Forward 2010 Forum Brings Together Education Decision Makers to Discuss Innovation in Education

January 18, 2010 – Portland, Ore. – With education innovation at the top of the national legislative agenda, Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) is hosting Forward 2010, a two-day forum February 4-5, 2010 in Charlotte, N.C., to bring together education policy makers, researchers and practitioners to share ideas about these pressing issues.

“It is no secret that education is facing both tremendous hurdles as well as opportunities right now,” said Matt Chapman, President and CEO of NWEA. “This is an exciting time, but we need to get the right minds together to work through the issues and uncover real solutions, and we’re proud to be hosting an event that will accomplish that.”

In addition to keynotes from former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley and renowned author, speaker and agent for social change Kevin Carroll, several of the nation’s prominent education leaders will lead discussions and engage with attendees to better understand the issues that are affecting schools and students in all corners of the country.

Panelists include:

Jo Anderson Jr., Senior Advisor to the Secretary, U.S. Dept. of Education
John Wilson, Executive Director, National Education Association
Reg Leichty, Attorney, EducationCounsel
Valerie Harrison, Deputy Superintendent, Standard and Learning, South Carolina Dept. of Education
Chris Minnich, Director of Standards, Council of Chief State School Officers
Patty Sullivan, Director, American Federation of Teachers
Malbert Smith, President, Metametrics, Inc.
John Kraman, Associate Director of Research, Achieve, Inc.
Baron Rodriguez, Director of State Data Systems, Data Quality Campaign (DQC)
J. Alvin Wilbanks, Superintendent of Gwinnett County Public Schools, Georgia
Jim Angermeyr, Director of Research and Evaluation, Bloomington Public Schools, Minnesota
Vance Randall, Professor of Education Leadership, Brigham Young University
Tom Pritchard, Director of Assessment, Horry County School District, South Carolina
John Cronin, Director, Kingsbury Center at NWEA

Topics coovered include:

The Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
How do we collaborate to create a system that enables educators to ensure proficiency as well as growth in learning for every student? State education and policy leaders discuss the impact on their programs.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
What innovations will Race to the Top ultimately fund and how will they be sustained? What are the promising practices we want to advance to support student achievement and growth – and what are the assessments that can help us measure effectiveness?

Teacher accountability
What data points can best help inform high stakes decisions? Are we relying too heavily on some while ignoring others at our peril? Leaders from the two national teachers unions discuss. 

Common Core Standards
Will Common Core Standards move us toward a continuum of learning model that views cognitive development as a learning progression? Or lock us into a grade-level model? Panelists square off on the benefits and risks.

Statewide data systems
Baron Rodriguez from DQC will share the latest State Data Systems Report status with attendees. Although state data systems are tied to grant funding from the federal Race to the Top competition, many states struggle with how to develop and leverage this data to improve their school systems.

Turning around low-performing schools
Although a top priority for many states, there is plenty of confusion around the most effective ways to turn around low-performing schools. A controversial issue that strikes at the heart of the country’s education system, panelists will share first-hand experience as well as factual research.

Forward 2010 will include attendees from across the country and from all levels of educational leadership. We expect education researchers, policy makers, foundation program managers, reform agencies, charters, school board members, superintendents, special program directors, and assessment and evaluation directors.

NWEA is uniquely qualified to facilitate Forward 2010 because the organization encompasses realms of policy, research and practice through advocacy work, extensive research and comprehensive assessment offerings. For more information about the conference, topics that will be covered, and to register, visit /forward.

About Northwest Evaluation Association

Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) is a global not-for-profit educational services organization located in Portland, Oregon. Since 1977, NWEA has partnered with more than 3500 educational organizations to provide research-based adaptive assessments, professional development and research services. NWEA’s mission is partnering to help all kids learn.

NWEA’s Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP) computer adaptive assessments leverage more than 30 years of research into student growth and yield unparalleled data that informs decision making at every level, from classroom to boardroom. The Kingsbury Center, NWEA’s research arm, uses the organization’s Growth Research Database to drive original research with universities, foundations and policy makers. Learn more at