educational Options. He serves on the board of directors of Quest-Milwaukee, Pearls for Teen Girls and Partners for Developing Futures. He also is a member of the advisory boards for the National Association of Charter School Authorizers and the Big Picture Company.

Keynote Address: Delivering on the Dream (July 2, 2013)

ArneDuncan150pxArne Duncan
Arne Duncan is the ninth U.S. secretary of education. He has served in this post since his confirmation by the U.S. Senate on Jan. 20, 2009, following his nomination by President Barack Obama. Duncan’s tenure as secretary has been marked by a number of significant accomplishments on behalf of American students and teachers. He helped to secure congressional support for President Obama’s investments in education, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s $100 billion to fund 325,000 teaching jobs, increases in Pell grants, reform efforts such as Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation, and interventions in low-performing schools.

Before becoming secretary of education, Duncan served as the chief executive officer of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), a position he held from June 2001 through December 2008. In that time, he won praise for uniting education reformers, teachers, principals and business stakeholders behind an aggressive education reform agenda that included opening more than 100 new schools, expanding after-school and summer learning programs, closing down underperforming schools, increasing early childhood and college access, dramatically boosting the caliber of teachers, and building public-private partnerships around a variety of education initiatives.

joel-kleinJoel Klein
“What I can do is create the opportunities. And that’s what I think we have done.” — Joel Klein

Joel Klein, CEO of Amplify, is an education visionary and proven leader of change. Prior to Amplify, Joel was Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, where he oversaw a system of 1.1 million students and 136,000 employees. While there he led system-wide transformations that resulted in significant increases in student performance. Under Joel’s leadership, high-school graduation rates in the City rose 20 points – a more than 40% increase.

A graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, Klein has built a wildly successful career across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. In addition to his highly regarded tenure as Chancellor in New York City, he has served as a US Assistant Attorney General, legal counsel in the White House, a Supreme Court clerk, and most recently as an executive vice president for News Corporation.

Closing Session (July 3, 2013)

AmandaRipley_150pxAmanda Ripley
Amanda Ripley is an award-winning author and investigative journalist. She currently serves as a Bernard L. Schwartz Fellow at the nonpartisan New America Foundation where she has written several recent feature stories about school reform, kids, and teachers. Ripley has built up an impressive body of work over the course of her career including a dozen cover stories for Time, features for The Atlantic and a variety of other leading publications, and her upcoming book The Smartest Kids in the World.

In addition to writing, Ripley has briefed at the Pentagon, the Senate, the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, the Peace Corps and FEMA. She will draw on both her storytelling and public policy expertise in our brand new Closing Session this summer. We’re excited to have her and know that hearing her take on the charter school movement will be a great way to wrap up this year’s National Charter Schools Conference.

Hear from Our Speakers

Dr. Barrett on Education
Amanda Ripley at PopTech
Joel Klein, Charter Schools HOF