National Conference of State Legislatures - The Forum for America's Ideas

2014 Legislative Summit

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014


7:30 AM to 1:15 PM

International Program

Minneapolis Convention Center Lower Level-L100ABC
  • NCSL Task Force On International Relations

7:30 AM -- 9:30 AM
International Attendee Registration
All badges will be distributed onsite.  Pick up your badge, registration materials and meeting program from the Registration Area in the Convention Center.

Note:  Registration is located at the Minneapolis Convention Center, Level 1 - Registration Lobby. 

8:15 AM -- 8:45 AM
Education Reform and Oversight Mechanisms Roundtable Briefing
Explore the substantive issue of education reform and the institutional oversight mechanisms within a legislature. Hear brief remarks from experts to set the stage for small group discussions on these timely topics.


  • Lee Posey, Senior Committee Director, NCSL
  • Ken Levine, Director, Sunset Advisory Commission, Texas Legislature

8:45 AM -- 11:30 AM
International Roundtable Discussions
Participate in small group discussions with U.S. state legislators and legislative staff on education and institutional issues of concern.  Network and exchange ideas by connecting with counterparts from around the world to gather diverse perspectives and solutions to common issues.

12:00 PM -- 1:15 PM 
International Attendee Luncheon
Hear from Lori Sturdevant, editorial writer and columnist for the Minneapolis Tribune.  She has written for more than 30 years on state government and politics and was lead Capitol reporter and a newsroom assignment editor before joining the editorial staff.  She has been the editor or co-author of eight books.  Her latest book is "Her Honor:  Rosalie Wahl and the Minnesota Women's Movement," released by the Minnesota Historical Society Press in 2014.

Welcome and Introductory Remarks:

  • The Honorable Sandra Pappas, Senate President, Minnesota


  • Lori Sturdevant, Editorial Writer and Columnist, StarTribune



7:30 AM to 1:00 PM

School Principals: A Lever for School Improvement (Invite Only)

Minneapolis Convention Center Level 2-200AB
Find out why school principals are key to improving schools and what state legislators can do to strengthen a pipeline of principals. This session is by invitation only.

Sponsored By: NCSL gratefully acknowledges The Wallace Foundation for supporting this seminar.

1:30 PM to 2:45 PM

General Session: A New Education Revolution

Minneapolis Convention Center Level 1-Auditorium
General Session

Sir Ken Robinson, international education leader, is an expert on creativity, education and the economy. His ideas to revolutionize - not just reform - education challenge conventional wisdom and inspire a whole new approach to our educational system. He believes we can transform education so creativity and individual talents flourish and our children can meet the future wisely.

Special Recognition:  Martin Sabo, former Minnesota House Speaker and a founder of NCSL, NCSL President 1976-1977

  • Presiding: 
  • Senator Bruce Starr, Oregon, NCSL President
  • Welcome:
  • Senate President Sandra Pappas, Minnesota 
  • Speaker Paul Thissen, Minnesota
  • Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, Minnesota
  • Prayer: 
  • Rabbi Marcia Zimmerman, Minnesota
  • National Anthem: 
  • Selena Brills, Minnesota


3:00 PM to 5:00 PM

The Future of Higher Education: Implications for States and Students

Minneapolis Convention Center Level 2-200ABIJ
  • NCSL Education Committee

Higher Education is dramatically changing. Students are increasingly older, take longer to finish their degrees, and often attend multiple institutions. New lucrative credentials and certificates are available as alternatives to the traditional four-year degree. And states are rethinking how they fund institutions and students and hold them accountable. Hear about the impacts and implications of this changing world of higher education and talk about innovative ways states are making college more accessible, affordable and flexible.

Book signing with Jeffrey Selingo to immediately follow session.

  • Facilitator:
  • Blake Johnson, Complete College America, Washington, D.C.
  • Demaree Michelau, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, Colorado
  • Jennifer Parks, Midwestern Higher Education Compact, Minnesota
  • Chris Rasmussen, Midwestern Higher Education Compact, Minnesota
  • Bruce Vandal, Complete College America, Washington, D.C.
  • Speaker:
  • Jeffrey Selingo, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


7:30 AM to 8:45 AM

Education Hot Topics Breakfast

Minneapolis Convention Center Level 2-200C
  • NCSL Education Committee
Take part in two opportunities for small-group discussion on hot topics, including education funding, education data, STEM-focused afterschool programs, digital learning, community schools, and equity and the achievement gap.

  • Panelist:
  • Mary Kingston Roche, Coalition for Community Schools, Washington, D.C.


10:30 AM to 11:45 AM

Federal Updates: Data Privacy and Waivers

Minneapolis Convention Center Level 2-200ABIJ
  • NCSL Education Committee
Hear updates on important federal education issues that impact state education reforms. Explore renewal and implementation concerns surrounding ESEA waivers issued by the U.S. Department of Education, and look at federal education data privacy requirements.

  • Speaker:
  • Deborah Delisle, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C.
  • Paige Kowalski, Data Quality Campaign, Washington, D.C.


11:45 AM to 12:30 PM

Education Committee Business Meeting

Minneapolis Convention Center Level 2-200ABIJ
  • NCSL Education Committee
Discuss policy directives and resolutions.


12:30 PM to 1:45 PM

Arts in Education & Workforce Lunch

Minneapolis Convention Center Level 2-200DEFG
  • NCSL Education Committee
  • NCSL Labor and Economic Development Committee
Turnaround Arts, a signature program of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, is demonstrating how arts education can have a dramatic impact in the country’s lowest-performing schools. Hear from members and staff of the President's Committee on the impact of the arts on often-ignored elements of reform – attendance, parent engagement, school climate, and other school turnaround indicators. Come learn about the role of the arts in shaping the lives and development of future generations, both in the classroom and in their careers.

  • Speaker:
  • Senator Richard J. Cohen, Member, President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, Minnesota
  • Rachel Goslins, Executive Director, President's Committee On the Arts and the Humanities, Washington, D.C.
  • Ron Gubitz, ReNEW Cultural Arts Academy, Louisiana
  • Yo-Yo Ma, Grammy award-winning cellist & Member, President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, Massachusetts
  • Narric Rome, Americans For the Arts, Washington, D.C.

Sponsored By: NCSL gratefully acknowledges Americans for the Arts for sponsoring this lunch.

2:00 PM to 3:15 PM

Charter School and Private Choice Accountability

Minneapolis Convention Center Level 2-200ABIJ
  • NCSL Education Committee
How do we create fair accountability policies for schools intended to be fundamentally unique from one another? Should we? Ensuring taxpayer money is being spent effectively and with positive academic effect while protecting autonomy and innovation in schools of choice is a difficult balancing act facing legislatures across the country. Hear about different approaches to accountability in both public and private school choice programs including how to measure performance and what to do with low-performing schools.

  • Presiding:
  • Todd Butterworth, Nevada Legislature
  • Moderator:
  • Richard Crandall, Former Arizona Senator, Crandall Corporate Dietitians, Utah
  • Panelist:
  • Michael Brickman, Thomas B. Fordham Institute, Washington, D.C.
  • Leigh Dingerson, Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University, Rhode Island
  • Dr. Lisa Grover, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, New Mexico
  • Leslie Hiner, Friedman Foundation For Educational Choice, Indiana


3:30 PM to 5:00 PM

Implementation of Common Core and Assessments: Lessons from the Trenches

Minneapolis Convention Center Level 2-200ABIJ
  • NCSL Education Committee
This year statehouses are ground zero for the nationwide debate over the new Common Core State Standards and assessments. A panel of legislators will reflect on these debates and share their expertise and lessons learned. Learn about NCSL's innovative Common Core legislation bill tracking tools and interactive roadmap designed to help you understand options for implementing the new standards and assessments.

  • Speaker:
  • Senator John W. Ford, Oklahoma
  • Representative Mary Stuart Gile, New Hampshire
  • Dennis Van Roekel, National Education Association, Washington, D.C.
  • Alison Wright, Teacher Leader, Kentucky

Thursday, August 21, 2014


7:30 AM to 8:45 AM

LESN Networking Breakfast

Minneapolis Convention Center Mezzanine Level-M100H
  • Legislative Education Staff Network
LESN is hosting a breakfast to discuss increasing education completion and attainment by improving K-12 and higher education alignment. This is open to legislative staff who work on education policy. Join your colleagues from around the country and come ready to talk about the strategies your state is using to improve alignment.

Sponsored By: NCSL gratefully acknowledges Strategy Labs for sponsoring this breakfast.

2:15 PM to 3:30 PM

Reading by Third Grade: It's Critical

Minneapolis Convention Center LEVEL 2-205ABCD
Kids who are behind in reading often never catch up and struggle to succeed in school and work. Explore a range of strategies to ensure every child can read by the end of third grade, including strengthening early learning, identification, remediation, and retention as a last resort.

  • Moderator:
  • Stephen M. Saland, New York, Past NCSL President
  • Panelist:
  • Cari Miller, Foundation For Excellence In Education, Florida
  • General Mark Musick, Major General, Air Force (Ret.), Mission: Readiness, Washington, D.C.
  • Ralph Smith, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Maryland