White House Launches Nationwide Superintendent Summits

column | Policy and Government

White House Launches Nationwide Superintendent Summits

By Mary Jo Madda (Columnist)     Jan 15, 2015

White House Launches Nationwide Superintendent Summits

Back in the fall, U.S. district superintendents took big steps towards making their districts “future ready.” First, more than a thousand lent their signatures to the Future Ready Pledge, a list of blended learning stipulations that included transitioning to high-speed internet and providing all students with universal access to quality devices, among other top commitments. Then, 118 gathered on November 19 at a White House Future Ready Superintendents' Summit, referred to as the "ConnectED to the Future" convening, to connect and discuss the use and implementation of educational technology in American schools.

But there are more than 13,000 school districts and superintendents through the US. To continue spreading the message of the Future Ready Pledge, the U.S. Office of Educational Technology and the Department of Education (DOE) have teamed up with the DC-based Alliance for Excellent Education to today announce the locations and logistics of 12 regional Summits, where superintendents can connect and share best practices in seven key areas, including curriculum, budgeting and use of time.

“The Future Ready Schools Initiative isn’t just about technology,” said former governor, Bob Wise, now president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, in the official AEE press release. “It’s about a more personalized approach to teaching and learning that ensures that all students have the skills they need to succeed in college and a career. Future Ready is about empowering teachers and leaders, students to take charge of their own learning, and parents to be engaged and informed.”

All signees of the pledge are eligible to attend one of the dozen regional summits for free. (The regions are below.) There are also opportunities for travel scholarships for district teams who apply and demonstrate need.

Date Location
February 11–12 Raleigh, North Carolina
February 17–18 Vancouver, Washington
March 2–3 Baltimore, Maryland
March 26–27 Atlanta, Georgia
April 13–14 Phoenix, Arizona
April 21–22 Providence, Rhode Island
April 28–29 St. Louis, Missouri
May 4–5 San Francisco, California
June 11–12 Denver, Colorado
June 15–16 Chicago, Illinois
June 22–23 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
June 2015 (Date TBD) Dallas, Texas

Led by “trained facilitators,” the summits invite teams of four (a superintendent plus three others) from districts around the country. The AEE’s Tom Murray says he expects to see district Chief Technology Officers, Academic Officers, and/or other school administrators accompany their superintendents. Ultimately, he points out, it’s up to the superintendent to select his or her team of attendees.

Why will superintendents attend these events? Organizers and the White House has a list of benefits: In addition to opportunities to build out a professional learning network and to connect with other administrators, attendees will benefit from a host of resources contributed by more than 30 supporters and partners. (EdSurge is among the partners.) Attendees will also get access to expert support to build district digital learning plans, as well as access to a Future Ready Schools Leadership Network that will provide continuing support and tools to all pledge signers. The network will also be available to any superintendent who is unable to attend the Summits, but has signed the Future Ready pledge.

For more information, visit the Future Ready Schools site.

Editor's note: EdSurge supports the Future Ready Initiative

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