Creativity Counts: Innovation in Education and the Media Agenda
Stanford University May 2-4, 2013

Thursday, May 2

Site Visits

Journalists are visiting five innovative programs Thursday morning. NOTE: Registration for these are closed. If you signed up, you received an email on Sunday. If you cannot find the email, contact Lori Crouch at

Blended Learning Takes Off. Rocketship was founded in 2006 as the first elementary blended-learning school model in the country, and has become both the highest growth charter school system in the country and the highest performing low-income school system in California. 6:45 a.m. – Creekside Inn;  7:00 a.m. – Sheraton Palo Alto

Crash Course on Design Thinking. Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (aka the is a Silicon Valley mecca, attracting entrepreneurs, students, academics, corporate executives and nonprofit leaders who want the chance to engage in hands-on, real-world projects and learn the’s human-centered, prototype-driven approach to innovation. 8:00 a.m. – Cabana Crowne Plaza; 8:15 a.m. – Creekside Inn; 8:30 a.m. – Sheraton Hotel

The Fab Lab: 21st Century Shop Class Builds STEM Skills. The FabLab@School program creates hands-on high tech learning through workshops with 3-D printers, 3-D scanners, laser-cutters and other equipment — that promote creative and relevant project-based learning. 8:00 a.m. – Cabana Crowne Plaza; 8:15 a.m. – Creekside Inn; 8:30 a.m. – Sheraton Hotel

Hillsdale High School – How to Tell If a School Is Well-RunWant to know how you can tell a great school when you see it and how you know if a school leader is strong? Join us as we visit classrooms and talk to teachers and school leaders in this innovative high school. 6:45 a.m. – Cabana Crowne Plaza; 7:00 a.m. – Creekside Inn; 7:15 a.m. – Sheraton

Virtual Human Interaction Lab – The lab is, of course, more than just a Disneyland ride. It’s used to study how different environments, situations and prompts affect research participants, and it’s produced well-publicized findings on such subjects as how having virtual superpowers in a game encourages people to be empathetic. 8:00 a.m. – Cabana Crowne Plaza; 8:15 a.m. – Creekside Inn; 8:30 a.m. – Sheraton Hotel

Click here for background reading on each Thursday session

9 a.m.   Attendee Registration Opens – Paul Brest Munger Hall

**Registration Relocates to CERAS Second Floor Lobby at 1 p.m.**

10 – 11:15 a.m.  Advocates Session – Reporters’ Roundtable - CERAS 101
How can advocates connect more effectively with journalists? Reporters and editors describe their reactions to press releases and emails, and offer advice on what works best to cut through the clutter.

Moderator: Dakarai Aarons, CommunicationWorks

  • Daarel Burnette, Atlanta Journal Constitution
  • Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed
  • Dave Murray,

11:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.  Lunch and Keynote Speaker: Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education – Paul Brest Munger Hall

Secretary Duncan will discuss the future of federal education reform and the new directions the Department of Education will take during President Obama’s second term. Topics include federal No Child Left Behind Act waivers for states and the outlook for congressional reauthorization of that law.
Introduction: Scott Elliott, The Indianapolis Star

1:15 – 1:30 p.m.  Exhibitor Showcase & Coffee Break – CERAS First Floor Lobby

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.  Concurrent Sessions

A. Dissecting the Data on Charter Schools – Cubberley 115

Research  around charter schools seems rarely neutral. How do you navigate it with use of data? Two researchers will offer insight on how to cut through the spin and look at the real numbers behind how charter school students are performing and what kinds of students charter schools are serving.

Moderator: Joy Resmovits, The Huffington Post

  • Jeffrey Henig, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • Margaret Raymond, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

B. Observing Classrooms: Spotting Signs of QualityBarnum 116
Researchers have been closely studying how the classroom practices of more effective teachers differ from those of their less effective peers. How can journalists capitalize on what has been learned?

Moderator: Elizabeth Green, GothamSchools

  • Pam Grossman, Stanford Graduate School of Education

C. Solutions Journalism: A Different Lens on StoriesCERAS 204
The author of The New York Times “Fixes” blog explains and discusses solutions journalism, which aims to  examine credible responses to social problems. What is “SoJo”? How does it differ from traditional reporting and how does it apply to education reporting?

  • David Bornstein, Solutions Journalism Network

D. Stopping the School-to-Prison PipelineCERAS 300
What is the proper punishment for fighting? For cursing? For tardiness? Does punishment always fit the crime and can disproportionate punishment lead to a future in prison? These questions arise as researchers are documenting examples of “unconscious bias” that can affect professionals in law enforcement, medicine and education. Speakers will tackle the intersection of these issues.

Moderator:  Linda Lenz, Catalyst Chicago

  • Susan Ferriss, The Center for Public Integrity
  • Phillip Goff, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Josefina Alvarado Mena, Safe Passages

E. What Online Education Means for College ClassroomsCERAS 101
The rise of online education arguably represents the first real change in centuries to how courses are taught in postsecondary education, both on and off campus. This discussion examines the potential online teaching technologies have to change how students learn—both in lecture halls and cyberspace—and how universities function.

Moderator: Claudia Dreifus, The New York Times

  • Sir Michael Barber, Pearson
  • John Mitchell, Stanford University
  • Mark Smith, National Education Association

2:30 – 2:45 p.m.  Exhibitor Showcase & Coffee Break – CERAS First Floor Lobby

3 – 4 p.m.  Plenary Speaker – Thomas Friedman – Dinkelspiel Auditorium 
Thomas Friedman will share his views what the United States can learn from other countries’ education systems, the importance of education as a national security issue, emerging arrangements such as massive open online courses, and other subjects related to innovation.

Interviewed by: Stephanie Banchero, The Wall Street Journal

4:15 – 5:15 p.m.  Concurrent Sessions

A. Reporting Recipes: Stories Using Data – CERAS 101
Seasoned reporters provide guidance on how to delve into data sets, detect patterns, and unearth information that can yield compelling, data-rich stories. Using recent investigative projects as reference points, panelists offer practical advice on everything from developing sources to creating interactive databases.

Moderator: Cathy Grimes, Hampton Roads Daily Press

  • Agustin Armendariz and Erica Perez, California Watch
  • Bill Bush and Jennifer Smith Richards, The Columbus Dispatch

B. Stanford Knight Fellows: Entrepreneurship in Journalism – CERAS 204
Each year, Knight journalism fellows at Stanford propose and develop entrepreneurial media projects. Winners of this year’s fellowships explain their innovative projects and explore models for how journalists can break ground in the fast-changing news industry.

Moderator: Dawn Garcia, John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford University

  • Bill McNulty, John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University
  • Latoya Peterson, John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University

C. Top 10 Stories on Innovation in Higher Education – CERAS 300
What are the higher education stories on innovation that reporters should be following this year? The editor and co-founder of Inside Higher Ed offers his insights on what stories are worth covering in the coming months.

  • Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed

D. Urban School Reform: Beyond Stars and Scandals – Barnum 116
Do reporters who cover major efforts to improve schools focus on incremental developments at the expense of the big picture? Do they pay too much attention to leaders with star power and too little to quieter contributors? The authors of two new books on urban education reflect on media coverage of efforts to revamp big-city schools.

Moderator: Benjamin Herold, WHYY

  • Richard Colvin, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship
  • David Kirp, University of California, Berkeley

5:30 – 7 p.m.  Dinner and Keynote Speaker: Claude Steele – Faculty Club
Claude Steele, an eminent social psychologist, has been dean of the Stanford Graduate School of Education since 2011. His pioneering theory about the threats to the self posed by stereotypes (“stereotype threat”) has been a focus of much of his research for the past two decades. The theory sheds light on such topics as affirmative action, the achievement gap and other contemporary topics in education. Introduction: Linda Darling-Hammond, Stanford University

7:15 p.m.  West Coast Film Premiere – “Rebirth: New Orleans” – Cubberley Auditorium

A new documentary film draws on years of footage of post-Katrina New Orleans to critically examine ongoing efforts to dramatically restructure public education in the Crescent City. Following a screening of the film, panelists will explore New Orleans’ choice-based education landscape and the national implications of the groundbreaking changes unfolding there.

Moderator: John Merrow, Learning Matters

  • Sarah Carr, Author and Freelance Journalist
  • Jean Desravines, New Leaders
  • Andre Perry, Loyola University New Orleans

Friday, May 3

Note: Lunch and Keynote Speaker will occur at the Sheraton Palo Alto Hotel. Transportation provided.

7:30 a.m.  Breakfast – CERAS First Floor Lobby

8 – 9 a.m. Plenary Tracks

K-12 – Opportunity Gaps and Out-of-School Factors: Challenges and Solutions – CERAS 101

Much attention has focused on achievement gaps among children from different demographic groups, and on teacher effectiveness as the chief in-school influence on student performance. But what about factors that carry more weight than teachers? And how can society close opportunity gaps often associated with widely decried achievement gaps in school?

Moderator: Sarah Garland, The Hechinger Report

  • Prudence Carter, Stanford Graduate School of Education
  • Michael Petrilli, Thomas B. Fordham Institute
  • Sean Reardon, Stanford Graduate School of Education

Higher Ed – A Different Class: Why Talented Students Don’t Apply to Top Colleges – CERAS 300

Stanford economics professor Caroline Hoxby discusses her new research arguing that the most selective U.S. universities are ineffective at recruiting many of high-achieving, low-income students who could succeed on their campuses. Hoxby offers her insights on how colleges should recruit these missing “one-offs.”

Moderator: Kavitha Cardoza, WAMU; Respondent: Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times

  • Caroline Hoxby, Stanford University

9:15 – 10:15 a.m.  Plenary Tracks

K-12 – Ready or Not: Common Core Assessments – CERAS 101

By 2014, it is expected that assessments based on the Common Core State Standards will be widespread across the country. What are the obstacles, opportunities and implications? Do schools have the needed technological capacity? How will states implement “cut scores”? Can the tests measuring “deep learning”? How high-stakes should they be? Leading experts explore the answers.

Moderator:  Virginia Edwards, Education Week

  • Joan Herman, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Chris Minnich, Council of Chief State School Officers
  • James Pellegrino, University of Illinois-Chicago

Higher Ed – What to Make of MOOCs – CERAS 300

In less than two years, massive open online courses (MOOCs) have altered discussions about higher education reform and access. Following the announcement that a handful of the courses merit traditional college credit, MOOCs may be poised to alter students’ pathways to a diploma. Or they might be the latest example of Internet overreach. A discussion of the possibilities.

Moderator: Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed 

  • Daphne Koller, Coursera
  • Bob Samuels, University Council-AFT
  • Cathy Sandeen, American Council on Education
  • Gabi Zolla, Council for Adult and Experiential Learning

10:15 – 10:30 a.m. Exhibitor Showcase & Coffee Break – CERAS First Floor Lobby

10:30 – 11:30 a.m.  Plenary Sessions

K-12 – Teacher Evaluation: Seeking Common Ground – CERAS 101

Few areas of education policy and practice are evolving as rapidly as teacher evaluation. Moving beyond a Lake Wobegon world where all teachers are perfunctorily rated above average is seen as a linchpin in the strategy to improve student learning by enhancing teacher effectiveness. But what are the best ways to draw an accurate picture of a teacher’s performance?

Moderator: Dale Mezzacappa, Philadelphia Public School Notebook

  • Linda Darling-Hammond, Stanford Graduate School of Education
  • David Steele, Hillsborough County School District, Fla.
  • Ray Salazar, The White Rhino: A Chicago Latino English Teacher

Higher Ed – New Prescriptions for Remedial Education – CERAS 300

The biggest obstacles that many undergraduates face en route to a college degree are the remedial or developmental courses in which they will be placed for their first year. These courses, which students must pass before they can take classes that carry college credit, add to the expense and time it takes to earn a degree. Are such classes really needed? Or can schools replace them with other forms of academic support?

Moderator: Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

  • Eric Bettinger, Stanford University
  • Stan Jones, Complete College America
  • Karon Klipple, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching 

Click here for background reading on each Friday session

Noon – 1:45 p.m.  Lunch and Keynote Speaker James Heckman – Justine Room, Sheraton Palo Alto

Dr. Heckman, a Nobel laureate economist, is a strong proponent of investing early in children and disadvantaged families. He will discuss the “Heckman Equation” and why the early investments pay dividends in the future.

Introduction: Stephanie Banchero, The Wall Street Journal

2:15 – 3:15 p.m.  Concurrent Sessions

A. EWA Resources for Reporters New to the Beat – Cubberley 115

EWA’s new publications and online resources offer reporters a road map through the complex landscape of the education beat. Get the tricks of the trade, and learn how to build your own road map for localizing national issues, and navigating the beat in your community.

Moderator: Emily Richmond, EWA

  • Stephen Abbott, Great Schools Partnership
  • Sarah Carr, Author and Freelance Journalist

B. Measuring the Impact of More–and Better–Time for Learning – Barnum 116

What questions should you ask about the way your school district uses extended learning time? How are public-private partnerships guiding new approaches? Must schools choose between using the time for deeper learning or enrichment? What does the latest research show about best practices?

Moderator: Kathleen Manzo, Education Week

  • Jennifer Davis, National Center on Time and Learning
  • Lucy Friedman, The After-School Corporation
  • Zakia Redd, Child Trends
  • Mark Triplett, Urban Promise Academy (Oakland, Calif.)

C. Retention in Third Grade: Help or Hindrance? – CERAS 101

More states are embracing “third grade reading guarantees” that aim to prevent children from moving to fourth grade until they have progressed from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” But research has shown that students who are retained often end up dropping out. Two researchers will probe what the research says, and whether legislatures are on the right track.

Moderator: Lyndsey Layton, The Washington Post

  • Shane Jimerson, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Martin West, Harvard University

D. Success in College: Models That Improve the Odds – CERAS 300

Students from low-income families face special challenges not only in getting admitted to college, but also in succeeding once they’re in. More programs are coming on line to strengthen students who live in poverty and may have few college graduates in their family and social circles. What traits do these programs share, and how can journalists examine them?

Moderator: Peg Tyre, Freelance Journalist

  • Anthony Lisel Antonio, Stanford University
  • Jessica Cogan, SEO Scholar
  • Tim Sandoval, Brighter Prospect

E. Teacher Turnover: Who Stays and Who LeavesCERAS 204

One out of every three new teachers leaves the profession within five years. More veteran teachers are opting to retire. Teacher attrition costs the nation about $7 billion a year. What does the research say about teacher turnover and retention? What role does school leadership play in teachers’ decisions to leave or stay?

Moderator: Francisco Vara-Orta, San Antonio Express-News

  • Anthony Cody, Living in Dialogue
  • Susanna Loeb, Stanford Graduate School of Education

3:15 – 3:30 p.m.  Exhibitor Showcase & Coffee Break – CERAS First Floor Lobby

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.  Concurrent Sessions

A. Early Childhood Education: Not All Options Are Created Equal – CERAS 204

President Obama got the early childhood education world buzzing when he announced his ambitious plans to expand preschool during his State of the Union. But doubts remain. Would expanding universal pre-K lead to a top-down push for more academics at younger ages? Do states have the funding to provide early childhood education for all who want it? Can state programs and Head Start coordinate effectively?

Moderator: Karin Klein, Los Angeles Times

  • Ron French, Bridge Magazine
  • Bruce Fuller, University of California, Berkeley
  • Sterling Speirn, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

B. For Good Measure: Assessing College Performance – CERAS 300

What’s the best way to determine how effectively a college goes about the business of educating its students? If popular college rankings in the media are flawed, what other models of crunching the data might deliver more illuminating comparisons? To what extent is a college’s success at graduating students dependent on the types of students it enrolls? This session offers insights on new approaches on how to use the data available to see a more complete picture of college performance.

Moderator: Mary Beth Marklein, USA Today

  • John Pryor, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Douglas Harris, Tulane University

C. Guiding Principals: How to Recognize Innovative Leaders – CERAS 101

Some principals are not just great leaders, but they’re also great innovators. What are ways that principals are taking the lead in using technology and other techniques to help students thrive?

Moderator: Richard Whitmire

  • Trevor Greene, Toppenish High School (Toppenish, Wash.)
  • Nicole Veltze, North High School (Denver)
  • Michelle Spencer, New Technology High (Napa, Calif.)
  • James Dent, Gilroy Prep School (Gilroy, Calif.)

D. Not Your Father’s Shop Class: Linked Learning and STEM Barnum 116

Traditionally, career and technical education (CTE) has often translated into tracking low-income students into less demanding classes. But with a focus on college and career readiness, a national push is under way to fuse rigorous academics and career training at the high school level. From project-based learning in the sciences to acquiring work-ready skills in targeted industries, a panoply of initiatives aim to equip students—especially those at-risk of falling through the cracks—with the tools to be both employable after graduation and prepared for the demands of postsecondary education. 

Moderator: Katy Murphy, Oakland Tribune

  • Nancy Hoffman, Jobs for the Future
  • Anne Stanton, James Irvine Foundation
  • Preston Thomas, Life Academy (Oakland, Calif.)

E. Tapping Public Opinion Polls to Strengthen Stories Cubberley 115

Polling organizations offer data that can enrich reporting on education. What data is available and how can you tap into it to provide context for your local and national stories? Representatives of Gallup and Harris Interactive share information and insights.

Moderator: Michael Alison Chandler, The Washington Post

  • Brandon Busteed, Gallup Polls
  • Regina Corso, Harris Interactive

4:45 – 5:45 p.m.  Plenary Sessions

K–12 – Choice and Competition: Improving or Undermining Public Education? – CERAS 101

Is there evidence that empowering all parents to choose among competing schools—district-run, charter, and private—leads to better outcomes for students? Will a critical mass of charter schools in a community be a catalyst for positive change or for school closings that leave students behind? Advocates with different views debate whether competition threatens to destroy public education or is strengthening it one school at a time.

Moderator: Scott Elliott, The Indianapolis Star

  • Kevin P. Chavous, American Federation for Children
  • Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers

Higher Ed – Paying for College: Financial Aid Innovations – CERAS 300

With the cost of attending college rising each year, what techniques might enable students to get more effective financial aid with fewer hassles? Which public universities are changing their financial aid practices to encourage students to earn their degrees more affordably? This session makes sense of the dollars behind degrees.

Moderator: Kim Clark, Money

  • Eric Bettinger, Stanford University
  • Rory O’Sullivan, Young Invincibles
  • Nate Johnson, HCM Strategists

6:15 p.m.  Offsite Reception – Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching – Transportation provided

Saturday, May 4

Click here for background reading on each Saturday session

8 – 9 a.m.  Breakfast – Gaming: The Future of Assessment? SIEPR/Koret 130

As worries mount that standardized testing eats up too much school time, innovators are looking to video gaming as an alternative assessment tool. Not only does gaming promise to be more fun and less stressful for students than traditional tests, advocates say, but it can also give teachers a clearer picture of how well students pick up concepts. But there are challenges. Our panel will explore the issues.

Moderator: Greg Toppo, USA Today

  • Girlie Delacruz, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Michael John, GlassLab

9:15 – 10:30 a.m.  Concurrent Sessions

A. EWA Innovation Showcase – Alumni Center/LLL

These interactive sessions feature reporters, analysts and educators spotlighting efforts under way to harness the power of innovation to spark new approaches to K-12 and higher education. Learn about experimental tools, offerings and practices being made possible by emerging digital technologies, and gather new ideas for covering innovation on your own beat.

  • Kayvon Beykpour, Mobile Technologies Entrepreneur, interviewed by Katherine Long, The Seattle Times, about how universities can encourage students to start companies
  • Marcie Bober-Michel, San Diego State University, interviewed by Kyla Calvert, KPBS, about a boom in courses that blend online and face-to-face learning
  • Mark Shermis, University of Akron, interviewed by Molly Bloom, WKSU, about the debate over computerized grading of student essays
  • Trace Urdan, Wells Fargo Securities, interviewed by Kim Clark, Money Magazine, about burgeoning investments in innovative education enterprises

B. How I Did the Story: Award-Winning Reporters Share Their Secrets – SIEPR/Koret 130

Hear from your colleagues on how they put together their prize-winning packages. Among the topics: absentee rates in Chicago schools; the chronicle of an attempt to turn around a school; how a school discovered a concrete way to teach writing; and a beat reporter’s stories on the pipeline to college, charter schools, cheating, and school closings.

Moderator: Emily Richmond, EWA

  • Jenny Brundin, Colorado Public Radio, “Trevista”
  • Benjamin Herold, WHYY/Philadelphia Public School Notebook, “Beat Reporting”
  • David Jackson and Gary Marx, Chicago Tribune, “An Empty-Desk Epidemic”
  • Peg Tyre, Author, “Writing Revolution”

C. Knowing Their Choices: Assessing Efforts to Inform Parents – SIEPR/Koret 120

More parents are facing educational choices they never had before. Privileged families have always successfully navigated the complexities around schools, but lower-income families haven’t necessarily done so. What new ways are being tried to get information in the hands of a broader array of parents? As organizations step in to  offer guidance, reporters can learn from the processes they use.

Moderator: Gail Robinson, Inside Schools

  • Bill Jackson, Great Schools

10:30 – 10:45 a.m.  Exhibitor Showcase & Coffee Break – SIEPR Patio

10:45 a.m. – 12 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

A. EWA Innovation Showcase – Alumni Center/LLL

These interactive sessions feature reporters, analysts and educators spotlighting efforts under way to harness the power of innovation to spark new approaches to K-12 and higher education. Learn about experimental tools, offerings and practices being made possible by emerging digital technologies, and gather new ideas for covering innovation on your own beat.

  • Sally Downey, East Valley Institute of Technology, Mesa, Ariz., interviewed by Liz Willen, Hechinger Report, about new ways to mix rigorous academics and career training
  • Jay McPhail, Riverside Unified School District (Riverside, CA), interviewed by Dayna Straehley, The Press-Enterprise, about digital instructional materials and mobile devices for students
  • Sandra Okita, Columbia University, interviewed by Greg Toppo, USA Today, about robots being used for instruction in K-12 classrooms
  • Wanda Longoria, Northside Independent School District (San Antonio, TX), interviewed by Kelsey Sheehy, U.S. News & World Report, about new ways for teachers to share lessons online

B. How I Did the Story: Award-Winning Reporters Share Their Secrets – SIEPR/Koret 130

Winners of this year’s EWA National Awards for Education Reporting share the tips that led to their groundbreaking reporting on higher education topics ranging from sexual assault on campus to malfeasance in university governance.

Moderator: Kenneth Terrell, EWA

  • Jon Marcus, Hechinger Report, “Beat Reporting”
  • Justin Pope, Associated Press, “Title IX and Sexual Assault on Campus”
  • Jacqueline Rabe Thomas, Connecticut Mirror, “State Board of Regents Improprieties”

C. Closing the Gaps: Improving Outcomes and Opportunities for English–Language Learners SIEPR/Koret 120

Despite intensive efforts by school districts, significant gaps remain for ELL students. Are educators focusing on the right targets? Which initiatives show the most promise, and how can they be replicated? How are schools responding to the shift to more ELL students coming from a broader range of language backgrounds?

Moderator: Kathryn Baron, EdSource Today

  • Ashley Bessire, KIPP Austin Comunidad
  • Patricia Gandara, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Kenji Hakuta, Stanford Graduate School of Education

Noon – 12:15 p.m.  Exhibitor Showcase – SIEPR Patio

12:15 – 2:15 p.m.  Awards Ceremony and Luncheon SIEPR/Koret 130

  • Keynote Speaker: Sal Khan, Khan Academy

Khan Academy revolutionized education with a few simple videos in 2008. Now the academy has millions of visitors. In fact, the billionth math problem was recently answered on the academy website.  Khan Academy founder Sal Khan offers his perspective on how U.S. education can be reimagined. 

Introduction: John Merrow, Learning Matters

National Awards for Education Reporting
EWA honors winners of its 2012 reporting contest and announces the winner of the Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting.