Donate | Print Page | Sign In | Register
Conference Keynotes and General Sessions 2020

Thursday Keynote (8:30 am)

Howard Fuller, PH.D.

Dr. Fuller is a Distinguished Professor of Education, and Founder/Director of the Institute for the Transformation of Learning at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Immediately before his appointment at Marquette University, Dr. Fuller served as the Superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools June 1991 - June 1995. Dr. Fuller received his B.S. degree in Sociology from Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin, M.S.A. degree in Social Administration from Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and his Ph.D. in Sociological Foundations of Education from Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

He has received numerous awards and recognition over the years, including four Honorary Doctorate Degrees: Doctorate of Humane Letters from Carroll College; Doctorate of Laws from Marian College, Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin; Doctorate of Business and Economics from Milwaukee School of Engineering; Doctorate of Humane Letters from Edgewood College, Madison WI.

He is the Chair of the Board of Milwaukee Collegiate Academy. He also serves on the Board of The Black Alliance for Educational Options, Milwaukee Region Board of Teach for America, Milwaukee Charter School Advocates, Education Cities and FaithActs. He is an Advisory Board member of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and the National Association for Charter School Authorizers.

Dr. Deborah McGriff

Deborah M. McGriff, Ph.D., is a Managing Partner with NewSchools Venture Fund where she focuses on closing the demographic gap between students and leaders in education. Through leadership positions at NewSchools Venture Fund and EdisonLearning, she expanded access to innovative, high-quality charter schools for low-income and working class students in 16 of the nation’s largest cities in a dozen states and the District of Columbia. In addition to her role on the board of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, her advocacy and governance expertise were tapped as Board Chair of Beyond12, founder and Vice Chair of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, President of the Education Industry Association, member of the Diverse Charter Schools Coalition board, member of Harvard Kennedy School of Government Program on Education Policy and Governance Advisory Board, and member of numerous charter school boards, including a charter management organization in the National Charter Schools Hall of Fame. She began her career in 1970 as a teacher in Community School District 13 of the New York City Public Schools. She was the first female Assistant Superintendent in Cambridge, MA and the first female Deputy Superintendent in Milwaukee, WI. In 1991, Dr. McGriff became the first female General Superintendent of the 200,000-student Detroit Public Schools where she successfully opened 25 choice and empowered schools. Crain’s Detroit Business named her 1992 Newsmaker of the Year.

Thursday Plenary Panel (2:45 pm)
More coming soon


Friday Annual General Meeting (9:15 am)
More coming soon


Friday Keynote (1:15 pm)

Steven WilsonSteven Wilson

Steven F. Wilson is a senior fellow at the Center on Reinventing Education at the University of Washington. Wilson was chief executive officer of Ascend Learning, a nonprofit organization that offers a tuition-free liberal arts education in a warm and supportive setting to 5,500 students in 15 charter schools in Brooklyn, New York. Funded entirely at district spending levels, Ascend has reversed the achievement gap; its black and Latino students outperform their white peers statewide on Common Core assessments.
Previously, Wilson was a senior fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He was the founder and CEO of Advantage Schools, an urban school management company; an executive vice president of Edison Schools; and board president of Building Excellent Schools, a national training program for aspiring charter school founders.
Earlier, when he was special assistant for strategic planning for Massachusetts Governor William Weld, Wilson helped shape the state’s landmark 1993 Education Reform Act that made Massachusetts schools the highest performing in the country. Prior to joining the administration, he was co-executive director of the Pioneer Institute, where he drove the development and passage of the Massachusetts charter school law.
He is the author of two books, Learning on the Job: When Business Takes on Public Schools, which was awarded in 2006 the Virginia and Warren Stone Prize for an Outstanding Book on Education and Society, and Reinventing the Schools: A Radical Plan for Boston, which offered the blueprint for the Massachusetts charter school law. He is a Pahara-Aspen fellow and a graduate of Harvard University.