National Quality Education Conference: Systems Thinking Helps Prepare Students for College and Careers

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Implementing best practices and innovative approaches to help student achievement is the goal of the 20th National Quality Education Conference (NQEC) sponsored by ASQ.

Preparing students with the 21st century skills they need to ultimately gain access to college and future careers is a challenge facing educators throughout the nation. Implementing best practices and innovative approaches to help student achievement is the goal of the 20th National Quality Education Conference (NQEC) sponsored by ASQ. The conference will be held November 11 – 12, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency, Louisville, Ky.

This year’s theme is Developing Global Leaders through Quality Schools, Classrooms, and Systems Thinking. The conference features the following keynote speakers:

•Sunday, Nov. 11, 8:15 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. – Terry Holliday, Ph.D., is the commissioner of education for Kentucky. Holliday was previously superintendent of the Iredell-Statesville school district in North Carolina, which under his leadership received the 2008 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Holliday’s presentation will focus on how a data-driven and systemic process “Moneyball” approach can create positive education changes from the classroom to the state education agency level.

•Sunday, Nov. 11, 8:15 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. – C. Jackson Grayson is founder and chairman of the American Productivity & Quality Center. Grayson’s presentation will share how using the methodology of process and performance management (PPM) in instruction and operations can help you to transform your K-12 school, district, or state.

“Our job as educators is to help students successfully navigate a fast-changing and challenging world,” said Holliday. “Attending NQEC can provide a fresh perspective and innovative new ideas that inspire teachers and administrators to transform their own school systems and raise the bar on student achievement.”

Education experts are featured in four major focus areas supporting the national education agenda for high standards, data-driven decisions, and increased graduation rates. These areas include:
•Curriculum, instruction, assessment and 21st century learning.
•Strategic planning and systems thinking.
•Using quality practices to close the achievement gap, pre-K-12 through college.
•Baldrige in education for significant continuous improvement.

Program Highlights
Educators can take part in more than 30 in-depth sessions as well as five preconference half-day workshops. Topics include:

•Closing the Achievement Gap—A Professional Development Model - Cindy McClung, coordinator of Curriculum and Development; School District of Lee County; Fort Myers, Fla. and Bob Hoglund, President; Bob Hoglund Inc.; Tempe, Ariz. (half-day workshop).

•Continuous Improvement in Reading for Every Student, Despite All Obstacles - Will Black, principal; Brookport Elementary; Massac Unit #1 School District; Brookport, Ill and Laura Walker, principal; Metropolis Elementary; Massac Unit #1 School District; Metropolis, Ill.

•Inquiry: A 21st Century Approach to Making Learning Meaningful - Lisa Muller, assistant superintendent, Curriculum and Instruction and Robyn Paliotta, curriculum resource instructor, Secondary Mathematics; Jenks Public Schools; Jenks, Okla.

•Strategic Planning and Doing—What It Looks Like and Sounds Like in Collaborative Teaching Teams and in Classrooms - Denise Holliday, continuous improvement coach; Brenda Clark Consulting Inc.; Fairview, N.C. and Mathew Fail, executive director of Organizational Planning and Accountability; Cabarrus County Schools; Concord, N.C.

NQEC is the nation’s leading conference for teachers, administrators and support personnel to learn about the use of quality tools and concepts that can be applied to improve U.S. schools. It is an outstanding opportunity for educators seeking awareness, commitment, refinement and measurable progress in applying continuous improvement approaches and processes.

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Christel Henke
American Society for Quality
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