Be sure to check out the SXSWedu Policy Forum, produced in partnership with The Texas Tribune, Monday and Tuesday, March 4-5, 2013 in Salon B of the Hilton Austin Downtown during the 2013 SXSWedu Conference & Festival.
Monday, March 4
Higher and K-12 Education in the 83rd Legislature
Alma Allen (Texas House of Representatives - State Rep)
Dan Branch (Texas House of Representatives - State Rep)
Dan Patrick (Texas Senate - Senator)
Kel Seliger (Texas Senate - Senate Higher Education Committee Chairman)
Education leaders in the House and Senate dissect the major policy battles of the ongoing legislative session. Panel moderated by Jim Henson, Texas Politics Project.
School Safety: The Great Debate
Barbara Beto (Texas PTA - Legislative Action Chair)
Jason Villalba (State Representative)
Thomas Ratliff (Ratliff Company)
Victoria Calder (Texas School Safety Center - Director)
Amid a flurry of post-Sandy Hook school safety measures at the Legislature, many school districts are reevaluating their security policies at the local level, including whether to allow their employees to carry concealed handguns. What options do districts have to keep students safe — and what options should they have? Panel moderated by Morgan Smith, The Texas Tribune.
Education Chief Confidential
Rod Paige (US Department of Education - Former U.S. Secretary of Education)
Jim Nelson (AVID Center - Executive Director)
Past Secretary of Education Rod Paige and past Texas Commissioner of Education Jim Nelson share their thoughts on state and federal education policy from No Child Left Behind to STAAR. Panel moderated by Abby Rapport, The American Prospect.
Tuesday, March 5
Finding & Keeping Good Teachers
Diane Patrick (State Representative)
Holly Eaton (Texas Classroom Teachers Association)
Priscilla Aquino-Garza (Stand for Children)
The quality of the teacher in a classroom is a better predictor of student success than class size, income level, or past performance. So what do districts — and the state — need to do to identify and keep the best educators in the profession? Panel moderated by Ben Philpott, The Texas Tribune/KUT.
From High School to College and
Drew Scheberle (Austin Chamber of Commerce - Sr VP)
Glenda Barron (Temple College - Pres)
John Fitzpatrick (Educate Texas)
Kim Alexander (Roscoe ISD - Superintendent)
The short answer to whether most Texas students leave public schools prepared for college? No. Less than one in two meet the state’s “college readiness” standards in math and verbal skills. Remediation rates once students reach higher education paint an equally dire picture. But should college be a goal for everyone? And do students need more options to pursue careers instead of college after high school? Panel moderated by Morgan Smith, The Texas Tribune.
Navigating Financial Aid
Jeff Webster (TG - Asst VP)
Joseph Pettibon (Texas A&M University - Assoc VP Academic Services)
Tom Melecki (The University of Texas at Austin - Dir Student Financial Services)
With concerns about student debt and the price of college on the rise, the state’s leading financial aid experts discuss what students, institutions, and lawmakers can do to keep college affordable. Panel moderated by Reeve Hamilton, The Texas Tribune.
Can You Teach an Old College New Tricks?
Felice Nudelman (Antioch University - Chancellor)
Juliet Garcia (The University of Texas at Brownsville - Pres)
Steven Mintz (The University of Texas System - Exec Dir Institute for Transformational Learning)
Higher education is in a period of dramatic disruption and innovation. How can these traditional institutions reshape themselves for the 21st century? Panel moderated by Reeve Hamilton, The Texas Tribune.
College vs UnCollege: Are Degrees Worth It?
Dale Stephens (UnCollege - Founder)
Jeremy Johnson (2U - President, Undergrad Initiatives)
In the Information Age, where knowledge has become ubiquitously accessible and informal education courses and certificates have blossomed, do formal college degrees still offer enough value to make their costs worthwhile? Does traditional higher education make sense in our innovation economy? This session will feature a lively debate on the benefits and limitations of college degrees today from two leading Gen Y education entrepreneurs on opposite sides of the playing field. Panel moderated by Reeve Hamilton, The Texas Tribune.
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Improving the public education system so that every Texas student is prepared for success in school, in the workforce, and in life.