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The Network for Public Education has put together an impressive lineup for the 2nd Annual Conference. You can download the NPE Conference Schedule or you can view it here.

Check this page often for more details on the speakers, panels, and panelists that will make this an unforgettable weekend!


Saturday, April 25th

Opening Keynote
Jitu Brown, National Director of Journey for Justice & NPE Board and Tanaisa Brown, Secretary, Newark Student Union

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Afternoon Keynote
Yong Zhao, author of “Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Dragon?”

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Sunday, April 26th

Morning Keynote
Diane Ravitch in Conversation with AFT’s Randi Weingarten and NEA’s Lily Eskelsen García

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Closing Keynote and Call to Action
Chicago’s Very Own, Karen Lewis

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Student Panel – Tanaisa Brown, Kristin Towkaniuk, Amina Henderson, and Devonta Boston

If you’re coming to this conference you care about our students and probably have your own ideas on how to help. This is your chance to hear directly from some of our nation’s leading student leaders. Tanaisa, Kristin & Hannah will talk about what life is like for students today, how they feel about all of these so-called reforms, and what they’re doing to take back their schools.

BATs and Social Justice – Dr. Denisha Jones, Aixa Rodriguez and Kristin Vogel 

Looking to grow your understanding on the connection between race, inequity in education funding and what’s happening in your classrooms? Then join these three prominent voices from the Badass Teachers Association who are committed to social justice and equity in the schools and communities in which we work and live. The conversation starts here.

Perils of Ed Tech: Student Privacy and Corruption: Leonie Haimson, Cynthia Liu, Rachael Stickland, and Nathan Ringo

Want to know what’s happening in the world of student privacy? Three leading national activists will bring you up to speed. Between these three women, they have lead the movement to stop inBloom, built a national Student Privacy Coalition, and exposed the iPad scandal in LA Unified School District leading to the downfall of LAUSD Superintendent Deasy. Their workshop will focus on ways to strengthen federal protections, outline strategies for successful coalitions that lobby state & federal officials, and discuss how to expose the fraud and waste inherent in these systems.

Defending the Early Years – Nancy Carlsson-Paige and Geralyn Bywater McLaughlin

Concerned about what’s happening to our youngest children? Join leading national experts as they discuss their work pushing back against the current ed reform climate where academic skills and tests are replacing experiential, play-based learning. This interactive workshop will bring you into full participation by sharing experiences of what has worked and what has not as the group develops concrete actions steps for moving forward to Defend the Early Years.

More Than A Score; Black Student Lives Matter – Jesse Hagopian

The achievement gap is often used by corporate reformers to justify their policies. Are you looking for a way to respond to them that is both respectful of the experiences of communities of color, but does not accept high stakes testing is the way to close the achievement gap? Then join teacher and author Jesse Hogapian as he explores this topic. Jesse will share his experience in leading the successful MAP boycott in Seattle, discuss examples of gaining support from civil rights groups, and talk about how we can all help build a multicultural, anti-racist movement to support all students.

Meet the Authors at #NPEChicago

Meet the Authors

The Second Annual NPE Conference is your chance to hear directly from some of the thought leaders in the movement to reclaim the promise of public education. #NPEChicago is where the authors of some of the most celebrated books in recent years will deliver keynote addresses and participate in panel discussions.

If you’re coming to the event, don’t forget to leave room in your suitcase for a few autographed copies! If you can’t join us in Chicago you can follow the excitement on Twitter and interact with participants by using the hashtag #NPEChicago. Our media partner School House Live will also be live streaming the keynote addresses and select panels with a live chat feature where you can be a part of the conversation. Stay tuned for more details and which panels will be available.


Reign-of-ErrorDiane Ravitch Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools


NPE President Diane Ravitch’s most recent book spent four weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Reign of Error not only lays bare what is wrong with the policies favored by the privatization movement, it clearly delineates a positive agenda to reclaim teaching and learning. At #NPEChicago Diane will participate in a keynote conversation with NEA’s Lily Eskelsen Garcia and AFT’s Randi Weingarten which is sure to be a highlight of the conference.


The Educator and the OligarchAnthony Cody The Educator And The Oligarch: A Teacher Challenges The Gates Foundation


Noted educator and author Jonathan Kozol said The Educator and the Oligarch is “A powerful and important book by one of the most courageous advocates for sanity and simple justice in our public schools.” NPE co-founder and Board Member Anthony Cody will participate in three panel discussions, including a panel titled Getting Your Book Published. If you’ve ever thought you have a book inside you just waiting to be written, don’t miss this panel.


On the Same TrackCarol Burris On the Same Track: How Schools Can Join the Twenty-First-Century Struggle against Resegregation


Carol Burris, NPE Board Member and 2013 NYS High School Principal of the Year, just announced that she is retiring early stating, “I will retire early and dedicate all of my energies to fighting the assault on our public schools and our teachers.” Burris will be at #NPEChicago participating in a panel titled Schools of Opportunity. Her latest book, On the Same Track, was called “An important book that should be required reading for educators, parents and school boards.”


Who's AfraidYong Zhao Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon?: Why China Has the Best (and Worst) Education System in the World


In a review for the New York Review of Books, Diane Ravitch called Yong Zhao’s Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon “the book that Barack Obama, Arne Duncan, members of Congress, and the nation’s governors and legislators need to read”. Don’t miss Zhoa’s inteview with Edushyster’s Jennifer Berkshire, where Zhoa makes it very clear that while the test scores of students in China are touted as the standard to meet, the Chinese system is not one we want to copy. Zhoa will deliver a keynote address titled, Fatal Attraction: America’s Suicidal Quest for Educational Excellence.


More than a scoreJesse Hagopian More Than a Score: The New Uprising Against High-Stakes Testing

More Than a Score is a collection of essays, poems, speeches, and interviews—accounts of personal courage and trenchant insights—from frontline fighters who are defying the corporate education reformers, often at great personal and professional risk, and fueling a national movement to reclaim and transform public education. Hagopian, an inspiring leader of the 2013 MAP testing boycott at Garfield High School in Seattle, will be at #NPEChicago where he will present a panel titled More Than a Score; Black Student Lives Matter.


This is not a testJose Vilson This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education


José Vilson writes about race, class, and education through stories from the classroom and researched essays. His rise from rookie math teacher to prominent teacher leader takes a twist when he takes on education reform through his now-blocked eponymous blog, TheJoseVilson.com. He calls for the reclaiming of the education profession while seeking social justice. Vilson will join Anthony Cody on the Getting Your Book Published panel.


Chonicle of EchoesMercedes Schneider A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who in the Implosion of American Public Education and the upcoming Common Core Dilema – Who Owns Our Schools?


The ever prolific teacher, researcher, blogger, and author Mercedes Schneider will hold a panel at #NPEChicago about writing and publishing her first book, A Chronicle of Echoes. In a review for EdWeek, Anthony Cody said Schneider’s first book “is a sort of handbook for understanding all the players in the corporate reform “movement.” She takes them on one by one, and leaves none unscathed.” Schneider’s second book, Common Core Dilema, is due for publication June 12, 2015.


Fear and LearningJohn Kuhn Fear and Learning in America – Bad Data, Good Teachers, and the Attack on Public Education


Superintendent John Kuhn of the Perrin-Whitt Independent School District in Texas delivered a stirring keynote speech at last year’s NPE Conference. In that speech Kuhn reminded attendees that we have the power to determine the future of public education in the United States. Diane Ravitch said his book “is packed with more wisdom than any 10 books that I have read about American education. It is the wisdom born of experience.” John Kuhn will also participate in the not to be missed panel Getting Your Book Published with Anthony Cody.