KH headshot

Kati Haycock

President, The Education Trust

One of the nation’s leading advocates in the field of education, Kati Haycock founded The Education Trust to promote the high academic achievement of all students, pre-kindergarten through college. The Ed Trust seeks to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement that consign too many low-income students and students of color to lives on the margins of the American mainstream.

Before leading the Ed Trust, Kati served as executive vice president of the Children’s Defense Fund, the nation’s largest child advocacy organization. Earlier, she was founding president of The Achievement Council, a California organization that assisted teachers and principals at predominantly minority schools in improving student achievement. She also served as director of outreach and student affirmative action programs for the nine-campus University of California system.

Kati speaks about educational improvement before thousands of educators, community and business leaders, and policymakers each year. A native Californian, she has received numerous awards for her service to our nation’s youth, and she serves as a director on several education-related boards, including those of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, The New Teacher Project, and the Hunt Institute.



Dr. Shaun R. Harper

Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education

Shaun R. Harper is on the faculty in the Graduate School of Education, Africana Studies, and Gender Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also serves as Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education. Professor Harper’s research examines race and gender in education, equity trends and racial climates on college campuses, Black and Latino male student success in high school and higher education, and college student engagement.

He is author of over 85 peer-reviewed journal articles and other academic publications. Review of Research in Education, Journal of Higher Education, Journal of College Student Development, The Review of Higher Education, and Teachers College Record are some journals in which Dr. Harper’s research is published. His 11 books include Student Engagement in Higher Education (2009, 2015), College Men and Masculinities(2010), and Advancing Black Male Student Success from Preschool through Ph.D. (2015). The American Educational Research Association presented him its 2010 Early Career Award and 2014 Relating Research to Practice Award.

He also received the 2008 Association for the Study of Higher Education Early Career Award. The New York Times, Los Angeles Times,Washington Post, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, and numerous other media outlets have quoted Dr. Harper and featured his groundbreaking research. He has appeared on ESPN, CSPAN, and multiple times on NPR. Professor Harper earned his bachelor’s degree from Albany State, a Historically Black University in Georgia, and Ph.D. from Indiana University.


Education, Lois Hunter

Deborah Loewenberg Ball

Dean of the School of Education at the University of Michigan

Deborah Loewenberg Ball is the William H. Payne Collegiate Professor in education at the University of Michigan, and an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor. She currently serves as dean of the School of Education and as director of TeachingWorks. She taught elementary school for more than 15 years, and continues to teach mathematics to elementary students every summer.

Her research focuses on the practice of mathematics instruction, and on the improvement of teacher training and development. She is an expert on teacher education, with a particular interest in how professional training and experience combine to equip beginning teachers with the skills and knowledge needed for responsible practice.

Ball has authored or co-authored more than 150 publications and has lectured and made numerous major presentations around the world. Her research has been recognized with several awards and honors, and she has served on several national and international commissions and panels focused on policy initiatives and the improvement of education, including the National Mathematics Advisory Panel and the Michigan Council for Educator Effectiveness.

She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Mathematics Society, and the American Educational Research Association, and an elected member of the National Academy of Education. Ball serves on the National Science Board and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute Board of Trustees, and chairs the Spencer Foundation Board of Directors.




Susana Cordova

Chief Schools Officer of the Denver Public Schools

Susana Cordova brought over 20 years’ experience in the Denver Public Schools to her new position as Chief Schools Officer of the Denver Public Schools, after having served as Chief Academic Officer since 2010. She is a life-long Denver resident and has worked in DPS Schools at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.

Prior to being named Chief Academic Officer, Susana held several positions in Central Administration, including serving as the Executive Director of Teaching and Learning. She received her undergraduate degree in English from the University of Denver and a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction/Education Administration from the University of Colorado. She is a proud alumnus of the Denver Public Schools and her two children are also current and former DPS students.

Cordova began her teaching career as a bilingual teacher at Horace Mann Middle School, teaching English and Spanish in a dual language program. From there, she moved to West High School, where she was an ESL and English teacher and department chair. She became a student advisor supervising discipline when she was recruited for the Denver Public Schools Leadership Academy. She served as the assistant principal at Bryant Webster Elementary school for one year before becoming the Principal of Remington Elementary School, a school with a 95% free/reduced lunch population. In 2002, Cordova was recruited to the central office as the Director of Literacy. Under her supervision, DPS implemented a district-wide literacy program at all grades, with comprehensive pacing and planning guides and resources. The DPS Literacy Program included extensive support for schools with building-based coaches and ongoing professional development for teachers.

Past speakers include:

  • Current and former district, state, and higher ed leaders: Peter Gorman of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., Deborah Jewell-Sherman of Richmond, Va., Andres Alonso of Baltimore City, Md., and Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • Civil rights leaders and activists: Delia Pompa of The National Council of La Raza, Marqueece Harris-Dawson of the Community Coalition, and the young leaders from the “Dreamers” movement for immigrant students’ educational rights
  • National leaders: Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan and former Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Russlynn Ali
  • Practitioner-researchers, scholars and authors: Charles Payne, author of So Much Reform, So Little Change: The Persistence of Failure in Urban Schools; Doug Lemov, author of Teach Like a Champion; Daniel Willingham, psychologist and author of Why Don’t Students Like School; and E.D. Hirsch, leader and founder of Core Knowledge

FAQs - Please check back frequently for updates.

Who should attend the conference?

Our conference is designed for educators and advocates from across the nation. If your mission is equity in education, thisis your conference.

How many people attend conference?

We expect about 600 educators and advocates.

How many concurrent sessions will be offered at conference?

The conference will feature approximately 40 sessions led by educators and advocates from across the nation with track records of getting results for kids and practical strategies to share.

What is included in the registration fee?

  • An opportunity to be inspired, to get the latest in policy and practice for those working to raise achievement and close gaps, and to network with advocates and educators who are also committed to equity;
  • Access to all plenaries and concurrent sessions;
  • Admission to a themed reception on Thursday, November 13
  • After the conference, access to PowerPoint presentations from the sessions;
  • Conference program book;
  • Participant list;
  • On-site cyber cafe and complimentary Internet; and
  • On-site conference meals including:
  • Breakfast and  lunch on Thursday, November 13 and
  • Breakfast and lunch on Friday, November 14

Will this conference provide continuing education units?

Unfortunately, the Ed Trust is unable to provide professional learning credits for conference.

Where is the conference?

The conference host hotel is the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel located in Baltimore, MD. Conference activities will take place on the fifth floor of the hotel.

What is the best way to get to the hotel from the airport?

The hotel does not offer a shuttle service. We recommend the SuperShuttle as the most economical way to travel to and from the airport.

What sponsorship opportunities are available?

The Ed Trust welcomes sponsors. Please contact  our development office, to learn more about these opportunities.