Trellis Foundation Summit
The Texas Summit on Postsecondary Access, Affordability, and Attainment will take place on April 17, 2020, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at the Texas Capitol Auditorium.
This year, the Summit will focus on the intersections of education and workforce that can lead to the future that Texas needs and that Texas students deserve. In working to achieve that future, there are implications for policy and practice across federal, state, regional, and institutional actors. To that end, we will hear from national, state, and campus perspectives identifying our greatest opportunities and challenges.
|10:00||Welcome remarks from Trellis Foundation, and our legislative host, The Honorable James Talarico, Texas House District 52|
|10:30||Federal Perspectives – A Conversation with Former U.S. Secretaries of Education
Moderator: Evan Smith, CEO/Co-Founder, Texas Tribune
|11:30||State Perspectives – Tri-Agency Commissioners’ Panel
Moderator: Evan Smith, CEO/Co-Founder, Texas Tribune
|1:15||Campus Perspectives – Student Panel|
|2:00||Campus Perspectives – Practitioner Panel|
- Parmesan Crusted Chicken
- Mediterranean Grilled Portobello Mushroom Cap (Dairy-free, gluten-free, Vegan, and Vegetarian)
Salad, drinks, and dessert are included.
Evan Smith is the CEO and co-founder of The Texas Tribune, a pioneering nonprofit, nonpartisan digital news organization whose deep coverage of Texas politics and public policy can be found at its website, texastribune.org, in newspapers and on TV and radio stations across the state, and in the print and online editions of the Washington Post. Since its launch in 2009, the Tribune has won international acclaim and numerous honors, including a Peabody Award, twenty-one national Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association and three general excellence awards from the Online News Association. Evan is also the host of “Overheard with Evan Smith,” a weekly half-hour interview program that airs on PBS stations around the country. Previously he spent nearly 18 years at Texas Monthly, including eight years as the magazine’s editor and a year as its president and editor in chief.
Dr. Harrison Keller is the Commissioner of Higher Education for the State of Texas. He is a sixth-generation Texan with more than two decades of experience in educational budget and policy, digital learning, senior university administration, management, fundraising, and building effective coalitions among school districts, community colleges, universities, systems, and policymakers. Dr. Keller’s appointment as the sixth Commissioner of Higher Education and chief executive officer for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board was effective October 1, 2019.
Dr. Keller is a recognized innovator in policy and programs to improve college readiness and student success, especially for low-income and first-generation students. He is the founder and was Principal Investigator of the OnRamps dual enrollment initiative that provides college-level courses to tens of thousands of high school students across the state of Texas, and the Texas OnCourse initiative that works with Governor Greg Abbott’s Tri-Agency Workforce Initiative to improve secondary college and career advising across the state.
He came to the Coordinating Board from The University of Texas at Austin, where he was Deputy to the President for Strategy and Policy and a Professor of Practice. Dr. Keller also served at UT Austin as Vice Provost for Higher Education Policy and Research, and Executive Director of the Office of Educational Innovation and the Center for Teaching and Learning. Prior to coming to UT Austin, Dr. Keller was Director of Research for the Texas House of Representatives and Senior Education Advisor for the Speaker of the Texas House. Dr. Keller has taught at Georgetown University, St. Edward’s University, and the University of Texas at Austin.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame and an M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy from Georgetown University. He and his wife, Gena Nivens Keller, live in Austin with their three children.
Bryan Daniel is the Chairman and Commissioner Representing the Public for the Texas Workforce Commission. Governor Greg Abbott appointed him to the three-member Commission on July 29, 2019.
Chairman Daniel serves as the representative for the public, promoting and supporting the growth of Texas’ world-class employers and talented workforce. In this capacity, his office advances innovative workforce and economic development strategies in collaboration with our education partners, local leaders, and industry to preserve our competitive edge as the best place to work in the world.
Prior to his appointment, Chairman Daniel served as the Executive Director of the Office of the Governor Economic Development Division. He previously served as Vice President for Business Development at Agricultural Workers Mutual Auto Insurance Company and as the Texas State Director of Rural Development in President George W. Bush’s administration.
Chairman Daniel is a graduate of Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Science in agricultural communications and a Master of Science in agricultural education.
John B. King Jr. is the president and CEO of The Education Trust, a national nonprofit organization that seeks to identify and close opportunity and achievement gaps, from preschool through college. King served in President Barack Obama’s cabinet as the 10th U.S. Secretary of Education. In tapping him to lead the U.S. Department of Education, President Obama called King “an exceptionally talented educator,” citing his commitment to “preparing every child for success” and his lifelong dedication to education as a teacher, principal, and leader of schools and school systems.
Before becoming education secretary, King carried out the duties of the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education, overseeing all policies and programs related to P-12 education, English learners, special education, and innovation. In this role, King also oversaw the agency’s operations. King joined the department following his tenure as the first African American and Puerto Rican to serve as New York State Education Commissioner.
King began his career in education as a high school social studies teacher in Puerto Rico and Boston, Mass., and as a middle school principal.
King’s life story is an extraordinary testament to the transformative power of education. Both of King’s parents were career New York City public school educators, whose example serves as an enduring inspiration. Both of King’s parents passed away from illness by the time he was 12 years old. He credits New York City public school teachers — particularly educators at P.S. 276 in Canarsie and Mark Twain Junior High School in Coney Island — for saving his life by providing him with rich and engaging educational experiences and by giving him hope for the future.
King holds a Bachelor of Arts in government from Harvard University, a J.D. from Yale Law School, as well as a Master of Arts in the teaching of social studies and a doctorate in education from Teachers College at Columbia University. King serves as Professor of the Practice at the University of Maryland’s College of Education and is a member of several boards, including those for The Century Foundation, The Robin Hood Foundation, Teach Plus, MDRC, and the American Museum of Natural History. He was elected to Harvard University’s Board of Overseers and serves on several advisory boards, including Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative, the Rework America Task Force, the GOOD+ Foundation’s Fatherhood Leadership Council, the National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement at the University of California, the National Center for Learning Disabilities, and the National Advisory Council for the Prenatal-to-Three Policy Impact Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
Margaret Spellings serves as President and CEO of Texas 2036, bringing with her knowledge and experience developed over an exceptional career in public service at both the state and national level.
Most recently, Spellings served as the president of the 17-institution University of North Carolina System, leading the state’s public university into a new period of performance, affordability, and growth with a focus on improving economic mobility, ensuring accountability, and advancing the public good.
Prior to that, Spellings served as president of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas, where she oversaw programs on economic opportunity, education reform, global health, and special initiatives on women’s leadership and military service.
From 2005 to 2009, Spellings served as U.S. Secretary of Education, leading the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act, a bipartisan initiative to provide greater accountability for the education of 50 million U.S. public school students. As secretary, she also launched the Commission on the Future of Higher Education, a plan to address challenges of access, affordability, quality, and accountability in our nation’s colleges and universities. Prior to serving as Secretary, Spellings served as White House domestic policy advisor from 2001 to 2005, overseeing the administration’s agenda on education, transportation, health, justice, housing, and labor.
Spellings experience also includes serving as senior advisor to then-Governor George W. Bush of Texas, president and CEO of Margaret Spellings and Company, a Washington, DC, consulting firm that provided strategic guidance on a variety of domestic policy matters, and as a president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, advocating for more effective education and workforce training.
Spellings was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but spent much of her childhood in Houston. She is a graduate of the University of Houston, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. She also received an honorary doctorate and Distinguished Alumni Award from the university in 2006. Spellings has two adult daughters and resides in Dallas.
Appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott, Mike Morath took office as Commissioner of Education in January 2016 and was unanimously confirmed by the Texas Senate (85th Legislature) in March 2017.
As Commissioner, he heads the Texas Education Agency, which oversees pre-kindergarten through high school education for more than five million students enrolled in both traditional public schools and charter schools. He has worked to focus the state agency on his four priorities including: Recruiting, Supporting, and Retaining Teachers and Principals; Building a Foundation of Math and Reading; Connecting High School to Career and College; and Improving Low-Performing Schools. The Commissioner is committed to improving outcomes for all students across our state.
Prior to becoming the state’s Education Commissioner, Morath served on the Dallas Independent School District board of trustees for more than four years. During that time, he focused on academic improvements. And by his final year on the board, DISD had seen improvement in various areas including rise including kindergarten readiness, math proficiency and graduation rates.
A strong advocate of public education, Commissioner Morath graduated from Garland High School in the Garland Independent School District. And thanks to the great public school education he received in Texas, he went on to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, summa cum laude, from George Washington University in two-and-a-half years.
While starting his first company, Commissioner Morath was asked to teach an advanced computer science class at his high school alma mater after the previous teacher resigned suddenly. He taught through the school year until a permanent teacher was hired and remains amazed at how difficult it is to teach.
With a belief system that continually calls him to serve others, Commissioner Morath has participated in numerous volunteer activities, including church Missions Team, schools and juvenile justice facilities and serving as a mentor Big Brother. While in Dallas, he helped organize a trip to orphanages in southern India to set up clean running water systems, and volunteered at an eye clinic in rural Mexico, where he met another volunteer, Dr. Laura Vondra, who is now his wife. They are the proud parents of two daughters and two sons.
Representative James Talarico is a former non-profit leader and public school teacher elected to serve House District 52 in the Texas House of Representatives. He was born in Williamson County, where he attended Round Rock ISD schools and graduated from McNeil High School. Rep. Talarico earned degrees from The University of Texas at Austin and Harvard University. He taught middle school on the West Side of San Antonio before becoming Central Texas Executive Director for Reasoning Mind, a nonprofit dedicated to equipping classrooms with innovative technology. He currently serves as the youngest member of the Texas Legislature.