The theme of the 2021 Summer Summit is CLOSING THE GAPS for Wisconsin’s children. The Summer Summit will be held in person at Sun Prairie High School, with a virtual option for those who wish to participate remotely. An optional dinner event will be held at The Loft in Sun Prairie.

We will also once again offer a six-week study circle leading up to the Summer Summit for educators and advocates who wish to dig deeper into this important theme.

The deadline to submit proposals for sessions was April 12, 2021.

Stay tuned for details on how to register!


A special message from Charlie Berens of Manitowoc Minute for supporters of Wisconsin public schools:

THANK YOU to all the participants, presenters, sponsors, and the local planning team for making our 6th Annual (and first virtual!) Summer Summit a success!

You can view Wisconsin Eye footage of the plenary, keynote & featured panels here.

Click here for the full schedule!

Click here to access our #VotePublic action toolkits:!

6th Annual Summer Summit – July 24, 2020: ONLINE

  • SUMMER SUMMIT REGISTRATION is closed for 2020! The ,6th annual Summer Summit, hosted by Sun Prairie Area School District
  • This year’s theme was Public Education and Democracy: what civic engagement really means in and to our schools, and how we can work together to defend the most essential pillar of a strong democracy – a sound public education!
  • Guest speakers included Governor Tony Evers, State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor, Despite the Best Intentions author Dr. John Diamond; Charles Franklin, Marquette University; Angela Lang, BLOC (Black Leaders Organizing Communities, and many more!
  • Thanks to our partner districts and education associations who provided professional development opportunities and sponsored staff/members to attend!
  •  Facebook event here.
  • The Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization and the fiscal agent of the Wisconsin Public Education Network. Your donation to WAES supports the work of the Wisconsin Public Education Network and local level action with statewide impact.

This event was held online using the Run the World platform! Run The World is a revolutionary all-in-one online events platform that enables engaging online experiences through videos. We bring hallway conversations, fireside chat, cocktail parties, and roundtable online to engage and connect relevant people worldwide. Run The World enables a new type of online event where attendees can actually socialize, meet new people, and have those serendipitous experiences.

Here are some things for registrants to know about this virtual platform:

– Run The World will link attendees to the Summer Summit via email before the event begins. It will prompt you to sign up or sign in and direct you where you need to go. Please make sure that you register using the same email you used to register in Eventbrite (the email address we sent this message to).

– If you’re curious and want to explore the platform before the Summit, you can visit the Run the World YouTube page containing video tutorials. This is not necessary to be able to participate.

– If you have both a smartphone and a computer available, we recommend signing into the event on both devices.
The email you receive from Run The World will allow you to sign in on your browser.
To sign in on your mobile device, download the FREE Run The World Events app for AppleGoogle, or Android.

Here’s why: watching sessions on your computer will allow you to see presentations in all their glory, while using the app will give you simultaneous use of the social features–starting private messages with other audience members, continuing follow-up conversations with people after a session is over, and more–all at the same time.
Feel free to use only one device, but using both the app and the browser will help you maximize your experience!

NOTE: all in-person events for the Summit have been cancelled, including the dinner and welcome reception. We have postponed our invitation to Keron Blair of the Alliance to Reclaim our Schools until he can join us in person!

past Summer Summit archive:

5th Annual Summer Summit – August 5, 2019: La Crosse

Our 5th annual Summer Summit was held at La Crosse Central High School. See the schedule and event details at https://summersummit2019.eventbrite.comClick here to see the full program

Past Summit archive:

August 1, 2018: Appleton

Our 4th Annual Summer Summit was held at Appleton North High School and hosted by the Fox Cities Advocates for Public Education. Agenda included keynote speaker Jitu Brown, a plenary panel with members of the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding, special guest Joe Thomas, president of the Arizona Education Association, a morning welcome from Superintendent Tony Evers and 28 breakout sessions! PLUS: silent auction, a #VotePublic workshop & much more!

See our 2018 Summer Summit photo album here and click here for the full program.  Scroll down for presenter materials and news from the Summit, and click here to view photos and Wisconsin Eye footage from the event.

Presenter materials and resources.

2018 Summit cover-2

August 2017 Summer Summit: Lake Mills

Over 350 people attended our 3rd annual Summer Summit in Lake Mills, hosted by CAPE (Citizen Advocates for Public Education) and the Lake Mills School District, for a full day of workshops, presenations, and the Wisconsin Premier of the film “Backpack Full of Cash,” with a conversation with the filmmakers. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL AGENDA  and click here to see our 2017 Summer Summit resource page with videos and descriptions of sessions.


August 2016 Summit, Wauwatosa

Our 2nd Annual Summer Summit featured a full day of workshops and strategy breakouts led by Wisconsin public education advocates and experts, featuring keynote presentations from Rev. Dr. William Barber II and John and Tashia Morgridge, and a special welcome from Dr. Tony Evers, Superintendent of Public Instruction.  CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL SCHEDULE!

Wisconsin Eye footage:

Tony Evers interview 8/24 (mentions WPEN partners in opening)

Wauwatosa Hosts Statewide Education Summit:

Public School Leader Worries about “Haves” and “Have-Nots”

School leaders push for more K-12 public school funding. Public Education Summit held in Wauwatosa

August 2015: Middleton

Our first annual Summer Summit was held at Kromrey Middle School in Middleton.