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Superintendent panel live Sept. 9

Top school leaders to speak in Boise

Three successful state superintendents will share ‘how they did it’ and inspire Idaho school improvement efforts on Sept. 9


BOISE — Three of the nation’s most effective school leaders will join The ED Sessions for a first-of-its-kind panel discussion Sept. 9 in Boise.

The event, “Super Supers: An evening with the nation’s best school leaders,” promises a rare opportunity to learn from three former state school superintendents who transformed their respective education systems into some of the highest performing in the country.

At a time when Idaho’s education system is in a process of change and innovation, the evening will deliver a relevant and useful discussion about education best practices.

Former Massachusetts Commissioner of Education David Driscoll, former State Superintendent of Maryland Public Schools Nancy Grasmick and former Education Commissioner of Florida Eric Smith will take the stage at 7 p.m., Sept. 9 at the Linen Building in Boise. For those interested from other parts of the state and nation, the event will feature a live webcast at the same time. The event is sponsored by the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation.

All three have proven tops in the country with an extensive track record of increasing student achievement. Albertson family foundation Executive Director Roger Quarles said the panel discussion provides a timely platform to learn from the best of the best.

“If ever there was a time for Idaho to stop and learn from our country’s best education leaders, this is it,” Quarles said. “Idahoans now have a great chance to hear just what it takes to turn a lagging education system and turn it into a top performer.”

This free event has limited seating, but anyone can join the live webcast on TheEDSessions.org. Viewers are encouraged to join the conversation using the hashtag #EDsessions on Twitter and Facebook. There will be a Q&A session at the end of the panel discussion, including audience and viewer questions.

About the panelists:

David Driscoll, former Massachusetts commissioner of education

Driscoll was appointed in 1999 as Massachusetts’ commissioner of education by the state’s board of education. Driscoll has a 45-year career in public education and educational leadership.

As commissioner, Driscoll has overseen development and implementation of new curriculum and standards. As a result, Massachusetts’ performances on national and international tests are annually the highest in the nation and world.

Nancy Grasmick, former state superintendent of Maryland Public Schools

Grasmick served as state superintendent of top-ranked Maryland Public Schools from 1991 until 2011, serving 24 districts, 1,424 schools and 869,113 students. She began her career as a classroom teacher in Baltimore City.

Her work in education is highlighted by the belief that every child deserves an exceptional education. She raised expectations and accountability for teaching in every Maryland classroom, and as a result, Education Week ranked Maryland No. 1 in the country four years in a row.

Eric Smith, former education commissioner of Florida

Smith began his education career in Florida as a classroom teacher more than 40 years ago. He became principal of Winter Park High School in 1982 and the International Baccalaureate program. During his tenure, Winter Park High was recognized by the National Education Association as one of the top eight schools in the nation. He served as the district superintendent before becoming education commissioner in 2011.

Much of Smith’s work focused on the expansion of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs through which student achievement increased in each school district he served. In addition, Smith placed careful attention on the diverse communities in Florida.