SDP Convening 2017

This was my second year attending the Strategic Data Project (SDP) Convening, the annual gathering of SDP Fellows and other education data nerds. There’s a ton of great content and conversation during the three days of Convening, here are some of the highlights from my perspective:

  • Rick Hess kicked off the 2017 Convening with a brief talk on his latest book, Letters to a Young Education Reformer. His writing has been a big influence on my thinking when it comes to education policy, so it was pretty great hearing him speak in person.
  • I really enjoyed hearing Morgan Polikoff, Tom Kane, and Eric Hirsch (ED of EdReports) discuss their work on curricular materials. Helping schools select higher-quality textbooks can have a significant impact on student learning - states and districts would be wise to pay attention to the work they’re doing!
  • As is tradition at Convening, there is always a performance by a group of students after dinner on Thursday evening. This year, we were honored with readings from some of the student authors from 826 Boston. Those kids are impressive.
  • It was great to see Open SDP launch on the final day of Convening. The entire SDP community (and more) will benefit from this open source approach to education data analysis. I’m looking forward to contributing!

I left the 2017 SDP Convening with many new ideas for improving how my team can apply our analytic skills to improve outcomes for students in Kentucky and beyond. Based on that alone, I’d call this year’s Convening a success.