Nina Rees, Deputy Under Secretary for the Office of Innovation and Improvement, announced the details of the next National Charter Schools Conference today. The conference will be held on June 16-18th, 2004, in Miami, Florida.
The Department of Education will take a new, innovative approach to collecting ideas on topics that should be discussed at the National Charter Schools Conference. In the spirit of the grassroots effort of the charter school movement, the Department will be communicating directly with professionals in the field to gather their opinions of what issues and topics need to be addressed and how a national conference can best serve the charter school community.
"We are very excited about our plans for developing the 2004 National Charter Schools Conference. By gathering information from practitioners, managers, and community activists involved with charter schools, we will hear directly from those whom we strive to serve. That will allow us to tailor a conference to their specific needs." stated Nina Rees, Deputy Under Secretary Office of Innovation and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education.
To gather input from the field, conference topic surveys will be distributed to charter school operators, authorizers, and others across the nation. The survey will also be available for charter school professionals to fill out online at www.uscharterschools.org. As a result of the survey and six open meetings that will be held with charter school authorizers, operators and others in the profession, the Department will develop the conference agenda and identify presenters, panelists, and discussion group leaders.
The Department of Education will also be working with the Charter School Leadership Council in organizing the content of the conference. The Charter School Leadership Council (CSLC) is a coalition of diverse national organizations committed to expanding and improving the charter school movement in the United States. The eight organizations comprising the Council have vast experience in state and federal education policy and have active supporters, members, and partners across the nation, including grassroots advocates, local school board members and superintendents, and elected legislators and state education executives. The Charter School Leadership Council is made up of representatives in the charter community, which include the Black Alliance for Educational Options, The Center for Education Reform, Education Leaders Council, National Association of Charter School Authorizers, National Council of La Raza, Progressive Policy Institute, Thomas Fordham Foundation, and the National Charter School Alliance.
The National Conference Logistics Center in Norman, Oklahoma, will assist the Department of Education with conference logistics.
Additional information will be distributed and posted to www.uscharterschools.org as it becomes available.
For more information about the 2004 National Charter Schools Conference, please contact Talisa Samuel at the National Conference Logistics Center at 405-325-2846.