Coming Soon: Vision 2020 II – The Sequel
The SDE’s big summer conference is approaching quickly. They’ve marketed it like crazy, and there are quite a few educators registered. In case you haven’t had a chance to look at what they’re offering, you should click here and see if it’s worth your time to attend any of the conference, scheduled for July 9-11 in Oklahoma City.
(Note: At this time, none of the workshops cover the relative advantages/disadvantages of the overuse of first person pronouns in letters sent to ravished [sic] school districts.)
Of note is the two hour “Parent Power” block the night of the ninth. Surely this will include opportunities to help parents understand why schools put no stock in the failed A-F Report Cards, how the so-called Parent Trigger is failing in other states, and what they can do to get on the SDE’s naughty list.
(I’m looking at you, Jenks.)
You can also read more about the three keynote speakers that the SDE has paid brought in with big money. Tuesday’s keynote speaker, Ryan Quinn, is a business professor at the University of Virginia. Wednesday, Ron Clark makes a return visit from last year. Finally, Thursday, Tony Wagner is a professor at Harvard and a prolific author of books and articles on education reform.
The conference website includes links to breakout sessions by topic, where you can see a title, a time, and a date. The workshops have no descriptions or presenter information, however. This makes it difficult to know anything about the quality or specific content of the sessions. If you’re within a comfortable drive of Oklahoma City, this probably matters less to you than if you’re coming from 100 miles away or more.
I’ve always been a believer that high-quality professional development can make us better at our jobs. And since our job is to improve the lives of our students, we should always be about self-improvement. Ask yourself, though: how much will three keynote speakers and a series of disconnected workshops change the way you do your job? On the other hand, it’s free.
Last year, I went to the conference and gave it a C. It’s time to clear the slate and see how this one turns out.