I had no idea when I headed off to Education Nation that education could be so dramatic (or that my interest area of charter schools was so divisive.) Armed with only my own personal experience, I was unprepared for the passions stirred by the issues facing public education today. Who would have thought a teacher would be booed by hundreds of her peers because she dared to speak against the teachers' unions? Who would have thought anyone would protest outside a movie premiere about a failing school? Throughout the three-day summit, I learned about Common Core (state standards), STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), and how education impacts the economy and national security. I saw demonstrations of innovative digital learning tools and the data they can provide to students, teachers, and parents. And I learned that as a nation we spend as much on education as other industrialized counties, yet rank far below. I was often times confused, but ultimately came away better informed, thanks in great part to sitting next to a teacher who whispered translations and explanations into my ear. I still don’t know much about the enormous topic of education but after seeing some of the solutions presented at Education Nation, I’m choosing to be optimistic.