Join WestEd at the National ESEA Conference on February 7–10, 2024, at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon, and virtually. This year’s conference theme is “Create the Possibilities!”
The National ESEA Conference is aimed at coordination among federal education programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and other federal programs for disadvantaged students. It brings together educators from across the nation to learn, communicate, and re-energize.
Learn more about WestEd’s in-person and virtual sessions. Don’t forget to visit our booths (#910 and #911), where you can meet our team and learn about our resources, professional development opportunities, and research.
Wednesday, February 7, 2024
In-Person Session: Addressing Beliefs to Create Equitable Systems for Currently Marginalized Students
This panel will focus on spotlighting equitable outcomes for English Learners, students with disabilities, and students from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds. To address the opportunity gaps and disparate behavioral outcomes, student-centered professional development, technical assistance, and policy reviews centered around racial equity are crucial steps toward eradicating such concerning outcomes. Learn more.
Related event: Presenter David Lopez will be greeting in-person attendees at the “Meet the Author” counter in the Portland Ballroom lobby on Level 2, Wednesday, February 7 from 4:15 p.m.–4:45 p.m. (Pacific).
In-Person Session: Kahua—Building a Foundation for Rapid School Turnaround
Time: 3:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m. (Pacific)
Presenters: Jana Chang (Hawaii Department of Education), Jamie Dela Cruz (Waimanalo Elementary and Intermediate School), and Giselle Sherry-Marsh (WestEd)
“ ‘O ke kahua ma mua, ma hope ke kukulu”—Set the foundation first, then the building.
Waimanalo Elementary and Intermediate is a Title 1 school in a rural, predominantly Native Hawaiian community that was identified for comprehensive school improvement in 2022. Presenters will share how the initial stage of their improvement journey leverages shared leadership, data, and evidence-based practices to build a foundation for rapid turnaround. Learn more.
Thursday, February 8, 2024
In-Person Session: Collaborative Approach to Build Teacher Leadership and Innovate the Education Workforce
Time: 9:45 a.m.–10:45 a.m. (Pacific)
Location: Oregon Ballroom 201
Presenters: Bruce Duplanty (Arizona Department of Education), Andrea Fourlis (Mesa Public Schools), Lisa Maresso Wyatt (ASU’s Next Education Workforce), and Kate Wright (WestEd)
The Region 15 Comprehensive Center, in partnership with the Arizona Department of Education and Arizona State University, investigated how a distributed leadership model could improve classroom culture, increase educator recruitment and retention, and lead to improved student outcomes. This session will share research on teacher leadership and highlight the potential for state education agencies, institutes of higher education, and regional comprehensive centers to collaborate in support of local education agencies, leveraging federal funding to build effective classroom models. Participants will gain an understanding of the possibilities to innovate educator workforce models through teacher leadership. Learn more.
In-Person Session: Exploring the Nuances of School Leadership Teams to Advance Goals
Time: 1:45 p.m.–3:15 p.m. (Pacific)
Location: Oregon Ballroom 204
Presenter: Terry Hofer (WestEd)
School leaders constantly work to uphold and support the essential tasks, habits, and routines that help faculty and students to achieve and surpass established goals. These visionary leaders use school leadership team meetings to monitor and refine yearly progress.
This session, using customized conversation cards, will engage participants in discussions and brainstorming circles about effective leadership team meetings. Participants will engage with The Four Domains Goal Tuning Protocol, a resource that incorporates the 12 practices of the Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement. Learn more.
Virtual Workshop: Supporting New Mexico LEAs in Strategically Using ARP Funds to Meet Student Needs
Facing the task of ensuring that its local education agencies (LEAs) had what they needed to effectively use American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to meet students’ most pressing needs, the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) asked the Region 13 Comprehensive Center (R13CC) to help provide support to district leaders. This session will share the learning and working opportunities that R13CC provided to New Mexico LEAs in 2022, including virtual training, ongoing technical assistance, and the dissemination of resources and tools to help LEA leaders understand, plan for, and leverage their federal relief funds based on the unique needs of their students. Learn more.
Friday, February 9, 2024
In-Person Session: Drop Out! Stop Out! Push Out!: Graduating Indigenous Students
Participants will review recent Indigenous students’ high school graduation rates and dropout statistics, existing initiatives to improve high school graduation rates, the systemic nature of the dropout challenge, and alternative approaches to increasing Native student graduation rates through original research and an examination of statistical data from the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, United States Department of Education, and United States Department of Labor studies. Participants will also discuss specific recommendations for responding to rates of high school completion among American Indian and Alaska Native students in western states served by the Western Educational Equity Assistance Center at WestEd. Learn more.
In-Person Session: Creating New Possibilities for Multilingual Learners in the Next ESEA Authorization
Time: 9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m. (Pacific)
Presenters: Melissa Castillo (United States Department of Education), Molly Faulkner-Bond (WestEd), Alesha Moreno-Ramirez (California Department of Education), and Karen D. Thompson (Oregon State University)
This session will feature a panel discussion among federal and state policymakers and researchers about successes under the Every Student Succeeds Act, lessons learned, and how to build on that progress. Panelists will share research findings, gaps, and policy considerations related to key topics such as access to and expansion of multilingual programs, the inclusion of English Learner (EL) students in state and local accountability, policies for exiting from EL status, and the evolution of the label itself. Learn more.
In-Person Session: Cross-Agency Collaboration as a Lever for Strengthening the Teaching Workforce
As states across the country struggle to attract and prepare teachers to fill critical gaps in the educator workforce, the availability of one-time funds presents an unprecedented opportunity to provide affordable, high-quality pathways into the profession. Effectively leveraging one-time funds can require coordination and collaboration across multiple state and local entities, including state departments of education, credentialing authorities, higher education institutions, and school districts. This session will showcase the work of a cross-agency state collaborative in California to identify and overcome implementation barriers to ensuring teachers have access to affordable, high-quality, and clinically rich pathways into the profession, with a particular focus on increasing the number of teachers serving early childhood and multi-language learners. Learn more.
Saturday, February 10, 2024
In-Person Session: Center Synergy: A Tale of Two Centers Coming Together to Produce Similar Outcomes
Time: 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. (Pacific)
Location: Oregon Ballroom 202
Presenters: Jamey Burho (WestEd), Julie Esparza Brown (Portland University), Alexandria Harvey (WestEd), and Kirsi Laine (New Mexico Public Education Department)
Participants will hear from and interact with staff from comprehensive and technical assistance centers and practitioner partners about the work they implement around research-informed practices for students designated as English Learners, including students with disabilities. Participants will learn how multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) provide focused support for students designated as English Learners with or without disabilities in school-level implementation and examine ways to move toward more equitable research-informed practices. Participants will hear from collaborators representing the Region 13 Comprehensive Center and the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) about the process for creating NMPED’s Practitioner’s Guide for Serving English Learners with Disabilities. Learn more.