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Events: Preview Of NewSchools Summit 2012

1335034892A week from now is the umpteenth annual NewSchools Venture Fund Summit #Nsvfsummit, being held again near the San Franscisco Airport.  All your friends and enemies will be there, schmoozing and being schmoozed during what must be one of the most compact conferences out there.  It's not quite speed dating, but it's close.

Rahm Emanuel is one of the headliners, along with Howard Fuller, Michael Bennet, Margaret Spellings, Jonah Edelman, and Roland Fryer.  Some of my favorite education folks will be there too -- Ellen Moir, David Coleman, Kenji Hakuta.  

Late last week I had the chance to talk with NSVFers Jonathan Schorr and Joe Ventura about this year's program highlights and changes, which include the addition of a new sponsor (NBC News) and a new focus (poverty).  

The main benefit of the partnership with NBC News besides their well-coiffed reporters and newscasters is that the main sessions will be uploaded and available online shortly after the event, which means that lots more folks will get to see the proceedings a lot faster than in the past. In a perfect world, the summit would be livestreamed or even broadcast on MSNBC.  But this is progress.

The main benefit of the poverty focus is, well, there's a lot of it among American schoolchildren right now, and it's a pretty unavoidable topic.  "What this summit is doing is really trying to locate the work that needs to be done in the reality in which people who are trying to improve education are working," said Schorr. They're a bit late coming to the issue, sure, but better late than never. 

They promise that there are no panels about Finland and that sponsors and sponsor content haven't gotten undue preference for panels and panel topics.  There won't be a Failure Panel, either, which is too bad since it was the best (ie my favorite) part of NSVF 2011. There won't be a duel between Spellings and Fryer, or a John Legend-only karaoke night. (There will be an open mic hosted by Rick Hess, doing his best Andrew Dice Clay impression.)  I will not be participating. In fact, I may not even livetweet the event, since it's likely to be the most overtweeted conference of all time.  Or Storify it.  Perhaps I'll Instagram it instead -- a hazy photo-montage.  Or perhaps I'll just listen to what's being said and talk to people like a normal human being would do.  Full agenda here. Previous posts about the event here.

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Gosh, no total sellout of journalistic ethics in NBC News partnering with these reformers or anything.

This is in too boring a location to bother protesting. Hey, frontage road drivers on your way to Costco, and occasional cars pulling into the parking lot! Honk if you don't love endless test prep!

I guess that's maybe the intent.

At least ask them all which elite private school that eschews every single miracle fad they're pushing they've chosen for their own kids, Alexander.

A little late coming to the issue is an understatement... glad to see poverty will finally be addressed, though. I just wish it had been before now.

I hope you'll at least participate in the complimentary yoga sessions and live blog about it. :)

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in This Week In Education are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.