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Education Forum Offers Advice to Obama, Congress

Two-day summit culminates with recommendations for improving America's educational system.

WASHINGTON — Today, 14 of the country's top education, business, and government leaders announced recommendations for the Obama administration that will significantly improve the education system in America. The HOPE Foundation sponsored a two-day summit with these leaders to discuss and identify the most important education policies facing President Obama and Members of Congress. This forum, which began Wednesday evening, took place in Washington, D.C., and concluded with the announcement of these recommendations at a press conference.

Participants included two former governors, policymakers and top education leaders (see list below). They came from different backgrounds, with opposing perspectives and from both sides of the aisle. They put aside politics to focus on the future of this country's youth and put forth the following recommendations:

  1. Assure Readiness: Success in the classroom requires that children arrive ready to learn — cognitively, physically and psychologically.
  2. Provide Rich Learning Environments for All Students: All young people in America deserve rich learning environments that challenges their thinking, promotes learning by doing and focuses on higher-order thinking skills that encourage life-long learning and prepare young people to be engaged, collaborative citizens.
  3. Improve Overall Standards, Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment: Policies and systems must be in place to promote best practices in teaching, reward high performers, and provide opportunities for feedback and development for those in need of improvement.
  4. Improve Overall Teacher Quality: Policies and systems must be in place to promote best practices in teaching, reward high performers, and provide opportunities for feedback and development for those in need of improvement.
  5. Ensure the Development of 21st Century School Leaders: School leadership should be focused on a combination of student learning, progress, and culture building, while enhancing the quality of teaching.
  6. Generate and Use Research Effectively: Ensure the use of existing research and advance new research topics that address issues specific to 21st Century challenges.

Each participant believes that because of the broad base represented by their group in addition to the new visionary leadership by the Obama administration, these recommendations provide an opportunity to make significant progress on behalf of the children of this nation.

This event was co-sponsored by Corwin Press and produced in partnership with the Miller-McCune Center for Research, Media and Public Policy, which publishes Miller-McCune magazine and

Forum Participants:

  • Governor Roy Romer, chairman, Strong American Schools
  • Governor Bob Wise, president, Alliance for Excellent Education
  • Felicia Y. Blasingame, president/CEO of South Central Community Services, Inc.
  • Alan M. Blankstein, president and founder of the HOPE Foundation
  • Anne L. Bryant, executive director, National School Boards Association
  • Linda Darling-Hammond, professor, Stanford University
  • Dan Domenech, executive director, American Assoc. of School Administrators
  • Sharon Lynn Kagan, professor, Yale University
  • Debby Kasak, executive director, National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform
  • Michael L. Lomax, president, United Negro College Fund
  • Pedro A. Noguera, professor, New York University
  • Karen Pittman, executive director, Forum for Youth Investment
  • Joe Williams, executive director, Democrats for Education Reform
  • John I. Wilson, executive director, National Education Association

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