Vision 2020

By Janet Barresi, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

In only a few weeks, I will welcome thousands of teachers from across the state to the State Department of Education’s Vision 2020 conference.

This event, July 15 to 17 at the Cox Convention Center, is free to all educators, parents and community members. Make sure to register:

The theme of this year’s conference is “Stepping Up.” And, indeed, I am thankful for Oklahoma teachers and parents who step up each and every day to prepare our students for college-, career- and citizenship-readiness. Vision 2020 is a way to reward those efforts. The conference features more than 300 sessions on professional development, legislative updates and more — all geared to give educators fresh ideas for the classroom and a chance to share best teaching practices. Sessions cover math, literacy, the state’s new science standards, Advanced Placement, Ag in the Classroom and so much more.

In addition, there is a terrific keynote speaker during the general sessions each day of the conference:

  • Lee Roland, principal at Tulakes Elementary in Putnam City Schools, will speak Tuesday, July 15. Lee is a dynamic education leader who knows how to inspire students, parents and teachers to achieve their very best no matter what their circumstances. Tulakes received a B+ on its most recent school report card while serving a high-poverty student body.
  • Paul Tough, author of How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character, will speak Wednesday, July 16. Paul examines 20 years of research to find the character qualities that help children succeed.
  • Scott Barry Kaufman, scientific director of the Imagination Institute and author of Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined, explores the question of what defines intelligence and how to best bring out the talents in each student. He speaks Thursday, July 17.

All general sessions are from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

Parents are especially invited to attend our Parent Power Night to learn about a host of topics of interest to parents. It’s a good opportunity to ask questions about graduation requirements, third-grade literacy, raising schools grades, bullying prevention and more. Join me for a reception from 5:30 to 6 pm. Tuesday In the lobby area and then plan to attend our panel discussions for either elementary or secondary education. 

Again this year, we will be announcing our 12 finalists for Oklahoma Teacher of the Year. These all-star teachers from across the state take the stage during Wednesday’s general session, between 9 and 10:30 a.m. Please help us congratulate them in this first step toward selection of the 2015 Teacher of the Year.

For those of you who Tweet, plan to attend our Tweet Up from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

And for more details on this year’s program, go to

I hope you will plan to join us for this wonderful conference.




Last updated on July 3, 2014