Reinventing Schools: Courageous Leadership for Positive Change

How can educators help students become more knowledgeable, motivated, engaged, and healthy? More than 8,000 educators will tackle this question and others when they converge on New Orleans, La., March 15-17, 2008 for the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development's (ASCD) 63rd Annual Conference and Exhibit Show.

The conference will be held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center with the theme "Reinventing Schools: Courageous Leadership for Positive Change." Educators will learn how to do what works and transform what doesn't, identify what children need to become successful adults in a changing world, and advocate for social responsibility in an increasingly diverse and global society.

"Reinventing schools that address the development of the whole child requires a holistic approach that promotes education excellence and equity for each student--especially those from underserved populations. It means courageous leaders providing a balanced curriculum, linking health needs with learning expectations, and ensuring fair and comprehensive assessments," says ASCD Executive Director Gene Carter.

The three-day event will feature more than 500 sessions presented by nationally known education leaders on a wide variety of topics, including understanding the science of teaching, building professional learning communities, supporting English language learners, using formative assessments, educating the whole child, and advocating for education.

To help educators identify and implement evidence-based programs and practices, ASCD's Annual Conference will highlight various types of scientifically based research sessions. The sessions will range from a focus on juried or peer-reviewed research to action research processes and techniques.

The Annual Conference will kick off at 5 p.m. on March 14, 2008, with a service project and celebration to support revitalization in New Orleans schools. The celebration, The Next Chapter: Books Bash and Beyond(1), sponsored by Pearson Education and Nova Southeastern University's Fischler School of Education and Human Services, supports literacy in the Recovery School District of New Orleans. Conference attendees will bring a new book for students as their ticket to an evening of networking, food, and fun. ASCD anticipates delivering thousands of books to New Orleans schools.

To further support Louisiana schools and students, ASCD has also created a DonorsChoose Challenge Page(2). addresses the scarcity and inequitable distribution of learning materials and experiences in public schools by providing an online marketplace where teachers describe and citizens fund specific student projects.

The ASCD challenge page houses requests from over a dozen Louisiana teachers who need critical classroom resources to help their students learn. The ASCD staff has raised $6,000, fully funding 10 of the teacher requests. Anyone can visit the page and help fund the remaining requests to enhance the learning experiences of students in the New Orleans area.