This inaugural boot camp brought together diverse state advocates — from business, civil rights, disability, social justice, and education reform communities — to explore the risks and opportunities in ESSA to create school accountability systems that expect and support improving the academic needs of and improving the learning experiences for all groups of students — especially low-income students, students of color, students with disabilities, and English learners.

Below is the full agenda, covered over two days, with links to all presentation materials and boot camp resources.


Visit our campaign page for more resources to help advocate for high standards for all students.

Thursday, July 28

Ryan Smith, The Education Trust-West
The Urgency of Now
Kati Haycock, The Education Trust

  • Delia Pompa, Migration Policy Institute (moderator)
  • Sean Bradley, Urban League of Metropolitan Denver
  • Cory Curl, Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence (KY)
  • Bette Erickson, Disability Advocate (MN)
  • Glenn Hamer, Arizona Chamber of Commerce
State Working Groups: Getting to Know Each Other
Measuring School Performance
Natasha Ushomirsky, The Education Trust

  • Brenda Calderon, National Council of La Raza
  • Kim Hymes, National Center for Learning Disabilities
State Working Group Huddle
Breakout Sessions: Indicator Deep Dives 

English-Language Proficiency
Brenda Calderon, National Council of La Raza, and
Delia Pompa, Migration Policy Institute

Individual Student Growth
Natasha Ushomirsky, The Education Trust

College and Career Readiness
Caitlin Codella and Cheryl Oldham, US Chamber of Commerce Foundation,
Kati Haycock, The Education Trust, and
Carrie Hahnel, The Education Trust–West

Discipline and School Climate
Liz King, The Leadership Conference Education Fund, and
Denise Marshall, Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates

Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism
Adam Fernandez, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and
Daria Hall, The Education Trust

State Working Groups: What information should we measure? How should we use it?
Broad-Based Advocacy in Tennessee

  • Cheryl Oldham, US Chamber of Commerce Foundation (moderator)
  • Candy Johnson, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Mary Cypress Metz, Tennessee SCORE
  • Phyllis Nichols, Knoxville Area Urban League
  • Gini Pupo-Walker, Conexión Américas
  • Gloria Sweet-Love, Tennessee NAACP
Wrap Up and Look Ahead to Tomorrow

Friday, July 29

Welcome and What to Expect Today
State Working Group Huddle: Reflection and Planning 

  • What are the key takeaways from yesterday?
  • What lessons apply to our state?
Playing the Inside and Outside Game in California

  • Jheanelle Wilkins, The Leadership Conference Education Fund (moderator)
  • Martha Zaragoza Diaz, California Associate for Bilingual Education
  • Felicia Jones, Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement
  • Araceli Simeón, Parents Organization Network
  • Ryan Smith, The Education Trust–West
State Working Groups: Influencing ESSA implementation 

  • What process is our state using for ESSA decision-making?
  • How do we influence it from the outside? From the inside?
Working Lunch: Where do we go from here? 

  • What actions will we take back home?
  • Who will do what?