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UGA to host third annual State of the State of Education Conference Sept. 30

Athens, Ga. – Some of Georgia’s top education leaders and policymakers are expected to attend the University of Georgia College of Education’s third annual State of the State of Education in Georgia Conference on Thursday, Sept. 30 at UGA’s Georgia Center for Continuing Education.

Andrew J. Rotherham, co-founder and partner at Bellwether Education, a non-profit organization working to improve educational outcomes for low-income students, will be the keynote speaker. He will speak about the potential impact that federal level policymaking will have on schools and students across the country in an address titled, “Rethinking the Federal-State Relationship: Implications for States of the New Federal Role in Education.”

Rotherham leads Bellwether’s thought leadership, idea generation and policy strategy work. He writes the blog “” and also writes regularly for U.S. News & World Report. Rotherham previously served at the White House as Special Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy during the Clinton administration and is a former member of the Virginia Board of Education.In addition to Bellwether, Rotherham has founded or co-founded two other successful education reform organizations including Education Sector and served on the boards of several other successful education start-ups.

The daylong conference is expected to draw state leaders from the governor’s office, board of regents, state department of education, Georgia educational associations, Georgia school superintendents and administrators, and interested faculty and administrators at UGA. It is open to the public. The registration fee is $75. The full conference program as well as registration information can be found at

UGA Education Dean Arthur M. (Andy) Horne will offer opening remarks for the all-day conference. Featured speakers during the lunch break will include:

  • * State Rep. Brooks Coleman, District 97, (R-Duluth), Chair, Education Committee
  • * State Sen. Dan Weber, District 40 (R-Lawrenceville), Chair, Education Committee

There will be five concurrent breakout sessions in the morning and afternoon designed to provide research findings and discuss their implications for policy and practice. Topics include:

  • K-12 Funding Formula


  • state pension plans


  • teacher compensation and evaluation


  • design of assessment


  • Georgia’s move to national standards


  • the vision for public education in Georgia


  • charter schools in Georgia


  • charters and school turnarounds


  • effectiveness of small schools


  • changing state and federal policies on boards of education.

The conference’s closing panel will include:

  • Lynne Weisenbach, Vice Chancellor of the University System of the Georgia Board of Regents (moderator)
  • Gary Price, Managing Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Wanda Barrs, Chair, Georgia State Board of Education
  • Kathy Ashe, State Rep., District 56, (D-Atlanta)
  • Kenneth Bernard Jr.,13th Congressional District,Georgia Board of Regents

“We believe this annual conference is an important part of the effort to improve student achievement in Georgia schools,” said Horne. “We are excited to have the opportunity to present new research and innovative approaches to addressing some of the challenging issues we face in education today.”

For more information, see