Press Release

The Education Trust-Midwest’s virtual conference “Building a Movement, Building Hope” set  for Nov. 10, 11 and 13

Roberto Rodríguez, U.S. Department of Education Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development, will deliver a keynote address on “Designing Public Education to Meet the Needs of All Students,” on November 11, 2021, the second day of the Education Trust-Midwest’s inaugural Education Summit 2021: Building a Movement, Building Hope.

Rodríguez, a Michigan native, leads the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education. The office advises the Secretary of Education on all matters relating to policy development, implementation and review.

The three-day Summit – on Nov. 10, 11 and 13 – brings together a diverse group of Michigan and national experts from the business, education, civic and philanthropic sectors together to share and discuss actions that have proven successful in improving outcomes for students from low-income families, students of color and students who are learning English as an additional language. The virtual conference will also recognize four first-ever “Building the Hope” schools in Michigan that have consistently demonstrated exceptional academic progress and growth for underserved students.

The conference seeks to inspire, build knowledge, and showcase best practices from across the country around what works to improve outcomes for underserved students. Cost for the conference is $75. The Nov. 13 session is designed for Michigan educators, in particular, including teachers, school leaders, administrators, school counselors and others.  The conference is free for educators, though registration is required.

For more information and to register go to

Rodríguez previously served as President and CEO of Teach Plus where he built an equity-driven teacher leadership movement that engaged thousands of teachers to shape public policy and instructional practice to deliver greater opportunity for students. Rodríguez led efforts at the White House to shape and implement President Obama’s education agenda, serving on the Domestic Policy Council as Deputy Assistant to the President for the duration of the Obama Administration. His efforts led to an increase of tens of thousands of additional children enrolled in preschool and child care; new partnerships to better personalize and redesign the high school experience to meet individual needs of students; creation of a new, national focus on excellence in STEM education; and an expansion of the Pell Grant to boost participation in higher education.

Among the Summit speakers scheduled are:

  • Former U.S. Secretary of Education and Education Trust President John B. King Jr.
  • Richard R. Buery, Jr., Chief Executive Officer of the Robin Hood foundation, New York City’s largest anti-poverty organization and former Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives for the City of New York
  • Brian Calley, president of the Small Business Association of Michigan and former lieutenant governor of the State of Michigan.
  • Richard L. DeVore, executive vice president and regional president, Detroit & Southeast Michigan, PNC Bank
  • Rita Raichoudhuri, superintendent of Kalamazoo Public Schools
  • Nikolai Vitti, superintendent, Detroit Public Schools Community District
  • Kymyona Burk, Senior Policy Fellow, Early Literacy, Foundation for Excellence in Education
  • Mike Jandernoa, founder and chairman of 42 North Partners
  • Rodney Robinson, 2019 National Teacher of the Year, and Sr. Advisor, Richmond, Va, Public Schools
  • Daniel Williams, president & CEO, Steelcase Foundation
  • Tina Kerr, executive director, Michigan Association of Superintendents & Administrators

The Education Trust-Midwest is a nonpartisan, data-driven education policy, research and advocacy organization that works to close gaps in opportunity and achievement for all children, particularly those from low-income families and students of color.

Also featured in the event are educators from the new Michigan Teacher Leadership Collaborative. The collaborative is a partnership by The Education Trust-Midwest and Teach Plus, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering excellent, experienced and diverse teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that advance equity, opportunity and student success.

“Together, we will learn, strategize and build the hope on what’s possible for Michigan’s schools and districts to make real progress to improve student achievement and access to opportunity for all students,” said Amber Arellano, executive director of The Education Trust-Midwest.

The Education Trust-Midwest is thankful for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, PNC Bank and the DTE Energy Foundation for their commitment to all Michigan students and their support for the summit and the 2021 Building the Hope Schools awards.