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2017 Washington Policy Seminar - April 23-26
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Navigating Education Policy Change silhouettes of birds and leaves



The Washington Policy Seminar (WPS) is designed to help you connect more deeply to the national policy discourse on education and to make connections between the federal and state levels. You will go behind the scenes on key education policies, closely examine the implications of federal decisions on the states, and have opportunities to share across sites on how your states and communities are addressing systemic issues in support of all learners. WPS is your front row seat to education policy inside the Beltway and connection to education leaders from across the country!

When WPS concludes, we trust you will have a fuller understanding of macro contexts and historical trends in federal and state policy; additional tools to operate in a more informed and strategic way in your own organizations, communities, and states; and a supportive and enduring professional EPFP network.


Dates and Times

The 2017 WPS begins on Sunday, April 23 at 1 pm and concludes on Wednesday, April 26 at 12 pm.

Check-in for Fellows: 10:30 am - 1 pm at Fairmont Hotel to receive name tag, conference program, and other materials. Check-in will likely be busiest between 12:30 and 1 pm, so we encourage Fellows to check in earlier during the check-in period if possible.

We highly encourage all Fellows to be present for the entirety of the event.


Fairmont Washington, DC Georgetown Hotel

2401 M Street, NW

Washington, DC 20037


Click here to read a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the 2017 WPS.
Last updated April 3, 2017.

Click here to see parking locations close to the Fairmont Hotel.

Check out this Washington Visitor's Guide for a list of locations you can visit while at 2017 WPS

More about the Samuel Halperin Lecture and Youth Award from the American Youth Policy Forum


The Ever Debatable Federal Role by Mike Usdan, Senior Fellow and former President of IEL

Choosing Our Future: A Story of Opportunity in America by Irwin Kirsch, Mary Louise Lennon & Anita Sands of ETS and Henry Braun of Boston College

Guide for the Powerless- And Those Who Don't Know Their Own Power by Samuel Halperin


Agenda & Breakout Sessions



Breakout Session Descriptions

Speakers (Alphabetical)

Speakers (by Session)

Speakers Twitter Handles

Full Agenda:

 [Optional] 10:00AM-12:00PM
Memorial Tours led by EPFP Alumni (Kennedy Center, MLK Memorial, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture)

Informal Breakfast
Grand Ballroom
Pre-function Area

Informal Breakfast
Grand Ballroom
Pre-function Area
Informal Breakfast
Grand Ballroom
Pre-function Area
Welcome & Opening Plenary: The Evolution of the Federal Role in Education
Grand Ballroom
Morning Plenary:
Leading Change: Lessons from the Civil Rights Movement and Freedom Schools
Grand Ballroom

Morning Plenary
: The New Administration & the 115th Congress: What Can & Should We Expect?

Samuel Halperin Lecture & Youth Public Service Award
Grand Ballroom
National Forum on Education
Grand Ballroom

Breakout Session I
Ballroom Level Meeting Rooms & Third Floor Meeting Rooms

Morning Plenary II: Policy, Politics & Procedures Inside Congress
Grand Ballroom
Making Meaning in One's Leadership Role
Various Breakout Rooms
Welcome Reception
Grand Ballroom Pre-Function Area
Breakout Session II
Ballroom Level Meeting Rooms & Third Floor Meeting Rooms
State Site-Specific Activities* 11:25AM-12:00PM
Closing Plenary:
The Movement's in the Room: The Role of EPFP in Our Current Educational Climate
Grand Ballroom

Networking Lunch
Grand Ballroom

  [Optional] 1:30-3:00PM Site Visits led by EPFP Alumni (AEI Think Tank, DC Public Schools, US Department of Education)
Congressional Simulation Introduction
Grand Ballroom
Snack Break
Grand Ballroom
Pre-function Area
Congressional Simulation
Ballroom I, Ballroom II, Kennedy Ballroom

*Ask your site coordinator(s) for more information about your Hill Day activities and site dinners.


Hotel Reservations

Accommodation arrangements must be made independently. The room blocks are first come, first serve and reservations are made directly with the hotelsOur room blocks are now FULL. 

Pre- and Post-Conference Activities

We will be offering optional pre-conference DC memorial tours on Sunday, April 23, from 10:30am-12pm, and post-conference site visits on Wednesday, April 26, from 1:30-3pm. We will be offering the following pre- and post-conference activities. Sign-ups are now closed.

Sunday, April 23, 10:30am-12pm

Pre Conference Memorial Tours

Wednesday, April 26, 1:30-3 pm

Post Conference Site Visits

Please email to inquire about waitlist options. 

EPFP Alumni and Sponsors

EPFP '15-16 alumni who are making up WPS can attend free of conference fee, but are responsible for registering for the conference and making your room reservation in one of our room blocks.

Similarly, if you are a current EPFP sponsor you may attend WPS free of charge. If you are a sponsor who would like to attend please contact Sarah McCann at for more information. 

EPFP alumni and former EPFP sponsors may attend WPS for a conference fee of $575. You are responsible for your own travel and accommodations for the conference. If you are an EPFP alum who is interested in attending WPS, please contact Sarah McCann a 








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