Legislative Conference to Feature Award-Winning Journalist, Actor, and Education Secretary

  • Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John Harwood will speak at the Council of the Great City Schools’ Legislative/Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., March 18-21. Harwood has served as White House correspondent for CNN and chief Washington correspondent for CNBC, and has offered political analysis for The New York Times, NBC, MSNBC, NPR, and PBS.John Harwood Headshot

    Harwood received an Emmy nomination for his live CNBC town hall with President Barack Obama and moderated the Republican presidential debates on CNBC in 2011 and 2015.

    Prior to CNBC, he joined The Wall Street Journal as a White House correspondent, covering the

    presidency of George H. W. Bush and later reporting on Congress before becoming The Wall Street Journal's political editor and chief political correspondent. He contributed to Journal coverage of the terrorist attacks against the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, for which the newspaper's staff received the Pulitzer Prize.

    Also, addressing the conference will be actor, director, and children’s literacy advocate LeVar Burton. Burton was the host of the PBS Kids educational television series “Reading Rainbow” for more than 23 years and played the role of Kunta Kinte in the groundbreaking ABC miniseries “Roots.”

    Joining Burton will be documentary filmmaker Jenny Mackenzie and reading advocate Kareem Weaver. The three will discuss Mackenzie’s recent documentary The Right to Read,” which  Burton executive produced.

    The documentary follows Weaver, a former teacher, principal and administrator in Oakland, Calif., in his quest to improve the literacy rates of students by teaching them to read using evidence-based literacy tools and explicit and direct reading instruction, often referred to as “the science of reading.”

    In addition to Weaver, the documentary also follows the stories of two African American families and their efforts to improve their children’s literacy skills.

    Conferees will also hear from U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, in what will be his first in-person appearance at the Council’s Legislative/Policy Conference, held at the landmark Mayflower Hotel.US Department of Education Secretary, Miguel Cardona

    The conference will also include briefings on federal education and congressional action on K-12 education, as well as a session on investing, tracking, and assessing Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding.

    Download the agenda.