The Path Back to School Webinar Series
Save the Date
Monday, August 30, 2021
9:00 AM PDT
Please join us for a webinar series exploring "The Path Back to School," co-hosted by American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Bellwether Education Partners, The Line and Pepperdine University School of Public Policy (SPP). Each episode brings together a different set of education practitioners and thought leaders to provide diverse perspectives and ideas on the issues and opportunities facing the K-12 community in this uncertain time.
The goal of "The Path Back to School" webinar series is to find common ground, as well as a path forward, as we consider what a return to school looks like and the contributing factors at the federal, state, and district level. We are committed to discussion and discovery that ensures K-12 organizational readiness to support every student in the fall, regardless of the operational challenges we face.
Episode One: A Blueprint for Back to School
John Bailey , Visiting Fellow at AEI, Andy Rotherham, co-founder and partner of Bellwether Education, Wayne Lewis, dean and professor of education at Belmont University and former Kentucky commissioner of education, and Phyllis Lockett, CEO of Leap Innovations, will join moderator, Hanna Skandera, SPP visiting professor of education and impact and editor-in-chief of The Line, to discuss a blueprint for back to school following the COVID-19 quarantine, school and community shutdowns.
John P. Bailey
John P. Bailey is a Visiting Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he works on finding new ways to reskill individuals who have lost their jobs during times of economic disruption, whether because of normal business cycles, automation, or artificial intelligence. His research on related issues includes exploring ways policies can better support new training models. He is also working with state and city policymakers, investors, and philanthropists around the implementation of Opportunity Zones and Opportunity Funds. He is also an advisor to the Walton Family Foundation.
Wayne D. Lewis, Jr.
Wayne D. Lewis, Jr. is dean and professor of education at Belmont University. He previously served as Kentucky commissioner of education, executive director of education policy and programs in the Kentucky Education & Workforce Development Cabinet, a postsecondary faculty member and graduate program director, and a special education teacher in public school districts in Louisiana and North Carolina. His published research and writing are in education policy and politics, education governance, teacher education, and school-family-community engagement.
Phyllis Lockett is a serial social entrepreneur who has led transformation efforts in education, government, and the civic arena. Lockett is currently the founder and CEO of LEAP Innovations, an organization headquartered in Chicago that catalyzes and ignites innovation with schools to transform how students learn and prepare for the future of work. As the president and CEO of New Schools for Chicago, she helped raise more than $70 million to support opening 80 new public schools. Lockett's corporate experience includes sales, marketing, and business development with IBM, Kraft Foods, and General Mills. Currently, she serves as a director of the CME Group and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago and is on the board of Chicago Scholars. She is also a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, The Chicago Network, Commercial Club of Chicago, and a Henry Crown Fellow with the Aspen Institute. Recently, Lockett was named a contributor to Forbes, where she writes about education innovation and the future of learning.
Andrew J. Rotherham
Andrew J. Rotherham is a cofounder and partner at Bellwether Education Partners, a national nonprofit organization working to support educational innovation and improve outcomes for underserved students. He is also a contributing editor to U.S. News & World Report and a senior editor at The 74, an education news and analysis publication. Rotherham writes the blog Eduwonk.com, teaches at The University of Virginia, and is a senior advisor for Whiteboard Advisors. Among other positions Rotherham previously served at The White House as special assistant to the president for domestic policy during the Clinton administration, as a member of the Virginia Board of Education, education columnist for TIME, and executive editor of RealClearEducation. In addition to Bellwether, Rotherham has founded or cofounded two other education organizations and served on the boards of several successful education startups.
Hanna Skandera has more than two decades of executive leadership experience in a variety of national and state-level private, public and nonprofit organizations.
Currently, Skandera is CEO of Mile High Strategies, serving as an education and employability thought leader and advisor in leadership development and strategy, growing organizational impact, and transforming organizational culture. Skandera is also the editor-in-chief of The Line, founder of Pathway 2 Tomorrow, chief in residence with Chiefs for Change, co-founder of the Women in Leadership Initiative, and the Visiting Professor of Education Policy and Impact at Pepperdine University's School of Public Policy.
Recently, Skandera served as secretary of education for the State of New Mexico under Governor Susana Martinez. In this role, Skandera oversaw a budget of $2.7B, created a high-performing team of more than 300 employees, while cutting the agency operating budget by one-third. She realized record-breaking outcomes, including graduation rates reaching an all-time high—up 10 percentage points, AP course enrollment more than doubling, a one-third increase in the number of high-achieving schools and the dramatic reduction of high school graduates' college remediation rates—down 17 percentage points.
Episode Two: Academics & Talent
In episode two, Candice McQueen, CEO of National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, John Deasy, founding editor of The Line and Former Superintendent of Stockton Unified School District, Derrell Bradford, executive vice president of 50CAN, Jason Froelich, vice president of HCM Solutions by Frontline Education, John Bailey, Visiting Fellow at AEI, and Tresha Ward, partner of Bellwether Education, will join moderator, Hanna Skandera, editor-in-chief of The Line and Visiting Professor of Education Policy and Impact at Pepperdine School of Public Policy, to discuss the continuity of learning plans as well as teacher vulnerability as we consider a return to school following COVID-19.
The panel will be followed by a fireside chat with Mark Gruzin, chief executive officer of Frontline Education, Dan Cogan-Drew, co-founder and chief academic officer of Newsela, and Shalinee Sharma, CEO and co-founder of Zearn Math.
Episode Three: Operations and Health Registration
Join us for the third episode in the Path Back to School webinar series, cohosted by American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Bellwether Education Partners, and The Line. Each episode brings together a different set of education practitioners and thought leaders to provide diverse perspectives and ideas on the issues and opportunities facing the K-12 community in this uncertain time.
As K-12 districts approach the new school year, innovation, adaptability, and flexibility will be critical elements of the operations and health planning process. From health screening and seating plans to scheduling models and remote case management, one thing we can all be sure of is that K-12 education will not look or feel the same as schools consider reopening in the wake of COVID-19.
Hear from our panel as they discuss the impact, issues and opportunities in Operations & Health on the Path Back to School.
Moderator: Andy Rotherham
Episode Four: Best Practices & Special Education
Tuesday, September 22
11:00 AM PT / 2:00 PM ET
Join us for the fourth episode in our Path Back to School webinar series, focused on Best Practices & Special Education. Our panelists will discuss successful practices from the field during distance learning to provide listeners with actionable ideas for the coming school year. A section of the conversation will be dedicated to special education as continuity of special education programming has been a common area of concern in these challenging times.
CEO, DSST Public Schools
Lauren Morando Rhim
Co-founder and Executive Director, National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools
Former Assist Secretary of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS); RTI Action Network Contributor, National Center for Learning Disabilities
Founder, Gregg Vanourek LLC
Speaker, Author, Leadership and Executive Trainer
Episode Five: Social Emotional Learning
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Join us for the 5th episode of The Path Back to School focused on Social Emotional Learning. Our panelists discuss the need for increased social emotional learning and whole child supports.
- Ary Amerikaner, Vice President for P-12 Policy, The Education Trust
- Cami Anderson, Managing Partner, Third Way Solutions; former Superintendent of Newark Public Schools
- Hattie Mitchell, Founder, Crete Academy & Visiting Professor of Education & Policy, Pepperdine University School of Public Policy
- Ian Rowe, Resident Fellow of Domestic Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute
Episode Six: How Have Schools Fared in the Midst of the Pandemic?
Thursday, December 17, 2020
10:00 AM PDT
Join us for the final episode in the Path Back to School webinar series. Our episode 1 participants are back to discuss how schools fared in the midst of the pandemic, key innovations that will persist in our new normal, and what the new administration will need to do in the first 100 days.
- John P. Bailey, Visiting Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute
- Wayne D. Lewis, Jr., dean and professor of education at Belmont University
- Andrew J. Rotherham, cofounder and partner at Bellwether Education Partners
- Hanna Skandera, visiting professor of education and impact and editor-in-chief of The Line