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2017 Roundtable

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Leading for Change in Early Childhood Education

San Francisco, CA | June 7-9, 2017





  • THEME – Leading for Change in Early Childhood Education

    PURPOSE  – This meeting is collaboratively planned by national technical assistance partners and the National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education (NAECS-SDE) and designed to build the capacity of state agency leaders and early childhood specialists to provide informed leadership about research-based practices to support an effective, high performing statewide systems for children birth through third grade.

    OUTCOMES – As a result of this meeting, state early childhood education administrators and others will increase:

    • Effectiveness in engaging diverse partners and perspectives to drive system change
    • Utilization of results-focused leadership  and planning to achieve policy goals
    • Integration of implementation science to support program expansion and policy goals
    • Knowledge of the barriers, tools and strategies to address racial, economic and cultural diversity and equity


    Want to learn more about the Roundtable experience? Read the March IMPACT newsletter for GG Weisenfeld’s reflection on how activities and connections she made during a previous Roundtable enhanced her work launching Hawaii’s state-funded pre-K program. Contact your state liaison for more information.



  • 2016 SPEAKERS

    SteveBarnett Steve Barnett is Director of NIEER and Principal Investigator at CEELO. Steve is a Board of Governors Professor and Director of the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University. His research includes studies of the economics of early care and education including costs and benefits, the long-term effects of preschool programs on children’s learning and development, and the distribution of educational opportunities. Dr. Barnett earned his Ph.D. in economics at the University of Michigan. He has authored or co-authored over 180 publications. Research interests include the economics of human development and practical policies for translating research findings into effective public investments. His best known works include: reviews of the research on long-term effects; benefit-cost analyses of the Perry Preschool and Abecedarian programs; randomized trials comparing alternative approaches to educating children including length of day,monolingual versus dual-language immersion, the Tools of the Mind curriculum; and, the series of State Preschool Yearbooks providing annual state-by-state analyses of progress in public pre-K.


    TracyBTracy Benson is President of  the  Waters Foundation – Systems Thinking in Education. As a leader, author and innovator in the fields of systems thinking and organizational learning, Tracy brings extensive practitioner experience to her organization’s education and corporate work. As an educator, she has taught at elementary and secondary levels and has been a school principal and district level instructional coach and evaluator.  In addition to K-12 experience, Tracy has served as an adjunct professor in both undergraduate and graduate university programs for teachers and administrators.  She has been a contributing author to several books and most recently is co-author of the Habit-forming Guide to Becoming a Systems Thinker. Tracy leads a national team of exceptional educators who skillfully make systems thinking concepts and tools accessible to real-world, practical applications.  From the classroom to the boardroom, her capacity building and coaching sessions engage, motivate and inspire people wanting to make positive differences in their thinking, learning and leading.


    Cusumano_DaleDale Lynn Cusumano, brings to this project her expertise working at the early childhood, school, district, university, and state levels as a researcher, nationally certified school psychologist, program coordinator, and evaluator. Within her current position at the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN), she provides technical assistance to state departments of education focused on building the knowledge and skills that facilitate development of evidence-based infrastructures in service of delivering full and effective use of evidence-based instruction practices to students. Dale also has served as the Project Director for the IES funded Team-Initiated Problem Solving (TIPS) grant. She also has served as a Project Evaluator of a federally-funded Early Learning Opportunities grant, which examined the effect of coaching to facilitate implementation of an early literacy. At the district level, Dale has assisted in designing and delivering professional development modules that refined implementation of RtI at the school level. Dale’s research and evaluation efforts have been published in numerous journals one of which was selected as an honorable mention for outstanding article that contributed to the field of early childhood education. Virtual training and on-line resource development has been a critical part of Dale’s recent work including on-line course development at the university and the development and design of materials housed on the website dedicated to TIPS (http://www.pbis.org/training/tips).


    Maurice1Maurice Sykes is Executive Director of the Early Childhood Leadership Institute, University of the District of Columbia. Maurice, author Doing the Right Thing for Children: Eight Qualities of Leadership, is the Executive Director of the Early Childhood Leadership Institute at the university of the District of Columbia’s National Center for Urban Education, he has spent his career advancing high-quality early educational reform, teacher professional development, advancement and compensation. Maurice formerly served as deputy superintendent and director of early childhood programs for the District of Columbia Public School System. He advised the US Department of Education on policy and programs related to urban school improvement and served as a National Educational Policy Fellow at the Institute for Educational Leadership and subsequently coordinated the DC Fellows Program for midcareer leaders. Sykes was profiled as an Early Childhood Champion in a national study conducted by the National Association of State Boards of Education in 1997 and he was elected to the governing board of the National Association for the Education of Young Children in 1999. Maurice has written for numerous publications and has traveled nationwide inspiring and challenging schools and communities to do the right thing for children.


    Ward_CarynCaryn Ward is the Associate Director of Education and Measurement for the National Implementation Research Network at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Ward provides intensive, informed implementation supports to state and local education systems nationally through her work as the Co-Director of the State Implementation and Scaling-up of Evidence-based Practices Center, Center on School Turnaround, and National Center for Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning. In addition, she co-leads the development of several implementation capacity measures and fidelity measures for use within state and local education systems. Previously, she has provided direct and indirect services as a school psychologist, a Response to Intervention (RTI) district coordinator, and the project director for the North Carolina RTI Consortium. The consortium developed several implementation tools under Dr. Ward’s leadership such as the Implementation Roadmap and others to develop implementation capacity, solve problems, and assure organization wide evidence-based practice use and sustainability.


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