NPE 2015 Conference Schedule

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NPE 2015 Annual Conference
Current List of Panels & Keynotes

April 25 – 26, 2015

The Drake Hotel  140 E Walton Pl, Chicago, IL 60611


Saturday, April 25th

7:00 – 8:30                        Breakfast 

Paid as part of the meal plan (purchase through our website)


8:30 – 9:00                        Opening Keynote 

Jitu Brown, National Director of Journey for Justice & NPE Board and Tanaisa Brown, Secretary, Newark Student Union


9:10 – 10:25                        Saturday Session 1


Defending the Early Years: Nancy Carlsson-Paige and Geralyn Bywater McLaughlin

Media Wrangling; How to Be The Education News We Truly Need: Lucianna Sanson, Dr. James Arrington Miller Jr., and Cynthia Liu

Grassroots Parent Advocacy in Chicago: Cassie Creswell, Wendy Katten, Jennie Biggs, and Erica Clark

Resisting the Juggernaut; Strategies, Tactics, and Story-Sharing: Deborah Meier and Marjorie Larner

Student Panel: Tanaisa Brown, Kristin Towkaniuk, Amina Henderson, and Devonta Boston

Speak Up & Speak Out; A Guide to Building & Growing Alliances: Phyllis Bush, Dan Greenberg, Stephanie Keiles, and Donna Roof


10:35 – 11:50                        Saturday Session 2


We’re Not Alone; The International Effort to Form Coalitions Against The Attacks on Public Education: Deb Meier, Bob George, and Frank Adamson

Playing Chess with Charters, Vouchers, & Policies: April Jeffries, Larry Proffitt, Lu Howard, Lee Ann Pepper Nolan, Neshellda Johnson, Jennifer Navarre, and Mary Holden

Illegal Again; The Continuing Battle Over Ethnic Studies in the State of Arizona and the Tucson Unified School District: Adelita Grijalva, Andrew Walanski, and Robin Hiller

How To Effectively Debunk Myths In An Era Of Education Misinformation: Jeff Bryant moderating, Hilary Tone, and Diallo Brooks

High School Advocacy; Engaging Students, Teachers and Parents: Terri Harris, Lucianna Sanson, Julia Harris, and Tanaisa Brown

Perils of Ed Tech; Student Privacy and Corruption: Leonie Haimson, Cynthia Liu, Rachael Stickland, and Nathan Ringo

Teachers of Conscience: Susan DuFresne and Jia Lee


12:00 – 1:15                       Saturday Lunch

Join us for a special lunch featuring the ever popular and always clever EduShyster, Jennifer Berkshire, interviewing Peter Greene of Curmudgucation. (paid lunch $60; register here)


1:30 – 2:30                        Afternoon Keynote

Yong Zhao, author of Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Dragon? will deliver a speech titled “Fatal Attraction: America’s Suicidal Quest for Educational Excellence.”


2:45 – 4:00                        Saturday Session 3


Supporting High Quality Early Education Support Systems for Children and Families Through State Policies: Elaine Weiss, Joe Bishop, and Kevin Lindsey

A New Diverse Majority; Resourcing Our Schools to Serve All Students: Katherine Dunn, Bud Ferrillo, and Earl Watkins

Testing Resistance 1: Monty Neill, Tim Slekar, Bianca Tanis, Adell Cothorne, and Robin Hiller

On Writing and Publishing A Chronicle of Echoes: Mercedes Schneider

Emerging From the Invisible Cage; Safeguarding Authentic Teacher Voice: Amanda Koonlaba, Nancy Kunsman, Petra Schmid-Riggins, Ed.D., Joy Peters, and Anthony Cody

Educating Our Kids While We Fight Back: Mike Klonsky moderating, Fred Klonsky, Carlos Rosa, Jay Travis, and Larry Miller

The Battle Between Public School Districts and Private Business Enterprises: Mark B. Miller, Hon. Steve McCarter, Shanthi Gonzales, and Nathan G Mains

How Pennsylvania Teachers are Using People Power to Win: Lucy Harlow and Michael Lehmeir


4:10 – 5:25                        Saturday Session 4


Power of Ed Blogging: Jennifer Berkshire and Ruth Conniff moderating, Jose Vilson, Cynthia Liu, and Susan DuFresne

Testing Resistance 2: Monty NeillSarah Chambers, and Doug Selwyn

The Schoolhouse That Jeb Built; Breaking Down His Overhyped Education Reforms: Dr. Kevin Welner, Sen. Dwight Bullard Jr., Colleen Wood, and Franco Ripple

Community Schools: Gloria Johnson, Jitu Brown, Joann M. Weeks, and Bob Kronick

BATS and Social Justice: Kristin Vogel, Dr. Denisha Jones, and Aixa Rodriquez

Latino Caucus for Family Involvement In Opting Out Of The Test: Ruth Rodriguez and Gus Morales

Teacher Evaluation Begins with Valuing Teachers: Nancy Flanagan, Deb Meier, and Russ Walsh

Documentary Films for Social Change; Using Documentaries to Engage Communities and Inspire Informed Advocacy: Jim and Dawn O’Keeffe, and Shannon Puckett


5:25 – ?:??                        Saturday Evening

Dinner on your own, but meet in the lobby/bar to catch up with other attendees. 


7:30 to 9:30                     Movie Night at NPE!

Conference participants will have a chance to catch free previews of five documentaries focused on Education reform — and meet the filmmakers in person!

Vincent Precht – HOP: A Film About Reform And My Kid

Dawn O’Keeffe – Go Public

Bill Baykan – Public School Wars

Brian Malone – Education, Inc.

Shannon Puckett – Defies Measurement


Sunday, April 26th


7:00 – 9:00                        Breakfast

Paid as part of the meal plan (purchase through our website)


9:00am-10:15                   Sunday Session 5


Schools of Opportunity: Carol Burris and Dr. Kevin Welner

A Trip To The Jersey C.O.A.S.T; Community Organizing Around Standardized Test: Michael Kaminski, Jim Boice, Alex DeVicaris, Patrick Manahan, and Susan Cauldwell

The Impact of Race and Poverty on Education; What Parents Need To Know: Nathan Harris, Dora Taylor, and Julie Woestehoff

Social Justice Unionism; The What, Who and Why: Michelle Gunderson, Xian Franzinger Barrett, and UCORE activists

More Than a Score; Black Student Lives Matter: Jesse Hagopian

Knocking Down Barriers Together; College Access for All: Nicole Hurd moderating, Veniese Bradley-Mitchell, Claire Dennison, and Julie Pagliuco

How to Have Conversations with Teach for America Supporters: Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig, Katie Osgood, Jameson Brewer, Annie Tan, Chad Sommer, and Dr. Terica Butler


10:25 – 11:30                    Morning Keynote

Diane Ravitch in Conversation with AFT’s Randi Weingarten and NEA’s Lily Eskelsen García


11:40 – 12:55                    Sunday Session 6


Designing and Delivering Persuasive Assessment Reform Messages: Bob Schaeffer, Bianca Tanis, and Steve Baker

Imagineering Our Edu-Nation: Katie Lapham

BATS Pushing Back Against the Dismantling Of Special Education: Marla Kilfoyle, Terry Kalb, Melissa Tomlinson, and Lorri Gumanow

Teacher Education; Doing What Is Right When Everything Is Wrong: Tim Slekar, Jed Hopkins, Sheila Hopkins, Donna Vukelich-Selva, and Alexandra Miletta

Teach Writing Like A Writer: Peter Greene

Getting Your Book Published: Anthony Cody, John Kuhn, Jose Vilson, and Denny Taylor 

The Battle for Adult Education in California; “Workforce Preparation” vs. Community is Immunity: Kristen Pursley, Cynthia Eagleton, and Bruce Neuberger


1:05 – 1:45                    Sunday Closing Keynote and Call to Action

Chicago’s Very Own, Karen Lewis



Visit for more details and updates to the schedule.  You can also download the NPE Conference Schedule.

Inspired by a workshop and ready to take action now?  We will have space throughout the conference for you to brainstorm with other advocates and develop action plans to take back to your communities.