Articles in the Conferences and Events category

Rethinking collective bargaining to focus on student achievement

Anne L. Bryant, the National School Board Association’s (NSBA) Executive Director, is part of National Journal’s expert blog on education, and posted a response to this week’s question on labor-management collaboration following attending the Conference on Labor-Management Collaboration.  NSBA was a partner in the conference and Bryant served as a panelist.

Bryant noted, “The collective bargaining process must be focused on promoting our most important educational priority — increasing student achievement.”

Regarding the conference, Bryant said, “we were exposed to 12 school districts with various styles of innovation. All these districts had ‘collaboration’ as their strategy and outcome. Two great examples that should be applauded are Hillsborough County’s (Fla.) and Montgomery County’s (Md.) efforts to advance the effectiveness of their education professionals. Going forward, we need to find ways to replicate throughout the country these successful teacher compensation, incentive, and development models, while taking into account the local circumstances of every community.”

Check out Bryant’s entire National Journal posting.

Alexis Rice|February 25th, 2011|Categories: School Boards, Teachers, Conferences and Events, Student Achievement, NSBA Opinions and Analysis|

Watch live the Conference on Labor-Management Collaboration

Leaders from the National School Boards Association (NSBA) and state school boards associations are participating in the Conference on Labor-Management Collaboration, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, taking place in Denver today and tomorrow. At this first-of-its-kind conference, national and local school leaders will hear from other superintendents, school boards, and teacher union leaders who are working together to redefine the labor-management relationship in their communities.

Earl C. Rickman III, President of NSBA, and Anne L. Bryant, Executive Director of NSBA, will represent NSBA at this conference. Rickman also represents Michigan’s Mount Clemens Community School District Board of Education, which he serves as board president. Mount Clemens is one of the 150 school districts from across the country participating in the conference.

Bryant will be part of the session tomorrow on “Leading a Movement to Advance Student Achievement Through Labor-Management Collaboration” which will be featured below live from 2:15 – 3:15 PM EST.

Several leaders from state school boards associations will be represented at the conference, including Ken Delay, Executive Director, Colorado Association of School Boards; Randy Black, Director of Member Relations, Colorado Association of School Boards; Kelly B. Moyher, Senior Staff Attorney, Connecticut Association of Boards of Education; C. Ed Massey, Board Member, Boone County Board of Education in Kentucky and Secretary-Treasurer, NSBA; Carl Smith, Executive Director, Maryland Association of Boards of Education; Andy Sever, Director of Personal Services, Montana School Boards Association; Patrick Duncan, Senior Consultant/Negotiator Labor Relations, New Jersey School Boards Association; Van Keating, Director of Management Services, Ohio School Boards Association; and Timothy Duffy, Executive Director, Rhode Island Association of School Committees.

NSBA joins the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, the American Association of School Administrators, the Council of the Great City Schools, and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service as partners in this conference.

View live video streaming of the main sessions.

Schedule of Sessions Being Live Streamed:

February 15 4 – 4:30 pm EST
Welcome, Framing, and Overview
Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education

February 15 4:30 – 5:30 pm EST
The Principles in Action: Structuring Labor-Management Collaboration for Student Success
The plenary will feature the CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools, the president of the Hillsborough (Florida) Classroom Teachers Association and the president of the Montgomery County (Maryland) Board of Education.

February 16 11:30 am – 12:30 pm EST
The Difference You Can Make: The Positive Impact of Reform From the Perspective of Students, Parents, Teachers and Principals
The plenary will feature participants from Denver and Douglas County (Colorado) Public Schools.

February 16 2:15 – 3:15 PM EST
Leading a Movement to Advance Student Achievement Through Labor-Management Collaboration
Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education
Anne L. Bryant, Executive Director, National School Boards Association
Michael Casserly, Executive Director, Council of the Great City Schools
George H. Cohen, Director, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Daniel A. Domenech, Executive Director, American Association of School Administrators
Dennis Van Roekel, President, National Education Association
Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers

Note: Video will only appear during the time of the live sessions.

Free Videos by Ustream.TV

Alexis Rice|February 15th, 2011|Categories: School Boards, Teachers, Conferences and Events, Rural Schools, Federal Programs, Multimedia and Webinars, Urban Schools, NSBA Opinions and Analysis|

Daniel Pink relates his motivation research to education

This month’s issue of American School Board Journal includes an interesting interview with author Daniel Pink.  Pink is renowned for his books detailing what motivates people in  business — and this interview relates his research and recommendations directly to the education world.

BoardBuzz was especially interested in his advice for school board members: spend as much time as possible with students, teachers, and administrators to understand the “real” truth, be as transparent as possible in all dealings, and don’t get overwhelmed by trying to change everything — instead just try to make a lot of small changes.

Pink will be the General Session speaker at NSBA‘s 2011 Annual Conference in San Francisco, on Sunday, April 10.

Barbara Moody|February 15th, 2011|Categories: School Boards, Conferences and Events, NSBA Publications, Student Achievement, NSBA Opinions and Analysis|

Focus on education leadership

We all hear a lot about leadership these days and there has been an increased focus on the special skills needed to lead in the challenging 21st century world. 

BoardBuzz was interested to see that renowned education author and speaker Douglas B. Reeves has a new book out that focuses on education leadership, Finding Your Leadership Focus: What Matters Most for Student Results.

According to the synopsis by Teachers College Press, this book takes a close look at one of the major challenges facing public schools today: the overload of programs and initiatives being implemented in districts across the country.  

According to Reeves, this overload taxes resources and hurts student performance. He identifies a very specific set of leadership practices that can lead the way to improved student achievement. With analysis of years of research data and the presentation of practical methods for implementing new strategies, this book seems like a timely addition to education reform discussion.

Reeves will be one of the featured speakers at the 2011 NSBA Annual Conference in San Francisco in the “Focus on Education” series.  In his topic, “Focus On…The Innovative Board: How Policymakers Nurture Learning, Teaching, and Leadership”, Reeves will share his insights on student achievement, teaching practices and leadership decisions with conference attendees on Monday, April 11.

Barbara Moody|December 15th, 2010|Categories: Teachers, Conferences and Events, Student Achievement, NSBA Opinions and Analysis|

Education headlines: NCLB student transfers overwhelm high-performing schools

Students transferring from failing schools are overwhelming successful schools in their areas, an unintended byproduct of the No Child Left Behind law, the Washington Post reports… At NSBA’s recent 2010 T+L Conference in Phoenix, Executive Director Anne L. Bryant discusses with eSchool News the annual survey on how technology improves student learning as well as her views on “Waiting for Superman” and other issues… The Miami school board is debating whether to rescind some breaks for developers who provide low-income housing, the Miami Herald reports… New Jersey’s lawmakers pass one of the toughest anti-bullying measures , requiring schools to develop anti-harassment programs, but some have concerns over whether its provisions infringe on constitutional rights, according to the Associated Press…. Also in the Washington Post, the Education Trust has released a new report on graduation rates at the nation’s fast-growing sector of for-profit higher education institutions, likening many to sub-prime lenders …

Joetta Sack-Min|November 24th, 2010|Categories: Conferences and Events, Announcements, Elementary and Secondary Education Act, School Board News|

Raising awareness of global child abuse

This Friday, November 19 is the 10th annual World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse, a recognition initiated in 2000 by the Women’s World Summit Foundation.  Many activities will take place around the world to increase awareness and educate people about this ongoing, global problem.

BoardBuzz recently read an inspirational memoir dealing with this difficult subject – and surprisingly, the book was not written by a woman, but by actor and former professional athlete Victor Rivas Rivers. In A Private Family Matter, the Cuban-born Rivers outlines his struggles to overcome his abusive childhood with the help of teachers, coaches and other families within his community. Rivers talks about his journey in this video from a speech given at the City Club of Cleveland:


Victor Rivas Rivers will be the National Hispanic Caucus Luncheon speaker on Monday, April 11 at the 2011 NSBA Annual Conference.

Barbara Moody|November 17th, 2010|Categories: Conferences and Events, Wellness, Multimedia and Webinars, Student Achievement, NSBA Opinions and Analysis|

Wes Moore shares his commitment to mentoring

Wes Moore is a youth advocate, Army combat veteran, business leader, and author. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from The Johns Hopkins University and became a Rhodes Scholar and later a White House Fellow and Special Assistant to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

In his recently published book, The Other Wes Moore, he tells how he overcame a troubled childhood to achieve success, while comparing his life to another person in his community with the same name, who ended up in a federal prison, serving a life sentence for murder.  Moore got to know the “other” Wes Moore through letters and prison visits, and found that they had much in common. BoardBuzz was struck by the parallel in these two men’s lives, and by the passion Moore shows in examining the roles education, mentoring and public service can play in the lives of American youth.

Take a look at this video, where Moore talks about his life, and the circumstances that put him on a positive path:

Wes Moore will share the inspirational story of his life and his passion for mentoring young people at the 2011 NSBA Annual Conference, where he will be the Fellowship Speaker on Sunday, April 10.

Barbara Moody|October 28th, 2010|Categories: Conferences and Events, Multimedia and Webinars, NSBA Opinions and Analysis|

T+L keynoter: Great ideas start slow

We love to tell stories about the “eureka” moments, the single instances when great idea occur. But most of those moments don’t really happen, according to author Stephen Berlin Johnson. Instead, most great discoveries are the result of what he called “the slow hunch.”

“Almost all great ideas have a longer prehistory,” said Johnson. “They come into the world as a half of an idea, an intimation, not a fully realized breakthrough.”

Johnson, author of six books, including the recently published Where Good Ideas Come From, was the speaker at the final general session of the T+L Conference on Oct. 21 in Phoenix.

Slow hunches can and should be nurtured, said Johnson. Google, for example, allows its engineers to spend 20 percent of their time on non-work-related interests. The company estimates that 50 percent of its new products come from this practice, called “innovation time off.”

Another misconception that we have about great ideas is that they occur in isolation with one individual. In fact, many people who have made great discoveries or scientific breakthroughs have collaborators. Those collaborators often are people from other disciplines or backgrounds.

“One implication of this is that you want to surround yourself with people from diverse backgrounds,” he said. “By exposing our own minds to other perspectives, we don’t just get more tolerant, we get more creative.”

Schools and the workplace need to make time for employees to connect across departments to form what Johnson called a “liquid network,” where different perspectives come together in “surprising ways.”

In his book, Everything Bad is Good for You, Johnson talked about how video games actually help children learn in ways that they wouldn’t otherwise. He told the story about introducing his 7-year-old nephew to Sim City, an online game where you create your own city.

When Johnson showed him an area of rundown factories and told him that he wasn’t happy with this region, the boy said, “I think you may need to lower your industrial tax rates.” Johnson said he was amazed, realizing that the game had taught complex ideas about tax incentives and industrial development without the boy realizing it.

“Games allow us to think in this truly connective way,” said Johnson. “We are not learning in isolation. We are seeing results as we are experiencing them. The best way to teach is through the immersive environment of games.”

NSBA’s Secretary/Treasurer, Ed Massey introduced Johnson. He appeared on stage with a Superman hat, making reference to the recent documentary, “Waiting for Superman.”

“You are the Supermen and Superwomen of public education,” he told the audience. “Thanks you for all that you do.”

Kathleen Vail|October 22nd, 2010|Categories: Conferences and Events, School Board News|

Students want a say in school technology decisions, survey finds

When considering your next moves in education technology, Julie Evans recommends you ask your vast, untapped resource – your students. “You have a valuable asset in your students,” said Evans, chief executive officer of Project Tomorrow.

Evans spoke at T+L session on what Project Tomorrow’s years of research in the Speak Up surveys reveals about what student attitudes and habits regarding technology, in and out of schools.

According to the project’s research, 82 percent of students would like to be more involved in school decision-making and share their ideas. Some of the ways they’d like to be more involved include:

  • Have classroom discussions.
  • Share ideas online with other students.
  • Be part of a club that researches, discusses, and presents ideas.
  • Be part of an advisory group for their principal.
  • Set up a blog or wiki to share ideas.
  • Make a presentation to the school board.

To see the results of Project Tomorrow’s annual Speak Up surveys of students, parents, and educators, go to

Kathleen Vail|October 21st, 2010|Categories: Conferences and Events, School Board News|

T+L keynoter: Take risks and learn from your mistakes

Everyone has had a student like Clint — a boy who seems to live on his own planet and who rarely follows directions. Richard Gerver, Wednesday’s keynote speaker at NSBA’s T+L Conference, met this boy when he was principal of a troubled U.K. elementary school.

Gerver was observing the boy’s class write a poem imagining what it was like to be a turtle — the completion of a lesson on empathy. The teacher was excellent, said Gerver, but she was frustrated with Clint because his poem instead voiced concern about war and ecological disaster in the future that would affect turtles and also the rest of the world.

Clint had clearly understood the concept of empathy, said Gerver, but his teacher was “under pressure to produce outcomes.” Much of Clint’s understanding of the world came from outside school — through the Internet and social media. “But in school, he was being called a failure because he couldn’t concentrate on one set outcome.”

Gerver, co-founder of the International Curriculum Foundation and former education adviser to Tony Blair, told the general session audience that many educators he’s encountered are passionate and committed to their jobs, but they’ve been trained to deliver systems.

“People had grown to resent the system, because they felt no real sense of empowerment,” Gerver said of the teachers at his former elementary school. “They knew what their students needed, but when they felt they had space to do something, it was taken away by another top down initiative.”

Governments and societies see education as a conveyer belt system, he said. Everyone joins the journey at the same stage. All are expected to be at the same stage, regardless of background, and have to come out at the same stage. Meanwhile, the government is telling you to be more creative.

“It’s like working in a factory that makes lemon meringue pie,” Gerver said. “The pie has to be the same — the ingredients are different, like children are different, but you must produce the same lemon meringue pie.”

Educators face challenges with using digital media, he said, which is designed around the essence of empowerment, because the education system works against empowerment. “We are working so hard to keep up — new technologies just get added to what we do.”

Digital technology can be a tool to boost the creativity of both adults and students, said Gerver, because it allows people to take risks.

How educators perceive risk is important, he said. “The greatest inhibitor is the perception of risk and how we avoid it as we get older. We close down our own possibilities. As we get older, we teach our children that’s the realm they have to live in, too.”

But in a digital world, students are taking risks all the time. When they die in a video game, they just start over, having learned something about the game, too. “You learn nothing new from getting something right,” he said. “You learn from mistakes — realization that you don’t know something.”

Gerver asked the audience: “How can we use technology to turn our children and educators into risk takers?”

NSBA’s Executive Director Anne L. Bryant, who introduced Gerver, welcomed the early morning crowd in Phoenix: “It’s great to see so many school leaders who are interested in learning how technology can help their districts do more with less.”

She continued: “Over the past year, I’ve spoken with many of your colleagues across the country and they have shared their challenges with me. Today’s public educators are expected to raise student achievement, reduce the achievement gap, prepare students for the global economy, and engage their students and communities, all with smaller budgets.”

The conference continues through today.

Kathleen Vail|October 21st, 2010|Categories: Conferences and Events, School Board News|
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