What’s Ahead for Pre-K-12: Beyond the 2016 Elections

What's Ahead for Pre-K-12 After the Elections

At this live event, policymakers, analysts, and Education Week journalists will examine how the elections will affect public education policy from the White House and Congress down to the state and local levels, even as educators scramble to get ready for the Every Student Succeeds Act to take full effect.

This event at the George Washington University’s Jack Morton Auditorium in Washington, D.C., presented by Education Week in partnership with the university’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development, will feature incisive analysis and one-on-one discussions with policymakers and high-profile speakers on the path forward for K-12 policy in the wake of the 2016 elections.


Dec. 1, 2016
1 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET

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Thank you to those who joined us for "What's Ahead for Pre-K-12 After the Elections."
Video from the event is below.

Panel: At the Helm: Who's Calling the Shots on Education Policy?

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Introductions and Panel: The Pulse of the Electorate With Lara Brown

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Panel: View From the Bridge: Policy Leaders Weigh In

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Panel: Advocates' Crystal Ball

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Panel: "What's Ahead for Pre-K-12 as a New Team Takes the Field"

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Capstone Keynote: "Beyond the Elections: Politics, Policy, and Education"

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What's Ahead for Pre-K-12 After the Elections (Full)

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ESSA and More: What's Next for Pre-K-12

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  • 1 p.m. to 1:20 p.m. | Event Registration and Check-in
  • 1:20 to 1:30 p.m. | Welcome and Introductions
    Michael Feuer, Dean, the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development
    Michele Givens, President and CEO, Editorial Projects in Education
  • 1:30 to 2:00 p.m. | The Pulse of the Electorate with Lara Brown
    Moderated by Lisa Stark, Correspondent, Education Week
    Using a wide, national lens informed by up-to-date data, Lara Brown, Interim Director and Associate Professor of The Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University, identifies what was on voters’ minds this year, with a particular focus on equity and domestic issues.
  • 2:00 to 2:30 p.m. | At the Helm: Who’s Calling the Shots on Education Policy?
    Moderated by Kavitha Cardoza, Correspondent, Education Week
    Education Week government and politics reporters discuss who now has their hands on the wheel of K-12 policy and where they’re likely to steer implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act and other key issues.
    Daarel Burnette II, Staff Writer, Education Week
    Alyson Klein, Assistant Editor, Education Week
    Andrew Ujifusa, Assistant Editor, Education Week
  • 2:30 to 3:00 p.m. | Advocates’ Crystal Ball
    Moderated by Andrew Ujifusa
    Leaders of advocacy groups representing key education stakeholders on the national scene outline how their priorities are affected by the new landscape in Washington and the states.
    Speakers include:
    Liz King, Director of Education Policy, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
    Carissa Moffat Miller, Deputy Executive Director, Council of Chief State School Officers
    Sasha Pudelski, Assistant Director, Policy & Advocacy, AASA, The School Superintendents Association
    Mary Cathryn Ricker, Executive Vice President, American Federation of Teachers
  • 3:00 to 3:20 p.m. | Break
  • 3:20 to 3:30 p.m. | ESSA and More: What’s Next for Pre-K-12
    Mark Bomster, Government and Politics Editor, Education Week
  • 3:30 to 4:00 p.m. | View From the Bridge: Policy Leaders Weigh In
    Moderated by Maria Voles Ferguson, Executive Director, Center on Education Policy
    Current state and federal officials share their views on the shifting education policy landscape, questions they have about the new administration, and how the new dynamic will play out as ESSA becomes a reality next year.
    Speakers include:
    Brenda Cassellius, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Education
    Laura E. Weeldreyer, Member, Maryland State Board of Education
  • 4:00 to 4:30 p.m. | Capstone Keynote: “Beyond the Elections: Politics, Policy, and Education”
    Kavitha Cardoza talks with Author and Journalist James Fallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic, and Michael Feuer about the political and social challenges in store for education policy in the wake of this year's contentious elections.
  • 4:30 to 5:00 p.m. | “What’s Ahead for Pre-K-12 as A New Team Takes the Field”
    Cecilia Muñoz, Assistant to the President, and Director, White House Domestic Policy Council, joins in conversation with Alyson Klein.

Keynote Speakers

Lara M. Brown
Interim Director and Associate Professor, The Graduate School of Political Management
George Washington University

Brown is the author of Jockeying for the American Presidency: The Political Opportunism of Aspirants, the first quantitative analysis of presidential hopefuls from 1796 to 2008. She has published research in edited volumes on politics and peer-review political science journals, such as American Politics Research and Presidential Studies Quarterly. She is a frequent contributor to the opinion blog Thomas Jefferson Street, which is hosted by U.S. News & World Report. A regular media presence serving as an expert on politics, elections, and governance, Brown has appeared on Al Jazeera English, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, among many other outlets.

James Fallows
National Correspondent
The Atlantic

Fallows has worked for The Atlantic for more than 25 years. He has written for the magazine on a wide range of topics, including national security policy, American politics, the development and impact of technology, economic trends and patterns, and U.S. relations with the Middle East, Asia, and other parts of the world.

Fallows was president of Harvard University's newspaper The Crimson. He has been an editor of The Washington Monthly and of Texas Monthly, and from 1977 to 1979 he served as President Jimmy Carter's chief speechwriter. His first book, National Defense, won the American Book Award in 1981; he has written seven others. He has worked as a software designer at Microsoft and from 1996 to 1998 he was the editor of U.S. News & World Report.

In the five years after the 9/11 attacks, Fallows was based in Washington and wrote a number of articles about the evolution of U.S. policies for dealing with terrorism and about the war in Iraq. One of these articles, "The Fifty First State?," won the National Magazine Award, and another, "Why Iraq has no Army," was a finalist.

Cecilia Muñoz
Assistant to the President, and
Director, White House Domestic Policy Council

Muñoz, who joined President Barack Obama's administration in 2009, coordinates the domestic policy making process in the White House. Prior to this role, she served as deputy assistant to the president and director of intergovernmental affairs, where she oversaw the administration's relationships with state and local governments.

Before joining the administration, Muñoz served as senior vice president for the Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation at the National Council of La Raza, the nation's largest Latino civil rights organization. She supervised the organization's policy staff covering issues including civil rights, employment, poverty, farmworker issues, education, health, housing, and immigration. Her particular area of expertise is immigration policy, which she covered at the organization for twenty years.

Muñoz formerly chaired the board of the Center for Community Change, served on the U.S. programs board of the Open Society Institute, as well as the board of directors of the Atlantic Philanthropies and the National Immigration Forum.


Mark W. Bomster
Government & Politics Editor
Education Week

Bomster edits Education Week's Government & Politics section, overseeing coverage of federal and state education policy, along with early-childhood education, special education, and school law.

Daarel Burnette II
Staff Writer
Education Week

Blog: State Edwatch

Daarel Burnette II is a staff writer for Education Week, covering education policy at the state level. He is the author of the blog State EdWatch.

Kavitha Cardoza
Education Week Video

Kavitha Cardoza reports on pre-K, K-12, and higher education issues for edweek.org and the PBS NewsHour.

Brenda Cassellius
Minnesota Department of Education

Since her appointment as Commissioner of Education in 2010, Cassellius has endeavored to enact comprehensive education reform that will benefit every child throughout Minnesota. Under her leadership, the Minnesota Department of Education implemented a better, fairer, more accurate and supportive accountability system for schools. A respected educator throughout her profession and across partisan lines, Commissioner Cassellius was critical in passing new alternative licensure, principal and teacher evaluation laws, as well as increased funding for PK-12 education, legislation ensuring a sharp, statewide focus on every child reading well by 3rd grade, and expanded access to quality early childhood education. She is a tireless advocate for equity in education, driven by a personal conviction that every single child throughout Minnesota has the opportunity to succeed.

Maria Voles Ferguson
Executive Director
Center on Education Policy

Maria Voles Ferguson is the Executive Director of the Center on Education Policy (CEP) at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., an independent nonprofit organization that studies and reports on the education policy and practice. Ferguson oversees all of the Center’s operations, outreach and research, and acts as chief fundraiser and spokesperson.

Before coming to the CEP, Ferguson served as the Vice President for Policy at the Alliance for Excellent Education, a nonprofit policy and advocacy organization in Washington, D.C. Before joining the Alliance, she served as Director of the National School Boards Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works in conjunction with the National School Boards Association to strengthen and support school board leadership in local communities. She served for three years as the Director of Field Operations for New American Schools. She was also a political appointee for the Clinton administration at the U.S. Department of Education, serving as the Director of Communication and Outreach Services for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. Ferguson began her career as a journalist, working for Cox Newspapers, the Associated Press, and U.S. News & World Report magazine.

Michael Feuer
The George Washington University's Graduate School of Education and Human Development

Feuer is Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development and Professor of Education Policy at the George Washington University, and President of the National Academy of Education. In 2014 President Obama appointed him to the National Board of Education Sciences. Feuer is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Educational Research Association, and co-chair of the Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education. He consults regularly to educational institutions and government in the US, Israel, Europe, and the Middle East. He recently released a new book called The Rising Price of Objectivity: Philanthropy, Government, and the Future of Education Research.

Michele Givens
President and CEO
Editorial Projects in Education


Givens is an experienced and strategically focused publishing executive who has helped lead the nonprofit media organization, best known for publishing Education Week, in a time of profound and often difficult change. She joined EPE as general manager in 2001 and formally received the concurrent title of publisher in 2009. In June 2016, the Editorial Projects in Education Board of Trustees announced her appointment to succeed her longtime colleague Virginia B. Edwards as the organization’s president and CEO, effective August 1, 2016. She serves on the board of directors of the Center for Teaching Quality and is a member of the National Press Club.

Alyson Klein
Assistant Editor
Education Week

Blog: Politics K-12

Klein is Education Week's lead federal policy reporter with primary responsibility for the U.S. Department of Education, the White House, and other executive agencies.

Liz King
Director of Education Policy
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund @civilrightsorg

King currently serves as Director of Education Policy for The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights—a coalition of more than 200 national organizations working to promote and protect the civil and human rights of everyone in the United States—and The Leadership Conference Education Fund. She leads the organizations’ policy work around educational equity for all students. In 2015 she helped direct civil rights advocacy on the Every Student Succeeds Act, and served as a negotiator on behalf of the civil rights community during the ESSA negotiated rulemaking process.

Prior to her current role, King served as a Senior Policy Associate for Education at the Children’s Defense Fund, and before that was legislative assistant and legislative director for U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., where she was primarily responsible for education and health policy. King began her education career as a middle school teacher.

Carissa Moffat Miller
Deputy Executive Director
Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)

Miller previously served as Deputy Superintendent of the 21st Century Classroom Division at the Idaho State Department of Education, overseeing all assessment, accountability, content and school choice programs. From 2003–2005, she worked for the Idaho State Board of Education, overseeing assessment and accountability during the initial deployment of statewide online testing. Miller has served in numerous leadership positions, including co-chair of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Executive Committee and chair of the Education Information Management Advisory Consortium. Miller holds a doctorate in education with an emphasis in quantitative research from the University of Idaho.

Sasha Pudelski
Assistant Director, Policy & Advocacy
AASA, The School Superintendents Association

Pudelski joined the AASA Public Policy staff in 2010. As part of the advocacy team, she helps represent AASA's advocacy priorities on Capitol Hill, including special education, career and technical education, education in rural schools, school safety and climate policy, and issues affecting English Language Learners and foster and homeless students. Pudelski monitors, evaluates and influences the legislative and regulatory actions of the federal government and serves as a resource to AASA members regarding legislative matters. Prior to joining AASA, Pudelski was the legislative director for the Secular Coalition for America and a writer and researcher at Congressional Quarterly.

Mary Cathryn Ricker
Executive Vice President
American Federation of Teachers

Ricker was elected executive vice president of the American Federation of Teachers in July 2014. She served as president of the Saint Paul, Minn., Federation of Teachers from 2005 to 2014, as an AFT vice president since 2012, and a member of the AFT K-12 Teachers program and policy council 2006-14. A native of Hibbing, Minn., Ricker has taught in classrooms in St. Cloud and Saint Paul, Minn.; Camas, Wash.; and Seoul, South Korea. In addition to being a National Board Certified middle school English teacher, Ricker also serves on the boards of NBPTS and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

Lisa Stark
Education Week

Stark reports on pre-K, K-12, and higher education issues for edweek.org and the PBS NewsHour.

Andrew Ujifusa
Assistant Editor
Education Week

Blog: Politics K-12

Ujifusa is Education Week’s lead congressional reporter. His coverage also includes the U.S. Department of Education, other federal agencies, and federal education policy.

Laura E. Weeldreyer
Maryland State Board of Education
(Baltimore City, Term 2015–2019)

Weeldreyer serves as the chief program officer at Johns Hopkins University's Talent Development Secondary, a national partner to secondary school reform based on the research of Dr. Robert Balfanz, and a senior fellow at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Educational Policy. Weeldreyer leads the national Talent Development team and all organizational growth and development initiatives. She worked nationally on a variety of education reform projects with school systems, state departments of education, and non-profit organizations. Her recent projects include the design and implementation of new systems for principal and teacher evaluation with Race to the Top states, support for the implementation of performance management routines in turnaround schools in the state of Virginia, the development of a collaborative performance framework for school accountability and support in Shelby County, Tennessee, and the use of data and performance management to support innovation and improvement with educator preparation programs. Weeldreyer is a member of the Maryland State Board of Education until her term concludes in 2019.

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