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GFE's 17th Annual Conference

October 16-18, 2013  |  Houston, Texas

Houston here we come! As one of America's cities that most encapsulates our nation's present and future challenges, we think the timing of our first conference in Texas could not be better. The conference will highlight some of the nation's best philanthropic collaborations and models for education reform based in Houston—both of which have led to impressive achievements. We will also explore education models, best practices and effective philanthropy throughout Texas.

The conference offers a unique opportunity for the field to connect, network, and develop ideas in order to become more effective in improving education for our nation's learners. Mark your calendars and watch for registration details in early June!

“Best collection of thought-leaders, researchers, and grantmakers...ever!”

—2012 conference attendee

Download the conference postcard

Conference Framing

In 1983, A Nation at Risk provided America with a clarion call. Citing a “rising tide of mediocrity,” the landmark report drove home the clear connection between educational achievement by all and a vibrant and secure democracy. Today, some 30 years later, America still struggles to achieve excellence in education while other nations have raced ahead. At the same time, education remains our most formidable tool for unleashing our collective potential. How might we move forward, farther, faster? What steps can we take to restore education as our engine of national progress?

Educational excellence for all must be today’s moon shot — and philanthropy must step up to lead the charge. Now is the time for us to be bold, courageous, and self-reflective. Have we been too focused on point solutions at the expense of systemic reform opportunities? Are we committed to taking the long view? If not, let’s get clear, double down and propel our nation forward.

In many ways there’s no better place for us to do so than in Houston, Texas, the home of NASA and the birthplace of our nation’s last big bet. A vast and diverse state, Texas is home to some of our largest cities and most rural communities. As a microcosm of the United States, Texas reflects both our greatest challenges and some of our most promising reforms. Join us this year as education grantmakers rise to the challenge.

More on Houston

  • Houston is the fourth largest city in the US and the largest city in Texas
  • Home to the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, the city earned it's official nickname, "Space City," in 1967
  • The Houston Independent School District, recently recognized by the Broad Foundation for excellence, is the seventh largest district in the US with more than 200,000 students
  • Read the Smart Cities article on education in Houston on the Education Week blog