But How Do We Know What's Working?

The pace of technology adoption in schools is accelerating like a Formula 1 race car driven by teachers and administrators hungry for products that spur deeper engagement and better results for their students. But how can customers, product developers, and investors figure out what’s working? In this session we talk with entrepreneurs, investors and publishers about the latest ideas for defining efficacy and assessing the impact of education technology on student learning.

How Disruptive Can We Be: CCSS and the Future of Digital Learning

Jacob Schmookler, in Invention and Economic Growth, wrote that “the amount of invention is governed by the extent of the market.” Having common standards in over forty states certainly extends the market for K-12 education tools and systems. But will CCSS really lead to disruptive innovations in teaching and learning? How have developers responded thus far and just how different will schools and classrooms look 3, 5 or 10 years from now? This interactive session provides an opportunity to wrestle with these questions.

Teaching Literacy in the New World of CCSS

Raising academic expectations to meet the higher standards of Common Core and college readiness not only requires changes to curriculum, but also a shift in instructional practice. Nowhere is this shift more pronounced than in reading. This session features Doug Lemov, Managing Director at Uncommon Schools and the author of Teach Like a Champion, who discusses the key approaches to elevating the rigor of reading instruction, while showing some of these techniques in action through real-world classroom video. Doug is joined by other practitioners who provide commentary on Doug’s approach, while offering their own perspectives on the challenges of effectively implementing more rigorous instructional strategies at scale.

Transforming Trauma: Promoting Resilience

As we raise the bar for students in our schools, their need for social and emotional well-being and effective stress management skills increases markedly. Nurturing these skills is both important and challenging for teachers and school leaders working with students who have experienced trauma and toxic stress. In this session, Dr. Joyce Dorado will help us understand the neurobiology of stress and trauma, and how we can use this understanding to promote resilience and school success for all members of a school community. She will share strategies and interventions that can be implemented by teachers, administrators, and other school staff to transform stress and trauma into wellness and resilience. View the accompanying slideshow on the Summit 2014 website: If you're not able to access the Summit website, please email us at

Crossing Over Jordan: Building Relationships between Communities and Ed Reformers

In the debate over the CCSS, as in other efforts to even the odds for underserved students, education reformers have not won the hearts and minds of the families and communities they seek to serve. Last year’s report from the United Negro College Fund, “Done To Us Not With Us,” presents compelling data suggesting that education reformers share similar aspirations with parents and leaders in underserved communities, but have not built the trust or relationships needed to support true collaboration. In this session, we talk with leaders of faith communities and ed reformers about their efforts to create more honest relationships and explore how we can help build stronger coalitions on behalf of students.

Re-Imagining Urban School Districts

For 20 years, charter schools have played an increasingly important role in changing the conversation about what’s possible in public education. Charters have created scalable proof points of excellence in high-need communities and opened new pathways for parental choice and empowerment. Yet for all their success, charter schools are mostly seen as a marginal reform that exists in parallel to the “real” work going on in school districts. Under the direction of visionary leaders in a growing number of places around the country, charter schools are being brought into the center of reform strategies, not just to provide new options for some students, but to transform an entire public education system, based on a diverse portfolio of autonomous school operators. In this session we’ll talk with state and local leaders about their bold efforts to redesign public school systems using a “portfolio approach.”

Delivering on the Promise of Learning

As the emphasis of the edtech startup scene shifts from digital distribution platforms to content, a new wave of entrepreneurial teams is beginning to disrupt traditional publishers' hold on the education marketplace. One emerging area of interest for designers, educators, researchers and funders is the potential power of games to help students learn in new ways. At the same time, important questions remain about how to develop high quality learning games in the face of complex design and distribution challenges. Our proposed panel brings together three companies building cutting edge learning games for an interactive discussion moderated by co.lab, a newly launched learning games accelerator by NewSchools Venture Fund and Together, we would explore the importance of user feedback, methods of overcoming barriers to reaching students in and out of school, and the promise of games as a tool for motivating students of all ages and abilities. Questions How can we reach a future where children’s experiences of digital games are enriched with opportunities for academic and social development? How can entrepreneurs better use metrics and analytics to create engaging learning games? What are best practices for integrating feedback from students, parents and educators? How can edtech companies leverage design and distribution strategies that help their products reach more students, in and out of school? How can they balance the need for teaching and learning efficacy with the need to sustain and grow their own businesses?

How the Education Market Will Kill Your Innovation

What are parents, teachers, and school leaders seeking from education companies? What are the reasons behind these decisions? What are the lessons for how innovation happens in these markets? The speakers in this session offer their perspectives on these questions as well as other ideas on how entrepreneurs should bridge the disconnect between the demand and the supply side moving forward. Rob Mancabelli, BrightBytes (Moderator) Jay Garlapati, Bill Jackson, GreatSchools Marguerite Roza, Edunomics Lab at Georgetown University

The Parent Voice in Ed Reform

This session explores some of the difficult topics that parents and organizations working with parents are facing throughout the country. What does it mean for the progress of community action when the NAACP vocally opposes charter schools? Are we doing enough as an education reform movement to protect the charter schools that are successful in this country? What needs to happen to close more schools that are failing? How do we bridge the gap between the grassroots organizations and the rest of the education reform community? How do we sustain long-lasting change? The panelists identify the parts of the education reform advocacy movement that are disconnected and broken and offer solutions for how to fix it. Russlynn Ali, Emerson Collective (Moderator) Alberto Retana, Community Coalition Michael Lomax (United Negro College Fund) Karen Martinez (Alum Rock School District) Shawn Sprewer, St. Marcus Lutheran School