@educatetexas #edtxLF I'm doing a journalists' panel at a conference in Austin today -- if by any chance you're here at the event outside of Austin please come up and say hello or tweet me at @alexanderrusso. Called the Education Leadership Forum, the event's being run by the Texas High School Project -- just renamed "Educate Texas" in light of its expansion into postsecondary and advocacy areas. They're among other things a member of the PIE Network. Some of the most familiar names on the agenda are Vicki Phillips (Gates), Bob Wise (Alliance), and Karen Hawley Miles (ERS), Sandy Kress (Akin Gump), and Arturo Vargas (NALEO). The journo panel includes a broad range of folks -- Alberta Williams, Bill McKenzie, and Ross Ramsey-- Vargas is moderating. Apparently this is the 3rd of these they've done. Though Texas is not a waiver state and stayed out of previous rounds of Race To The Top, there's lots of other action going on here: turnarounds and charters, STEM high schools, funding and equity lawsuits, among other things, as well as a new assessment and accountability system and changes to how much weigh is going to be given to end of course exams that's raising lots of concerns among suburban districts especially. There's a CMO called IDEA that's expanding into Austin. There's KIPP and Roland Fryer messing around in Houston. There's a newish chapter of Stand For Children that's been set up.