General Session Speakers

First General Session: Wes Moore

Wes Moore is a best-selling author, decorated Army combat veteran, youth advocate and CEO of Robin Hood, one of the nation's largest non-profits, with a sole focus on alleviating poverty. He is also the founder of BridgeEDU, an organization that provides support to students as they navigate to higher education.

Moore is the author of two New York Times bestselling books, The Other Wes Moore and The Work. The Other Wes Moore is currently being made into a major motion picture by Executive Producer Oprah Winfrey. It tells the story of how educational opportunities, community support and other factors helped Wes transcend the fate of a man with the same name who lived just blocks away and took a tragically different path to prison.

The First General Session will also feature an
interview with Assemblymember Tony Thurmond,
candidate for 2018 CA Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Second General Session: Diane Ravitch

Diane Ravitch is the champion for public schools across the country. Drawing on over 40 years of research and experience, Ravitch is the nation’s leading advocate for public education. Her years of experience working in the government shaped her approach to education, and gave her a unique and powerful perspective which she brings into all aspects of her work. A prolific writer and a renowned research professor of education at New York University, Ravitch has published more than 500 articles and reviews for scholarly and popular publications. Her blog is one of the primary destinations for American educators, which has received more than 30.5 million page views since 2012.

Ravitch shares the hard message that every parent, teacher and community needs to support public schools, or else, our society will fail all children. A public school graduate herself, this award winning educator’s depth of knowledge and experience shines through her passionate speeches. Ravitch has developed a powerful argument against the privatization of public schools, and she will take audiences step-by-step through the triumphs and failures American public school system. With her electrifying wisdom, Ravitch leaves audiences informed, motivated and ultimately inspired.  

The Second General Session will also feature
an interview with Marshall Tuck, candidate for
2018 CA Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Third General Session: Gubernatorial Candidates Forum

The political spotlight will be on education during the Gubernatorial Candidates Forum moderated by CSBA CEO and Executive Director Vernon M. Billy. Join this lively discussion as each of the 2018 Gubernatorial Candidates share their vision for California’s public schools.

Other potential candidates may be invited to join the forum. Candidates are listed, where applicable, in order of political office held: constitutional officer, state elected officer, former constitutional officer, former state elected officer and private citizen.