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Education Speaker Series

July 2018–December 2020

The Purpose of the Education Speaker Series is to convene a cross-sector “study group” of New Mexican leaders and influencers who are willing to invest personal time and effort to learn about and work toward a long-term vision for education in the state.  Key leaders in business, education and nonprofit sectors, as well as key policymakers in the legislative and executive branches were invited to participate.

The series was hosted by LANL Foundation, Santa Fe Community Foundation and Thornburg Foundation.

The Approach is a series of lunch discussions with national and local experts about the implications for New Mexico of findings about the characteristics of high-performing education systems around the world, as reported in, No Time to Lose: How to Build a World-Class Education System, State by State, created by the National Conference on State Legislatures. Last year, the NM Legislative Education Study Committee used this report as a framework to discuss potential improvements to education in our state. Series speakers included experts in their fields who discussed concepts, reviewed research evidence and provided examples of where the ideas have led to successful models. Along with a national speaker, each lunch session also featured a New Mexico speaker and a moderator offering local context and experience. Time was reserved at the end of each session for questions from the group.

According to the No Time to Lose report, international studies find that high performing education systems have the following in common: 1) Children come to school ready to learn, and extra support is given to struggling students so that all have the opportunity to achieve high standards, 2) a reimagined and professionalized teacher workforce, 3) robust career and technical education programs and 4) a comprehensive, aligned system of education.

Location: Thornburg Investment Management, 2300 North Ridgetop Road, Santa Fe (except Dec. Session VII at La Fonda On the Plaza, La Terraza Room)
Each session is from 12:00–2:00PM and includes lunch.

During the series, the following topics were explored. Click each title for speaker bios and session notes.

Session I. Monday, June 11, 2018
Can New Mexico Build a High Performing Education System for a Changing World?

National Speaker: Michelle Exstrom, Group Director, Education, National Conference on State Legislatures
Local Context Speaker: Senator Mimi Stewart, NM State Legislature
Moderator: Jeannie Oakes, former Presidential Professor in Educational Equity at UCLA, former Director of Education and Scholarship at the Ford Foundation

Session II. Wednesday, July 18, 2018
The New Fundamentals: What Science Tells Us About Learning, Brain Development, and Motivation

National Speaker: Melina Uncapher, Executive Director, Institute for Applied Neurology; Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology at Neurospace, University of California San Francisco
Local Context Speaker: Cindy Montoya, President, New Mexico School for the Arts (NMSA), Art Institute
Moderator: Kersti Tyson, Professor, Department of Teacher Education, Educational Leadership, and Policy (TEELP), University of New Mexico

Session III. Thursday, August 9, 2018
Early Childhood: The Science Behind and Importance of Early Brain Development

National Speaker: Amelia Bachleda, Outreach and Education Specialist, The Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS), University of Washington
Local Context Speaker: Anna Marie Garcia, Early Childhood Program Director, LANL Foundation
Moderator: Jennifer Sallee, Director of the Early Childhood Center of Excellence, Santa Fe Community College

Session IV. Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Equity from the Get Go: Giving All Students a Fair Shot

National Speaker: Pedro Noguera,  Professor Emeritus, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
Local Context Speaker: Kara Bobroff, Founding Principal and Executive Director at Native American Community Academy
Moderator: Gwen Perea Warniment, K–12 Program Director, LANL Foundation

Session V. October 23, 2018
Trauma: Informing How Trauma Impacts Learning in New Mexico

National Speaker: David Osher, Vice President and Institute Fellow at the American Institutes for Research
Local Context Speaker: Craig Pierce, PhD, LMFT, LPCC; Founder & President of the Southwest Family Guidance Center & Institute 
Moderator: Katherine Ortega Courtney, author, Director of Collective Impact Initiatives at Santa Fe Community Foundation

Session VI. Thursday, November 15, 2018
Building a World Class Education Profession

National Speaker: Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education Emeritus at Stanford University
Local Context Speaker: Dr. Karen Trujillo, Interim Associate Dean of Research for the College of Education at New Mexico State University
Moderator: Dr. Wanda Tamez-Bulger, Co-Project Investigator and Director of the Mathematically Connected Communities (MC2) Project at New Mexico State University STEM Outreach Cente

*Session VII. Thursday, December 13, 2018
Ambitious Instruction: Innovative Practices for Engaged Learning

*NOTE: This session is located at La Fonda on the Plaza, La Terraza Room, 100 E San Francisco St, Santa Fe, NM 87501

National Speaker: Jal Mehta, Associate Professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education
Local Context Speaker: Dr. Peter Skelton, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist at New Mexico State University
Moderator: Ahlum Scarola, Head Learner at Mandela International Magnet School

Session VIII. Monday, January 14, 2019
Coherent Pathways That Include Rigorous Career and Technical Education

National Speaker: Gary Hoachlander, President of ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career
Local Context Speaker: Tony Monfiletto, Director of New Mexico Center for School Leadership
Moderator: Tony Gerlicz, retired principal

Session IX. Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Taking a Systems Approach

National Speaker: Terry Holliday, Chair, National Professional Teaching Standards Board
Local Context Speakers: Gene Schmidt, Superintendent, Farmington Municipal Schools and Kurt Steinhaus, Superintendent, Los Alamos Public Schools
Moderator: Bill Wadt, LANL Foundation Board

Session X. Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Looking Back and Looking Forward

Post-Legislative Panelists: Mimi Stewart, Vice Chair, LESC, Adan Delgado, Deputy Secretary for Finance & Operations, NM PED, David Abbey, Superintendent, Director, Legislative Finance Committee,

Regis Pecos, Santa Fe Indian School Leadership, Center for Law & Poverty Board of Directors, and Director of Legislative Affairs NM House Majority Leader, and Victoria Tafoya, Director of Operations Dual Language Education of NM

Moderator: Jeannie Oakes

Notes from ESS X


Session XI. Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Improving  Education the New Mexico Way

National Speaker: Daniel EspinozaResearch & Policy Associate, Learning Policy Institute

Local Speakers: Jeannie OakesSenior Fellow in Residence, LPI and Carmen Gonzales, Vice President Emerita New Mexico State University

LPI New Mexico Study PR

NM Long Term Plan Summary

NM Long Term Plan Report

ESS XI: Presentation Breakout Group Notes

ESS XI PowerPoint Slides

ESS XI: Zoom Presentation

Bonus: Linda Darling Hammond Presentation from November 20, 2019