The Atlantic to Convene Multi-Day "Education Summit," May 17 & 18 in Washington, D.C.

Leading practitioners to address ESSA, common core, school to prison pipeline, speech on college campuses, college affordability

Washington, D.C. (May 10, 2016)—Controversy erupted over freedom of speech on campus. No Child Left Behind was replaced by Every Student Succeeds as the debate continues over national regulations for testing, school funding, and more. The president proposed universal pre-K, while the presidential candidates debated the government’s role in funding college and mitigating the debt left after that diploma is earned.

The past year saw critical issues in education drive the national agenda. With this in mind, The Atlantic will convene its second annual Education Summit, a two-day event illuminating these issues among the most pressing debates in the education world today. The event will take place on May 17 & 18 at the Dorothy Betts Marvin Theatre at The George Washington University.

The Summit will be divided into two areas of focus, with day one covering K-12 and the second day focusing on higher education. Participating in the event will be Erika Christakis, author of the Importance of Being Little, exploring her research into the pressure preschool is having on kids; Virginia Tech professor Marc Edwards, who exposed the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, and has now been tasked to help fix it; and Jen Holleran, executive director of Startup:Education to discuss the future of funding. Steven Knapp, president of The George Washington University, and Howard University president Wayne A.I. Frederick will both speak during Day Two.

Interviews and town-hall style conversations will be led by The Atlantic’s Steve Clemons, Alex Wagner, Ross Andersen, Olga Khazan, Alia Wong, and Vann Newkirk. A full list of confirmed speakers can be found on the event website, with further updates to come. Among the topics to be covered at the Education Summit are:

Day One // K-12 Education:

  • Implementing ESSA and What’s Next in Funding Education
  • School to Prison Pipeline and Segregation in Schools
  • The Future of the Common Core
  • Teaching with Technology
  • Charters Grow Up

Day Two // Higher Ed:

  • Sexual Assault; Diversity, Race, and Speech on Campus
  • College Affordability
  • The Rise of Adjunct Faculty
  • Closing the Completion Gap
  • Funding Science as  a Public Good

To attend the Education Summit, media should RSVP directly to The Atlantic’s Sydney Simon ( and 202-266-7338). The entire event will also be streamed live at

The winner and semi-finalists of The Atlantic and the College Board Writing Prize will also be announced at the event. Now in its second year, the contest aims to recognize today’s best high school essay writers and foster the analytical writing skills that are critical to college and career success. Students were challenged to insightfully analyze and interpret a meaningful work of art and understand the importance of revision. To underline the importance to the writing process, this year’s semi-finalists received a one-on-one editing session with members of The Atlantic’s editorial staff. The winning essayist will receive $5,000 and publication in the September issue of The Atlantic.

Walton Family Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation are Founding Level underwriters of the Education Summit. American Federation of Teachers and College Board are Presenting Level underwriters and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Lumina Foundation are Supporting Level underwriters.