University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy

2013 OEP Conference: Help us Help You

In The View from the OEP on November 1, 2012 at 1:57 pm

We realize that the OEP Blog is a GREAT opportunity to seek your input as an educator in the state.  You may be aware that the OEP sponsors an annual conference in the Spring or Fall to focus on key education policy issues relevant to Arkansas.  Today, we are posting to gather your input about our annual Conference.  Here is what we think the 2013 conference will look like as of now:

  • It will be held in Little Rock (because of its central location and proximity to policymakers)
  • It will take place in the Spring of 2013 during the legislative session so that we can consider issues that will be helpful to legislators
  • It will feature two ‘mini’ conferences:
    • One component will feature sessions geared for educators/school officials that present practical, school-based information
    • The other component will feature sessions geared toward policymakers and will present information that is relevant to the 2013 Legislative Session

That is our framework … now we are trying to fill out the important details.  We would greatly appreciate your input in building a conference agenda that A) people will want to attend and B ) feature relevant and useful topics that will intrigue attendees:

  1. What topics are relevant in your corner of the education arena (perhaps even as the conference theme)? Further, what types of sessions/information would you like us to cover in the Spring 2013 OEP Conference?
  2. Are there certain dates/weeks that we should not hold the conference (i.e., during benchmark testing, during other large statewide conferences)

Since we value your opinions as leaders of education in Arkansas, we greatly value your input. To provide your opinions, simply click below to leave us a comment (or you can email us at – though leaving a comment is preferred), and we will collect all of your individual responses looking for general themes/consensus. We are hoping to begin planning the conference at once, thus we would appreciate receiving your feedback no later than Thursday November 8th (in case the outcome of the elections will influence your replies!!!).

Click below and leave us your input on the 2013 spring OEP Conference now!!!

  1. Would like to hear more about the new licensure rules and regs. Thanks for keeping all of us up to date.

  2. I’d love to hear more about the divergent forces at play in the preparation of teachers. Most would agree that it is more difficult to teach (thanks in large part to cultural shifts, the battle for public opinion, standards-based reform, etc.) today than ever. Yet with new programs in Arkansas that simplify the preparation of teachers (lower admission standards, less time spent student teaching, etc.), it seems we are headed for a disaster–underprepared teachers at a time when teaching has never been more challenging.

  3. Cecil & Robert – these are great ideas. Thanks so much for weighing in!

  4. Thanks for the good report on the Charter School applications with the State Board. Interesting. At the recent NWA Graduation Summit, Tom Kimbrell gave a rousing talk. The biggest issue in Arkansas school improvement, he said, is “leadership” at the school level. We also have to be “innovative”, and demonstrate “compassion and social responsibility”. We must be accountable for outcomes in student achievement, but as a result of leadershp and “transformed teaching and learning”. Maybe Leadership as a subject and innovative teaching/learning options? What does Tom mean when he talks about an “Office of Innovation” in NWA?

  5. John – That is a great idea – and a good question too. All good suggestions so far.

    And thank you for the kind words on the charter application write-up. It was an interesting meeting to watch. As I am sure is the case with many other educators across the state, we are anxious to see how the launch of these new schools unfolds.

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