Home > Uncategorized > Vision 2020, or Whatever We’re Calling it This Year

Vision 2020, or Whatever We’re Calling it This Year

June 7, 2012

For the 20 years that Sandy Garrett was state superintendent, administrators from around the state gathered (usually at the Myriad/Cox Center) for her annual Leadership conference. I’m not going to pretend that this was the definitive professional development event of anybody’s summer. It was, however, a great time for school leaders to come together, learn about new legislation, receive allocation notices, and connect one-on-one with SDE staff who would spend the next year providing them with technical assistance in running their school districts.

Last year, following the elections of 2010, the Leadership conference was replaced with Innovation 2011, which was promoted with the intent of “bringing administrators the information they need to move education forward in Oklahoma.” I went, and the information consisted on, as would be normal, a review of the compendium of initiatives from the 2011 Oklahoma Legislature. This review lacked, however, any clarity about how the reforms would be implemented. The conference also consisted of numerous breakout and keynote sessions geared around discussing how schools are failing – proving that the SDE knows how to engage an audience.

Early in the 2011-12 school year, districts started hearing from their various contacts at the SDE that there would be no Innovation or Leadership conference in the summer of 2012. Instead, there would be a week-long conference geared around literacy. That plan changed, of course, and the SDE planned what is now being called Vision 2020.

(By the way, I don’t know for certain if this is supposed to be some kind of joke – that a dentist would have an optometrist theme for her major conference. Or if maybe we’re trying to see eight years into the future when none of the people enacting these reforms are still serving in policy-making roles.)

This is a week-long conference starting Monday, June 11, with no appreciable theme. One day is for parents. The next two are for teachers. The last two are for administrators. Sessions cover curriculum, policy, product promotion, and everything else imaginable. Last I heard, over 2,000 people are registered to attend.

That wasn’t always the case, however.

Originally, the conference was going to cost $25 per attendee. This was going to include one day’s parking pass and one lunch session with a keynote speaker. Then, one day, the SDE realized that they couldn’t pay for open-ended parking passes, but everything else was the same. About a week after that change, registration became free on the SDE website, but attendees could still select a luncheon for $25. Then that changed too; luncheons were now $8.

So it took several iterations in planning, but now the SDE has a new conference. Content for breakout sessions was only posted this week. In that time, some of the content of the luncheons that people have paid for has even been altered, even if the program does not reflect this. In short, a lot of people are going to show up next week, hoping that their time isn’t being wasted.

If you go, and you have a story to tell about the conference, shoot me a message, either through my blog or my Twitter account. I’d love to share the grins and giggles we’re all expecting in this space.Image

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  1. June 7, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Thank you for the details on this “professional development” conference. I don’t know who you are but I think I love you! Keep up the great work. 🙂


  1. July 14, 2014 at 6:06 pm
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