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Press Release

Monday, August 10, 2015

CCSSO Proposes SXSWedu Sessions

Contact:Olympia Meolaolympia.meola@ccsso.org202-336-7071

Washington, D.C. (August 10, 2015) -- Want to see how cool policy can be? Pick our panels.

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) proposed multiple sessions for the 2016 SXSWedu® Conference & Festival, ranging from personalized learning to digital resources to educator preparation.

We've proposed the content, now you need to vote. Public voting accounts for 30 percent of the selection formula. For more information about a session, or to vote for it, click on its title below. Voting runs Aug. 10 - Sept. 4.

The Potential Power of OER
States have pursued open educational resources (OER) for years, but the adoption of common, higher academic standards in 46 states unlocked new potential for resources and instructional materials to be shared broadly, across states and between educators.
This session will explore how state education agencies are creating systems to share digital instructional materials through OER and other partnerships.

How much is too much? Forum for Educator Feedback on Test Reduction
What's the appropriate balance of assessment in schools? How do we increase transparency of expectations for assessments? In this session, CCSSO will share its work helping state chiefs ensure student tests are of high quality, and necessary. The session will also solicit feedback from educators on what's working, what's not, and how states can design efficient, effective systems that work for teachers and students.

Mind the (Resource) Gap: Collaboration Across States
As today's education strategies focus on faster data systems with greater functionality than ever before, states struggle to reach multiple competing objectives while often facing diminishing resources.
IT leads in 10 state education agencies formed the Multi-State Technology Collaborative (MSTC), an innovative compact to leverage each other's work. They develop and swap effective solutions for their information and technology needs, as well as share expertise that will have the biggest impact in providing classroom support.

Building a Personalized Learning Teacher
As schools adopt competency-based, personalized or student-centered learning models that are more responsive to the needs of every child, teachers must interact in new ways with students, peers, and the broader community. Yet most educator development systems don't explicitly address the unique mindsets and skills that these teachers need.
In this interactive session, explore issues, share ideas, and learn about recent work to define these educator competencies in ways that system leaders can act upon.

Use Storytelling to Inform & Empower Policymaking
Across the country, communities and states are working to create next generation education systems that personalize learning experiences for students. States in the Innovation Lab Network take different policy pathways to personalized learning and competency-based education. This workshop explores the ways in which storytelling can inform and empower policymaking, and help others understand the impact of our policies on student learning. Leaders from Wisconsin and Colorado will facilitate an experiential workshop using video, interactive storytelling, and hands-on problem solving to guide participants through possible pathways to policy change.

Educators as Agents of Change: Collaborating with Educators for Systemic Impact
Educator engagement is a critical factor in successful implementation of reform. Today, as states around the country shift to more demanding college- and career-ready standards and higher expectations for educators, it is more important than ever to enable teachers to be involved in the development and refinement of policies that directly impact their daily work.
This session will provide an overview of what state education agencies are doing to elevate and engage with educators, while also showcasing strategies and tactics educators can use to lead change at the state level.

Embracing Tech to Teach CCSS and Improve Instruction
The Common Core offers educators across the nation the opportunity to collaborate and share best practices. This session will look at how teachers are using technology to enhance their practice and successfully teach Common Core. Panelists will share their unique strategies for integrating technology into the Common Core classroom, and provide audience members with strategies and tactics for teaching and improving practice in a Common Core world.

The Power of Student Voice in Today's Classroom
"When you bring student voice into your lesson, that is when you get a great leap of creativity and innovation," says 2015 National Teacher of the Year Shanna Peeples of Amarillo, Texas. In this session, Peeples will be joined by two of her former students to show how she has incorporated student voice into her instruction to the great benefit of her students - and her teaching practice. The conversation will foster new ideas and strategies all teachers can take back to their classroom.

Ultimate Personalized Learning Boot Camp
Educators across the nation are rethinking traditional classroom practices to prepare all students for success in college, career and life in the 21st century. Personalized learning, student-centered learning and competency based education are key concepts and reform models that are being explored and implemented in districts across various states. Effective technology systems to support and scale these models are few and far between. Through a process called the "Ultimate Personalized Boot Camp" educational leaders, teachers and stakeholders come together to design meaningful and costumized approaches to personalized and student- centered learning.

The ILN Performance Assessment Resource Bank
Educators and students need authentic forms of assessments that drive meaningful and engaging learning experiences for students that better prepare them to excel after graduation. The use of performance assessments shows great promise and has risen to the forefront of education policy discussions. Nevertheless, education leaders often struggle with how to best support educators in the implementation of performance assessments. The Innovation Lab Network Performance Assessment Resource Bank is a tool aimed at advancing the use of performance assessments in classrooms.
This session features Linda Darling-Hammond, of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education, and Carisa Barnes, of the Kearny High School of Digital Media and Design.

Are We Helping Teachers to Personalize Learning?*
As schools adopt competency-based, personalized, or student-centered learning models that are more responsive to the needs of every child, teachers must interact in new ways with students, peers, and the community.
But are educator development systems addressing the mindsets and skills that these teachers need? What models, processes, and resources are already in place to do so, and what are needed?
Field luminaries, including Charlotte Danielson and Mary-Dean Barringer, engage in friendly debate, share resources, and point to pathways forward.
*Not submitted by CCSSO, but features the ILN's work.

Scaling Innovation Through Four Lenses*
When does an innovation stop being new and become the "new normal"? How do projects and pilots grow into scale and stability? This session will explore these questions from a national, regional, state, and local level, from policy development to instructional strategies.
*Not submitted by CCSSO, but features the ILN's work.


The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.