School district to showcase reforms

'Innovation Summit' set for three days in June

Posted 5/8/14

The Douglas County School District will open its doors to those in the education world curious about its education-reform efforts during a summer Innovation Summit.

The event is planned from June 18-20. Sessions will take place in district …

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School district to showcase reforms

'Innovation Summit' set for three days in June

Posted

The Douglas County School District will open its doors to those in the education world curious about its education-reform efforts during a summer Innovation Summit.

The event is planned from June 18-20. Sessions will take place in district schools.

“This is not going to be your average experience,” Superintendent Elizabeth Fagen said on a promotional video for the event on DCSD's website. “This is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to collaborate on the transformation, the reinvention of American education, that we all know is best for our kids.”

School officials said they've frequently hosted guests from other school districts, but the visits can be disruptive.

“We are going to host districts from across the country,” DCSD community relations officer Cinamon Watson told the school board during its May 6 meeting.

The Innovation Summit is described as a way for attendees to “Get everything you need to spark change within your school district,” according to the website. “We will share best practices from actual implementation by teachers and leaders for kids. You'll collaborate with teachers who have reinvented their classrooms and teaching for the 21st century, uncover changes that have put millions of dollars into the classroom, work alongside staff who have reinvented professional pay in education, and receive authentic feedback on your ideas and your work.”

Sessions will cover professional development, market-based pay, pay-for-performance, teacher evaluations, the legally challenged choice scholarship voucher program and school security, among other subjects.

One parent asked school leaders about the cost of the event. She did not receive an immediate response, though board president Kevin Larsen said they would look into it.

“I don't appreciate my taxpayer dollars being spent on this Innovation Summit,” said Anne-Marie Lemieux. “There is no data to prove these innovations are working. If anything we have data to show they're not working and are diverting funding away from authentic education resources.”

DCSD spokeswoman Paula Hans said the cost to the district will be minimal, with registration and sponsorships covering the majority of the expenses.

Cost to attend the event is $200 per person, or $400 for teams of two or more.

Three employees of North Carolina's General Assembly visited DCSD in June 2013. Based on that visit, a North Carolina subcommittee recently introduced draft open-enrollment legislation to allow students to attend any public school in the state.

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