2019 National Charter Schools Conference Wraps Up with Keynote Address by Clifton Taulbert

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Las Vegas, NV— The nation's premiere public charter schools conference has brought more than 5,000 educators, school leaders, policymakers, charter support organizations and advocates to Las Vegas, NV over the last three days. The 19th annual event has included daily keynote speeches from world-renowned education leaders, 135+ breakout sessions, and 275+ exhibitors.

The conference ends with a keynote address by Clifton Taulbert, who will speak to the importance of building our schools as communities of character and strength. Author Clifton Taulbert is recognized from the United States to South Africa to Australia. His first book, Once Upon A Time When We Were Colored, became a requested gift for Nelson Mandela upon his release from prison. He has since written fourteen books and produced a major motion picture. He is a Pulitzer nominee, business owner and an international lecturer.

“We are thrilled to end the 2019 National Charter Schools Conference (NCSC) with a keynote by Clifton Taulbert, who will remind us about the important role that our schools play in developing our students’ characters,” said National Alliance president and CEO, Nina Rees. “This year’s NCSC gathering gave us an opportunity to meet with some of our movement’s most inspiring advocates who are reimagining education on behalf of the 3.2 million public school students we serve. I am already excited for our next convening at #NCSC20 in Orlando, and I’m looking forward to the steps charter school leaders will take to improve their classrooms and schools every day in between now and then.”

The day will conclude with the final two 2019 additions to the National Charter School Hall of Fame: Dr. Margaret Fortune, president and CEO of Fortune School of Education and Joe Nathan, director of the Center for School Change. Dr. Margaret Fortune is a career-long charter school pioneer and advocate. In 2010 she launched a network of charter schools in Sacramento and San Bernardino with the mission to close the African American achievement gap. She also operates the Rex & Margaret Fortune School of Education, a graduate school that credentials educators for more than 50 public school systems with the goal of addressing California’s teacher shortage by producing quality, diverse teachers in high-need subject areas. Joe Nathan created the first-ever state CSO in Minnesota, and helped write several major laws, including Post Secondary Options and the nation’s first charter school law. He has written two books named “must read” by the American School Board journal, along with a third, and edited a fourth.

Featured sessions in today’s conference include:

Using Charter Schools to Support Student Activism, Voice and Choice
10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m., Breakers I/J

This session will share the experiences of the Mastery Charter School - Shoemaker Campus where students’ positive racial identity was elevated and ultimately led to student activism, agency, voice and community involvement.
Speaker: Sharif El-Mekki, Mastery Charter School – Shoemaker Campus

What are the Enabling Conditions Required to Ensure Equity for Students with Disabilities
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Lagoon L

To move the needle, we must accept that supporting students with disabilities requires cross-stakeholder investment. With a shortage of special educators, we need to maximize resources and build capacity among all school staff. This panel moves us beyond buzzwords to focus on delivering results.
Speakers: Toni Barton, Relay Graduate School of Education, Shannon Hodge, Kingsman Academy Public Charter School, Megan Ohlssen, National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools, Sahba Rohani, Community Roots Charter School, and Aqua Stovall, First Line Schools New Orleans

National Charter Schools Conference 2019 is built for attendees to return to their communities with stronger networks, new mentors, world-class best practices to navigate school challenges, ideas to improve their school systems and a reinvigorated passion for charter schools that goes beyond the classroom.

The 2020 National Charter Schools Conference will be held in Orlando, FL, June 21 – June 24. 

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 www.publiccharters.org.