Thursday, July 10, 2008

Governor Perdue Appoints Working Group to Study Education Policies and Practices to Make Georgia More Globally Competitive

Governor Sonny Perdue today announced the appointment of a working group tasked with investigating innovative ways to create long-term, comprehensive education reform to make Georgia more globally competitive. This working group, chaired by Dr. Charles Knapp and Dean Alford, will build off the work of the Investing in Educational Excellence (IE2) Task Force and review a provocative national report called Tough Choices or Tough Times to determine how Georgia might reform its education policies and practices to cause needed change for its educational system.

“I believe the experts serving on this group fully understand the urgency of the challenges we face in education in Georgia,” said Governor Perdue. “I am confident that they will create a blueprint for change that will facilitate higher achievement, thereby increasing Georgia’s economic competitiveness through our most valuable resource – our children.”

The working group will meet for the first time on July 17, 2008 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Empire Room of the West Twin Tower in Atlanta to focus specifically on several areas of education policy reform:

· Moving students to postsecondary-level work as soon as they demonstrate the necessary ability;
· Enhancing the quality of preschool education opportunities;
· Improving P-12 teacher quality;
· Creating high performance school systems (in collaboration with the State Board of Education);
· Improving the academic performance of underachieving students;
· Further enhancing and supporting a world-class P-12 curriculum; and
· Ensuring the efficient use of the financial resources Georgia devotes to education.

Governor Perdue has charged the group to identify the policy changes that should be put into place quickly in order to make Georgia’s educational system more competitive in the next 15 years. He has asked them to work swiftly and submit recommendations to him in time for consideration for possible legislation in the 2009 session of the General Assembly.
Those chosen to serve on this working group include:

·Dr. Charles Knapp – (Co-Chair), Chair of the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce (which produced the Tough Choices or Tough Times report), President Emeritus of UGA, and Chairman of the East Lake Foundation
· Dean Alford – (Co-Chair), Chair of the IE2 task force, former state legislator, former State Board of Education member, current member of the Technical College System of Georgia Board, businessman
· Julia Bernath – Board Member, Fulton County Schools
· Veronica Biggins – Senior Partner , HNCL Executive and Board Search Firm
· Dr. Michael Bull – Superintendent, Glynn County Schools
· Representative Brooks Coleman – Chair, Georgia House Education Committee
· Tim Connell – President, Georgia Student Finance Commission
· Kathy Cox – State Superintendent of Schools
· Stephanie Laverne Haynes - Master Teacher/Academic Coach, Clifton Ridge Middle School, Jones County
· Kelly Henson – Executive Secretary, Georgia Professional Standards Commission
· Dr. Susan Herbst – Executive Vice-Chancellor, University System of Georgia
· Molly Howard - Principal, Jefferson County High School, 2007 National School Principal of the Year
· Ron Jackson – Commissioner, Technical College System of Georgia
· Representative Jan Jones – Chair, Georgia House Education Appropriations Sub-Committee
· Senator Dan Moody – Chair, Georgia Senate Education Appropriations Sub-Committee
· Jose Perez – State Board of Education member
· Jennifer Rippner Buck – Executive Director, Governor’s Office of Student Achievement
· Dr. Holly Robinson - Commissioner, Bright From the Start – Department of Early Care and Learning
· Dr. Ben Scafidi – Associate Professor of Economics, Georgia College and State University
· Ed Smith – Superintendent, Troup County Schools
· Carl Swearingen – Chair of the Technical College System of Georgia Board, businessman
· Senator Dan Weber – Chair, Georgia Senate Education Committee
· Alvin Wilbanks – Superintendent, Gwinnett County Schools

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