SDR Collaborative Summit

The School District Reform Collaborative (SDRC) is a research-based, vibrant professional development forum dedicated to inspiring excellence in education by facilitating alliances that will provide educational leaders with the expertise and capacity needed to enhance or expand upon and improve learning outcomes and practice for all learners. The SDRC will provide opportunities for educators and leaders to investigate educational issues, curricula and the culture of knowledge through new insights and perspectives. Through a robust forum environment, educators will be provided with recommendations and possible solutions to help them focus on simplifying and clarifying educational policy and implications as theyrelate to meeting 21st century expectations and global market demands. 

Each year 1.2 million students drop out of school in the United States. Disproportionate numbers of black and brown students, as well as students who are from non-English speaking homes, are over-represented in this drop out trend and each year US student populations become more ethnically diverse.  We believe all of our students deserve the opportunity to be top competitors in this emerging global market and we believe that educational leaders are instrumental in providing the primary opportunities and experiences towards that end through developing and delivering high quality educational programming within your districts. Through a dynamic venue, which  includes collaborative, focused dialogue and planning, you will be able to plan for a high quality educational system of delivery designed to improve teaching and leadership in your district while ensuring increased student performance. To that end, we are offering a two-day forum that promises to provide you with experiences and knowledge that will help you to infuse standards of quality and excellence into reform initiatives for your district so that you meet the needs of all students.

​Through the SDRC forum, educational leaders will be provided with recommendations strategically designed to assist them in
navigating through the new common core standards as we collaboratively develop systematic solutions to implementation in your districts.  Some of our robust panel of presenters are listed below. ​They will share and provide expertise around the standards debate and how leaders can most effectively manage the issues from curriculum, instruction, assessment, monitoring, budgeting, and policy perspectives. Their bios areattached. 

School Districts agreeing to participate and attend this important dialogue and professional development forum must agree to commit the superintendent, one principal (administrator) and one teacher to attend Friday night and Saturday.  Lodging and meals will be provided for forum attendees.  




                      Tony Wagner

Tony Wagner is the first Innovation Education Fellow at the Technology & Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard. Prior to this, he was the founder and co-director of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education for more than a decade. Tony consults widely to schools, districts, and foundations around the country and internationally. His previous work experience includes twelve years as a high school teacher, K-8 principal, university professor in teacher education, and founding executive director of Educators for Social Responsibility. Tony is also a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and a widely published author. His work includes numerous articles and five books. Tony’s latest, Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change The World, was recently published by Simon & Schuster to rave reviews and has been translated into six languages. His 2008 book, The Global Achievement Gap has been an international best seller and has also been translated into several languages. Tony has also recently collaborated with noted filmmaker Robert Compton to create a 60 minute documentary, “The Finland Phenomenon: Inside The World’s Most Surprising School System.” Tony earned an M.A.T. and an Ed.D. at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

                       Anthony S. Muhammad, Ph.D.,  Speaker

Anthony Muhammad is one of the most sought after educational consultants in North America.  As a practitioner of nearly twenty years, Dr. Muhammad has served as a middle school teacher, assistant principal, middle school principal, and high school principal. Dr. Muhammad’s tenure as a practitioner has earned him several awards as both a teacher and a principal.  His most notable accomplishment
came as principal at Levey Middle School in Southfield, Michigan, a National School of Excellence, where student proficiency on
state assessments was more than doubled in five years and he was named the Michigan Middle School Principal of the Year in 2005. Dr. Muhammad and the staff at Levey used the Professional Learning Communities at Work (PLC) model of school improvement, and they have been recognized in several videos and articles as a model, high-performing PLC.   As a researcher, he has published articles in several publications in both the United States and Canada.

Dr. Muhammad is a best-selling author.  He is the author of the books The Will to Lead and the Skill to Teach; Transforming Schools at Every Level (2011); Transforming School Culture: How to Overcome Staff Division (2009); and a contributing author to the book The Collaborative Administrator: Working Together as a Professional Learning Community (2008).



                      Romain Dallemand, Ed.D., Speaker

Dr. Dallemand has demonstrated his commitment to education by serving public education as a teacher, counselor, assistant principal, principal, director of pupil personnel, assistant superintendent with Hartford Public Schools in Connecticut, superintendent with Rochester Public Schools in Rochester, Minnesota, and superintendent of Bibb County School District, in Macon, Georgia.

Romain holds a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Sarasota, now known as Argosy University in Sarasota, Florida; a master's degree in learning disabilities and emotional disorders from the University of Miami in Miami, Florida; a master's degree in mental health counseling from the Carlos Albizu University in Miami, Florida; and a bachelor's degree in psychology from Mid-America Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas.

Romain has studied the opportunity gap for more than eight years. He has a long history of working with school districts and communities to close the opportunity gap and address disparities in achievement between student groups. He is interested in this work because of his strong commitment to preparing all students for the 21st century and a multi-ethnic, global economy. He also serves as a national speaker on the Closing the Opportunity Gap and was one of 23 educators to edit the National Core Standards. ​

                       Mechelle Severson, Speaker

Mechelle have had the great opportunity and honor to have facilitated a variety of dialogues on the issue of race over the years throughout the United States reaching over 700,000 participants so far. Exploring solutions to issues of equity, oppression and social justice are my life’s passion. She is a strong believer and active participant in life-long learning.  As an Independent Diversity Consultant and Conflict Mediator for over 25 years, Mechelle have a broad perspective on the barriers and rewards of these types of conversations and bring a wealth of experience in peacefully and respectfully managing these important discussions. Mrs. Severson utilize various skills gleaned from Talking Circle Techniques, Crucial Conversation Facilitation, and Neuro-Linguistic Programming while providing attendees support and encouragement in sharing their truths around these issues. Mrs. Severson have provided keynote and discussion opportunities for groups as small as 2 and as large as 5,000.

Mechelle's Facilitation Certifications consist of the following: Talking Back To Prejudice Facilitator, State of MN Cultural Dynamics Education Project Facilitator, Alternative Dispute Resolution Facilitator, Talking Circles Facilitator, Servant Leadership Facilitator, Color of Fear Film Facilitator, “Race, The Power of an Illusion Film” Series Discussion Facilitator, “Brown Eyes/Blue Eyes” Film Facilitator, Conflict Mediation Facilitator, Consensus Building Facilitator, The Incredible Years Parent Group Facilitator, SEEDS of Early Literacy Trainer, Race and Cultural Development Trainer, Brain Development Trainer, How To Train Adults Trainer, Coaching and Mentoring Trainer, Prudential Youth Leadership Trainer, Framework for Understanding Poverty Trainer, Neuro-Linguistic programming Trainer, and Efficacy Institute’s Parent Efficacy Trainer.

​Mechelle have an array of Awards that ranges from from the following: 1998/1999 – ISD #535 - Volunteer Teacher Award for working with diverse student populations, 1999 – Rochester, MN Mayor’s Medal of Honor for Community Service Award, 1999 – College of St. Thomas Diversity Educator Award, 2000 – Outstanding Women in Leadership Award, 2001 – Rochester Diversity Council – Champion of Diversity Award, 2002 – Olmsted County Youth Commission – Outstanding Adult Award, 2004 – Champion for Diversity Award, 2005 – NAACP’s George W. Gibbs Meritorious Service Award, 2007—MN Skills USA Extemporaneous Speaking Gold Medal, and 2008—USA National Skills USA Extemporaneous Speaking Bronze Medal.