National Alliance Kicks Off #NCSC19 with Distinguished Speaker Sal Khan of Khan Academy and a Hall of Fame Induction

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Las Vegas, NV – The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (National Alliance) is proud to host the nation’s annual premier charter schools gathering — the National Charter Schools Conference. Today’s programming includes opening remarks from two Nevada legislators, Teresa Benitez-Thompson (Democrat) and Jill Tolles (Republican), members of the first majority-female state legislature in the nation, and sessions from a distinguished slate of speakers. Make sure to arrive on time as we have a celebrity guest you will not want to miss!

Today Sal Khan, founder of Khan Academy, will speak about Reimagining Education and his career dedicated to closing the global achievement gap. Khan Academy is a non-profit organization that provides a free, world-class education to anyone anywhere. The content and mastery learning platform has more than 71 million registered users from all over the world and has been localized into more than 30 languages.

“We are thrilled to welcome Sal Khan as a keynote speaker today,” said National Alliance president and CEO, Nina Rees. “As the only non-profit leader ever profiled on the cover of Forbes and recognized as one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential, Sal has accomplished unmatched work to create opportunities for children across the globe to access a free, high-quality education.”

The National Alliance is also excited to induct three leaders in education into the 2019 National Charter Schools Hall of Fame. This year’s first honoree – Fernando Zulueta, president of Academica — will share brief remarks about his career opening some of the nation’s best public charter schools.

In 1997 Fernando founded one of Florida’s first charter schools. Two years later he established Academica – a network that has grown to more than 180 charter schools serving approximately 90,000 students across the country. Academica’s schools have been recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools, ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s Best High Schools and are Great Schools College Success Award winners.

Featured sessions in today’s conference include:

Hacking the Future: Technology, Civics, and the Fate of the Free World
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Mandalay F

Speakers: Sal Khan, Khan Academy, Stefanie Sanford, College Board

Looking Ahead to 2020: Are Charter Schools a Republican or Democratic Ideal?
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Mandalay H

Speakers: Joel Benenson, Benenson Strategy Group, Mike Murphy, Revolution Agency and Romy Drucker, Walton Family Foundation

With Us, Not to Us: Community-Centered Reform
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Mandalay F

Speakers: Cassandra Anderson and Sekou Biddle, UNCF, Kenya Adjekum Bradshaw, The New Teacher Project, Tyler Lewis, The Leadership Conference Education Fund, Maya Martin, PAVE and Naomi Shelton, KIPP Foundation

Today’s programming will showcase three “Charter Talks” sessions — 15-minute impactful presentations with a story arc that shares a big idea, a tech demo, or delves into a hot topic. They include:

The Fight for the Best Public Charter Schools in the Nation
11:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Charter Talks Stage (Exhibit Hall)

Speaker: Cara Stillings Candal, Pioneer Institute

The Life and Times of an Independent Charter School Operator
11:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m., Charter Talks Stage (Exhibit Hall)

Speaker: India Ford, T-Squared Honors Academy

College for All: A Personal Odyssey
11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Charter Talks Stage (Exhibit Hall)

Speaker: Robert Lane, Southland College Prep High School

The general session and Charter Talks will be livestreamed on the National Alliance’s Facebook Page. All the times indicated above are in Pacific Time (PT). Every conference session will be hosted on level two of the Mandalay Bay South Convention Center.

About Public Charter Schools
Charter public schools are independent, public, and tuition-free schools that are given the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Since 2010, many research studies have found that students in charter schools do better in school than their traditional school peers. For example, one study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University found that charter schools do a better job teaching low income students, minority students, and students who are still learning English than traditional schools. Separate studies by the Center on Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research have found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, stay in college and have higher earnings in early adulthood.

About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit