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Session I - 2018 Education Speaker Series

Can New Mexico Build a High Performing Education System for a Changing World?

Monday, June 11, 2018, 12:00–2:00pm

Session Notes

National Speaker: Michelle Exstrom

Michelle Exstrom is the Education Group Director at the National Conference of State Legislatures where she oversees NCSL’s work with state legislators on education policy. Her areas of expertise include educator effectiveness, standards, assessment, accountability and international comparisons. She also serves as staff to NCSL’s Education Standing Committee. Exstrom has been serving state legislators for more than 20 years. During the past 19 years at NCSL, she has provided research and testimony to state legislatures, published annual reports on education legislation in all 50 states and numerous reports, legislative guides and magazine articles on education policy. Prior to NCSL, Exstrom served as a Senior Legislative Assistant in the Colorado General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Legal Services for three years. In that capacity, she assisted in drafting finance, taxation and state and local government legislation and with legal research for the General Assembly. Exstrom holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, graduate-level paralegal certification and has completed coursework for her Master's degree in Political Science, with an emphasis in politics and public policy.

Local Context Speaker: Senator Mimi Stewart

Mimi Stewart is a member of the New Mexico State Senate, representing District 17 since December 2014. 
Stewart previously served in the New Mexico House of Representatives, representing District 21 from January 1995 until her appointment to the Senate. She is a member of the Senate Education Committee and is Chair of the Legislative Education Study Committee.

Photo: courtesy of

Moderator: Jeannie Oakes

Jeannie Oakes was a Presidential Professor in Educational Equity in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. She also was the founder and former director of UCLA’s Institute for Democracy, Education and Access (IDEA), former director of the University of California’s All Campus Consortium on Research for Diversity (ACCORD), as well as the founding director of Center X. Oakes’ research focused on schooling inequalities and followed the progress of educators and activists seeking socially just schools. In November 2008, Oakes left UCLA to join the Ford Foundation as its Director of Education and Scholarship.


Michelle Exstrom
Senator Mimi Stewart
Jeannie Oakes
Allan Oliver
Jenny Parks