Request for Summit Presentation Proposals

We are no longer accepting proposals. This page is available for reference only.


April 16–18, 2019


San Francisco Marriott Marquis

You are invited to showcase the work you are doing to transform teaching and learning at the sixth annual Carnegie Foundation Summit on Improvement in Education.

We invite proposals that relate to one of the Summit strands below. We are especially interested in applicants that have used these approaches to advance more ambitious student learning goals and/or attack longstanding disparities, by race/ethnicity or income, in students’ progress through school and educational attainment.

I. Improvement Science in Practice

As a field, we undervalue learning to improve in ways that are systematic and organized. We have, in the past, lacked a methodology to structure and guide this approach to improvement. This strand introduces participants to exemplary organizations that are achieving better educational outcomes through the use of improvement science methodologies, organizations that have effectively turned knowledge into practice and systematically spread that knowledge to improve practice reliably at scale.

For this strand, we are seeking proposals that:

  • Tell a story about a significant improvement (such as increased graduation rates) that positively impacted the lives of students and/or teachers through the use of improvement science, and include measureable results.
  • Demonstrate the use of data and measurement (quantitative/qualitative) to track progress against a well-specified aim.
  • Detail use of an explicit improvement methodology and/or tool(s) to make progress or spread results.
  • Explore the lessons learned from failures.
  • Describe how one or more of the core improvement principles has been essential to the improvement.
    • Make the work problem-specific and user-centered.
    • Variation in performance is the core problem to address.
    • See the system that produces the current outcomes.
    • We cannot improve at scale what we cannot measure.
    • Anchor practice improvement in disciplined inquiry.
    • Accelerate improvements through networked communities.

II. Networks in Practice

Networks are an increasingly popular strategy for organizing collective improvement work as we look for ways to accelerate our ability to learn and improve educational outcomes for young people. There are many strategies, tools, and approaches to collective improvement work. Carnegie’s approach to networked improvement communities is defined by focusing on a specific problem, having a common theory of improvement, sharing measures, and applying disciplined methods of improvement. This strand seeks to illustrate what it takes to bring a network to life and to support it to reach its improvement goals.

For this strand, we are seeking proposals that:

  • Share the story of how the networked approach accelerated the ability to learn and reach improvement goals.
  • Detail the process of initiating networked improvement communities.
  • Describe how to sustain and grow collective energy around a common aim in a network setting.
  • Illuminate the elements of effective narratives of participation, including storytelling that drives voluntary association with a network that aims to solve a specific problem.
  • Offer measures and tools that have been used to organize and assess the health of a network.
  • Demonstrate the use of data and measurement (quantitative/qualitative) to track progress of network members against a well-specified aim.
  • Describe organizational structures, processes, and tools that foster effective collaboration within and across member organizations.
  • Introduce tools and technologies that allow for the spread of promising practices and continued learning about them.
  • Explore the lessons learned from big failures.

III. Leadership for Improvement

The critical work of leaders is to bring about needed change. Transformational leaders are driven to break through the status quo and achieve new levels of performance. Leading improvement requires shifting norms and habits that are deeply ingrained in the culture of educational organizations.

For this strand, we are seeking proposals that:

  • Tell the story of leadership’s efforts to bring about or sustain systematic improvement across a school, district, region, or other organization; their specific transformational aim(s); how the improvement principles shaped their pursuit of this transformation; and the results that they achieved.
  • Describe how to attend consciously to the cultural conditions that enable the dispositions toward and active pursuit of continuous quality improvement in educational systems.
  • Describe in detail the strategies to build improvement capability within systems, including how to introduce these ideas and deepen engagement over time. The presentation might also describe how to determine who needs what improvement skills.
  • Describe how the use of measurement and data drive improvement and shift the culture from measurement for accountability to measurement for improvement.
  • Explore the lessons learned from failures.
  • Demonstrate federal, state, and/or local level policy that advances improvement science in education.
  • Advocate for a policy environment that is hospitable to the ideas of improvement science and networks.

How Can You Apply?

Review the important dates and logistics information below and submit your proposal online. Proposals will be reviewed by a program committee and selections made in order to provide the most compelling program for our diverse community. Unfortunately, there are a limited number of presentation slots available, and it is unlikely we will be able to accept all proposals.

Important Dates
August 3, 2018 Proposal Submission Deadline
October 15, 2018 Notification of Acceptance
April 16–18, 2019 Carnegie Foundation Summit on Improvement in Education
Download the full Request for proposal

Summit RFPTo help you prepare your proposal, please download and review the full presenter RFP (PDF), which includes all the information on this page, as well as submission requirements.


Summit Registration: Please note that there is a maximum of two presenters per session proposal. Both presenters of accepted session proposals will receive the special speaker registration rate of $695. The regular Summit registration rate is $985.

Travel and Lodging: Presenters are responsible for their own travel and accommodations.

Questions: Please contact Kareen Yang, Summit Project Manager, at

What is the Carnegie Summit?

2017 Summit highlightsFive years ago, the Carnegie Foundation initiated the Summit on Improvement in Education with an ambitious vision: a future in which systematic learning to improve is occurring every day, across thousands of settings, in service of real progress on persistent problems in education. The Summit continues to catalyze and support such a future, one in which educators, researchers, organizational leaders (and often students, parents, and community leaders as well), use methods of improvement science and organize as improvement networks to address complex problems through coordinated action.

Today, the Summit has become a diverse and vibrant learning community. Since 2014, it has grown from 400 attendees to 1,400 people from 45 states and 8 countries in 2018. It provides a place to challenge existing norms, learn new practices, concentrate our efforts, celebrate extraordinary work, and reinforce our commitments to improve the nation’s schools.

What started as a set of exciting ideas has become an international movement to address the most difficult problems facing educators today.

Who Are the Summit Attendees?

The Summit is a gathering of the best minds in education, improvement, and innovation: school district leaders, principals, teachers, program directors, K-12 and higher education administrators, professors, policymakers, researchers, and entrepreneurs. We expect over 1,500 attendees at the 2019 Summit.