Thursday, April 5, 2012

Check Out a Preview of the Lineup to be Featured at our 2012 National Policy Summit!

The American Federation for Children’s National Policy Summit is just under one month away! And we have some exciting speakers lined up:

  • Wisconsin Representative Jason Fields (D)
Representative Jason Fields, a Democrat representing Milwaukee, has been a strong supporter of school choice in the Badger State.  In 2011, he not only voted in favor of the expansion of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, but he also ensured that a “once in, always in” provision, which allowed participating families to remain eligible for the program despite future income growth, was included in the expansion package.

  • New Jersey Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D)
Assemblyman Troy Singleton is strong supporter of the Opportunity Scholarship Act and wrote an editorial in the Times of Trenton, where he wrote why he supported this much-needed legislation:

“I am committed to ensuring that all children have that same opportunity to succeed. As we continue to strive to enhance our education system for all the state’s children, we have to consider tools such as the OSA to save as many students as we can as we pursue that goal.”

  • Dr. Tony Bennett
Dr. Tony Bennett, superintendent of Indiana Public Schools helped shepherded in a new era of choice in the Hoosier State.  Under his tenure, Governor Daniels signed the Choice Scholarship Program into law.  This voucher program is the nation’s broadest voucher program in the nation and in its first year provided scholarships to nearly 4,000 students.  In addition, Bennett has seen an increase in graduation rates in the state for the fifth consecutive year.

  • Georgia Representative Rahn Mayo (D)
This Democrat not only supports school choice, he put his words behind his actions this year when Mayo voted in support of Senate Bill 181, which expands the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program—a voucher program for students with special needs.  In the 2011-12 school year, the program served nearly 3,000 students. 

  • Dr. Arlene Ackerman
Dr. Arlene Ackerman has over 40 years of experience in the public school system as a teacher, principal, and, most recently, a superintendent of the 10th largest school district in the United States. An ardent supporter of public education, she has worked tirelessly to improve public schools on opposite ends of the country, in and out of the classroom. But Arlene Ackerman realizes that many public schools aren’t serving the children in their buildings, and for them, another option is necessary. That’s why the former superintendent surprised many in the education establishment when she forcefully endorsed school choice, even going as far as calling access to a quality education “the civil rights battle of our generation.”

  • Juan Williams
One of the nation’s leading journalists, commentators, and political analysts has become active in education reform, calling it the civil rights issue of our times. Williams previously hosted “Talk of the Nation” and “America’s Black Forum” on National Public Radio and worked as a political columnist, editorial writer, and White House correspondent for more than 20 years at The Washington Post.  And now he is channeling his journalistic voice toward improving educational options for the children who need it most!

  • Dr. Patrick Wolf 
Dr. Patrick Wolf, a leading researcher of school choice programs across the nation, studying the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program for the U.S. Department of Education.  Wolf has also studied the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program for the School Choice Demonstration Project, which recently released its final report.  Wolf knows the facts, figures, and trends of school choice programs across the nation.  His insight gives policymakers, advocates, and skeptics, the truth about school choice programs.

  • Dr. Howard Fuller
Dr. Howard Fuller will be leading a panel of public school officials at the 2012 Summit, which is appropriate, since Fuller headed up the Milwaukee Public Schools from 1991-1995.  Fuller now at the Institute for the Transformation of Learning at Marquette University, which he founded in 1995.  In 2011, Fuller received the John T. Walton Champions for School Choice Award from the Alliance for School Choice.

  • Virginia Delegate Jimmie Massie (R)
Delegate Massie led the fight in the legislature to pass legislation to create the Old Dominion State’s first school choice program.  Passed earlier this year, the bill is awaiting signature from the governor—and when it does, Virginia will be the fourteenth state to offer a publicly funded private school choice program.

  • Kevin P. Chavous
Kevin P. Chavous, senior advisor for the American Federation for Children and advocate for students from low-income families will once again serve as the Master of Ceremonies at our summit.  And this year, he’ll be signing copies of his new book, which profiles students across the country that have overcome adversity and are thriving thanks to getting a quality education.

  • Dr. Craig Barrett
Dr. Craig Barrett is a leading advocate for improving education in the U.S. and around the world. The former CEO of the Intel Corporation, Barrett has been an outspoken ally in the fight for education reform and will speak about the need for improved technology in America’s schools.  Barrett is president and chairman of BASIS School Inc., an Arizona-based network of successful charter schools. He is also chairman of Achieve Inc., chairman of Change the Equation, a national coalition of CEOs seeking to create widespread literacy in science, technology, engineering, and math, and chairman of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's Arizona Ready Education Council.

And that’s only to name a few of our featured guests.  Stay tuned to hear who else is scheduled to keynote our Summit.  Or, register now and be there to find out!

Visit for more information.

- American Federation for Children | Alliance for School Choice, MSG

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