2018 National Policy Training Conference


February 7-9, 2018

The Marriott Marquis
901 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001 

Please plan to attend MSA’ annual National Policy Training Conference February 7-9, 2018 in Washington, DC. Meet us where policy and the classroom intersect!

As states and school districts begin to prepare to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act, it is imperative that magnet school leaders and educators understand the implications of this comprehensive law and know what to expect as it is rolled out for the first time next school year.

During the event we will host multiple workshops and sessions designed to help you unpack your state’s ESSA implementation plan; align the Pillars of Magnet Schools and the Standards of Excellence with the law’s accountability requirements; and leverage new federal education funding opportunities.

In addition, the conference will feature a Magnet Schools Assistance Program briefing hosted by the U.S. Department of Education, powerful keynote presentations, congressional speakers, panel discussions, Capitol Hill meetings, and networking opportunities.

Randi Weingarten, President American Federation of Teachers (AFT)

keynote speaker


President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Randi Weingarten has been the leader of the 1.7 million member teachers union since 2008 and is a well recognized national voice for educators and defender of public education.

Weingarten has been a vocal supporter of magnet school stating, “Magnet schools have demonstrated great promise and success in delivering high-quality education to students. They are motivating, rigorous and creative as they show how public education can meet the needs of children. Magnet schools work, and should be further studied, promoted and scaled up.”

Be sure to join us in February as Ms. Weingarten shares her vision for magnet schools and how they can facilitate school improvement, reduce the achievement gap, and provide teachers with the support they need to prepare students to succeed.

Day 1 - Wednesday, February 7, 2018 (2:00PM - 7:00PM)

2:00PM – 3:15PM
Check-In/Registration (M1 Foyer)

3:15PM – 4:00PM
Opening Session & Keynote
(University of DC/Catholic University)

Randi Weingarten, President
American Federation of Teachers (AFT)






4:00PM – 4:15PM

4:15PM – 5:15PM
How to maximize federal funding for your magnet schools
Generating financial support for magnet schools can be a challenge. In order to find necessary resources, school leaders must identify multiple sources of funding to build and sustain their magnet programs. During this session, we will help you determine appropriate federal funding opportunities and how to strategically coordinate them to make sure your magnet schools are successful.

Part 1 – USDOE Competitive Grant Priorities for 2018
Jason Botel, Acting Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education

Part 2 – Federal Appropriations and the President’s Budget (CLICK HERE for presentation)
Sarah Abernathy, Deputy Executive Director, Committee for Education Funding

5:15PM -5:45PM
Keys to an Effective Congressional Meeting (CLICK HERE for presentation)
John Laughner, Legislative Manager, Magnet Schools of America

5:45PM – 7:00PM
Networking Reception 
Sponsored by American Education Solutions

Day 2 - Thursday, February 8, 2018 (8:00AM - 6:00PM)

8:30AM – 9:00AM
Breakfast – Rayburn House Office Building

9:00AM – 10:00AM
Panel Discussion: Unpacking Your State’s ESSA Plans
This fall, schools will be required to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act for the first time. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have submitted their blueprints for implementing this new law to the U.S. Department of Education for approval. During this session, a panel of experts will unpack these state plans and discuss how they will impact your classrooms in key policy areas.

Moderator: Todd Mann, Executive Director, Magnet Schools of America

Jim Accomando, President
National PTA

Mark Cavone, Regional Director
Cambridge Assessment International Education

Kate Blosveren Kreamer, Deputy Executive Director, Advance CTE

Stephen Parker, Legislative Director
National Governors Association













10:00AM – 10:15AM
Congressional Speaker
U.S. Representative Virginia Foxx, Chairwoman, House Committee on Education and the Workforce

Dr. Joshua Starr, Chief Executive Officer
PDK International

10:15AM – 11:00AM
Measuring the Public’s Attitudes Toward Public Schools (CLICK HERE for presentation)
During this presentation, Dr. Starr will explain the major findings of the 49th annual PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward Public Schools. He will also share new polling data that has been collected for the first time gauging American values about school diversity.

11:30AM – 4:30PM
Congressional Meetings/Visits

5:00PM – 6:00PM
Regional Discussions/Hill Meetings Debrief
with light refreshments and snacks @ The Washington Marriott Marquis

Day 3 - Friday, February 9, 2018 (8:00AM - 12:15PM)

8:00AM – 12:15PM
(M1 Foyer)

8:00AM – 8:30AM
 (M1 Foyer)

8:30AM – 9:15AM
Understanding the Changing Legal Landscape Under the Trump Administration (CLICK HERE for presentation)
The U.S. Department of Education is withdrawing regulations and guidance released by the Obama Administration and is issuing new guidance in a number of areas that affect school districts. This presentation will provide an overview of the significant regulatory changes and how they will affect your school(s).

Maree Sneed, Senior Counsel
Michelle Tellock, Senior Associate
Hogan Lovells

9:15AM – 10:00AM
Crossfire Debate: Delivering on the Promise of School Choice
School choice has been heralded as the panacea for improving student achievement and increasing opportunities for low-income and minority students. Leading national voices on this hot topic will debate how school choice is delivering on its promise, how it is not, and what steps can be taken to improve public school choice options to families and students.

Michael Petrilli, President Thomas B. Fordham Institute

Richard Kahlenberg, Senior Fellow
The Century Foundation

Moderator, Caitlin Emma
Education Reporter, Politico







10:00AM – 10:15AM

Dr. Anna Hinton, Director, Parental Options and Improvement
U.S. Department of Education

10:15AM – 11:15AM
Programmatic Changes to MSAP From FY 2010 to FY 2017:
A Trend Analysis
Competitive preference priorities and programmatic allowances for the Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) have changed over time. This presentation will examine these changes and review trend data from four cohorts. The MSAP team will discuss the effects and implications of the changes and highlight past cohorts’ successes and challenges.

Dr, Anna Hinton, Director
Jennifer Todd, Supervisory Education Program Specialist
Parental Options and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education

11:15AM -12:00PM

Aligning the Standards of Excellence with the Every Student Succeeds Act (CLICK HERE for presentation)
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides flexibility to states for measuring student achievement and holding schools accountable for their performance. Each state will setup their own accountability systems and will be given the freedom to use different approaches to achieve their goals.

During this session, learn how the Five Pillars of Magnet Schools and the Standards of Excellence align with ESSA and how the national certification process can facilitate school improvement and help your schools meet state required performance benchmarks.

Jhone Ebert, Senior Deputy Commissioner for Education Policy, New York State Education Department

Kelly Bucherie, Director of Magnet School Leadership, Magnet Schools of America/The National Institute for Magnet School Leadership

Closing Remarks


MSA Member Non-Member
Early Bird
Register on/before January 18
$589 $719
Register between January 19 – February 1
$639 $769
After February 1
$689 $819

*If you have any questions, please email events@magnet.edu or call (202) 824-0672.

Policies & Procedures (please read carefully!)

Online registration ONLY

Cancellations and requests for refunds must be submitted in writing via email to events@magnet.edu no later than January 11, 2018.  A $150 administrative fee will be assessed on all cancellation and refund requests, if made on/before January 11, 2018).  Absolutely no refunds will be considered after this deadline (January 11, 2018).  Faxes and verbal cancellation/refund requests will not be accepted.

A $50 fee will be assessed after January 11, 2018 to transfer registration from one individual to another.  Registration transfer requests must be submitted in writing via email to events@magnet.edu by February 5, 2018.

Registration fees may not be credited to membership or future MSA events.


  • Payment must be received within 21 days of registration.
  • Please mail all checks to (NEW for 2018): Magnet Schools of America, Inc. | P.O. Box 45739 | Baltimore, MD 21297-5739
  • All registrations with purchase orders (PO) must email a copy of the PO to PurchaseOrder@magnet.edu or fax a copy to 202-737-0100 within 10 business days of registering.
  • Credit Card payments may be processed online during the registration process.
  • Onsite payments and purchase orders may be accepted at Onsite Registration with a credit card guarantee. Only cash, credit/debit card or corporate/district pre-printed checks will be accepted.


Washington Marriott Marquis

901 Massachusetts Avenue
Washington, DC 20001

$182.00 per night plus tax (single/double)

  • CHECK-IN: after 3:00 PM
  • CHECK-OUT: 12:00 PM

*The group block expires at 6PM ET on Monday, January 22, 2018, so please make your reservation today.  Room rate is not guaranteed for all nights and is based on availability.

All reservations must be accompanied by a first night room deposit or guaranteed with a major credit card. Cancellations made within 3 day of arrival will forfeit one night’s room and tax.

Fly with DELTA and SAVE

Magnet Schools of America has developed a special relationship with DELTA in which MSA members receive discounts on airfare when flying to our conferences.

Reservations and ticketing are available via www.delta.com/meetings or by calling Delta Meeting Network (DMN) Reservations at 800-328-1111. When booking online at www.delta.com/meetings, select ‘Book Your Flight‘ and enter your Meeting Code: NMR3J in the box provided.








Learn how to become a Nationally Certified Magnet School

Raise the level of performance consistent throughout school districts nationwide and creates a platform from which all magnet schools can flourish. Magnet Schools of America’s national certification process is designed to recognize the hard work of the best magnet schools in the nation and to help them as they grow.

Translate »