December 13, 2019 – I was honored to join the Governors’ Panel at a gathering of the Hunt Institute’s Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows last week in Washington, D.C. At these sessions, an equal number of Republican and Democratic state policymakers hear bipartisan presentations and engage in deep and meaningful discussions on the importance of K-12 standards and assessments, school funding, early learning, school choice, and effective teachers and school leaders.

[Pictured above is the Governors panel with Gov. O’Malley of Maryland, Gov. Kean of New Jersey, and Gov. Douglas of Vermont.]

Started and led by two longtime education leaders, Gov. Jim Hunt (D-NC) and Gov. Tom Kern (R-NJ), the successful program is now working with its sixth class. These state leaders spend almost a year studying critical issues of education.

At this session, I appreciated the opportunity to preview a report I am preparing about the importance of teacher preparation programs to a state’s economic development. Many thanks to the participants for giving me important feedback about what would be relevant to them.

I have come to value these Hunt-Kean sessions since they show that education can be a nonpartisan issue discussed in a civil way and with data guiding the decision-making. These state leaders should be commended for wanting to go in depth on one of the most important activities facing every state.