Press Release

Inspire 2014 Draws Education Reform Advocates from around the World
Two-day event hosted by National Institute for Student-Centered Education

WINCHESTER, MA—October 13, 2014—The National Institute for Student-Centered Education (NISCE) today announced that it expects as many as 300 education reform advocates at INSPIRE 2014 later this month.

The annual conference, now in its second year, unites education stakeholders – teachers, administrators, policy makers, parents, mentors and students – who collectively call for a more student-centered approach in K-12 education.

This year, advocates from ten US states are traveling to the two-day event on October 22-23 at the Sheraton Four Points in Norwood, Massachusetts, as are educators from outside the United States, including from Nigeria and India.  

“So-called education reforms like No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top and Common Core continue to generate headlines that question the efficacy of using standardized tests as the framework for teaching and the metric for learning,” said Theodore H. Wilson, III, Ph.D., president and executive director of NISCE.  “INSPIRE 2014 offers up innovative, provocative and forward-thinking alternatives to the ever-increasing teach-to-the-test methods.”

INSPIRE 2014 keynote speakers have already generated national attention with their student-centered education approaches.  Will Richardson is the author of Why School? How Education Must Change When Learning and Information Are Everywhere, and Diana Laufenberg is a TED speaker and managing director of Inquiry Schools, which creates and supports inquiry-driven, project-based schools with a focus on using modern tools.  Both keynotes will share their thoughts and ideas on engaging today’s students with innovative and dynamic learning tools in a world that is continuously fast-changing and globally networked.

Amy Carrier, founder of Empowerment Through Education and former director of the Ventures Program at Fenway High School in Boston, will lead a “fireside chat” with Dr. Sheila Harrity, award-winning principal of Worcester (MA) Technical High School and Maura Banta, Director of Global Citizenship Initiatives in Education at IBM. These three educators will explore the role of school-business partnerships to better engage students and provide them with the practical literacy they will need to pursue their individual, chosen careers.

In addition to the keynote session, INSPIRE 2014 will offer a half-day pre-conference workshop, and more than three dozen concurrent sessions of panels, presentations and hands-on learning experiences.

“Real reform in education will not likely come from federal mandates or new testing protocols,” said Wilson.  “It will come from passionate, committed, and diverse education stakeholders sharing ideas and advocating for each student’s learning experience.  That’s what INSPIRE 2014 and its participants are all about.”


Founded in 2012 by the Massachusetts nonprofit Schools for Children, Inc., The National Institute for Student-Centered Education (NISCE) catalyzes grassroots support for a vision of education where students—not politics, not tests, not expediency—are at the center of learning, and where all students have the opportunities and resources they need to succeed. NISCE is headquartered in Winchester, Massachusetts. For more information, visit or on Twitter: @NISCE  or Facebook: NISCE.


Melanie Tringali
National Institute for Student-Centered Education (NISCE)

Joyce Radnor
Spice Communications

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