Former Governor of North Carolina Jim Hunt (1977-1985, 1993-2001) served four historic terms as governor of the state. Under his leadership, North Carolina public schools improved test scores more than any other state in the 1990s according to the Rand Corporation. Today, Governor Hunt chairs the board of The Hunt Institute, cementing his legacy as a true education governor.
While in office, Governor Hunt focused on early childhood development and improvements in quality of teaching.
Governor Hunt’s Smart Start program received the prestigious Innovations in American Government Award from the Ford Foundation and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In 1985, he co-chaired the “Committee of 50,” which led to the Carnegie Forum on Education and the Economy and eventually to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. He has also provided education leadership as chairman of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, chaired the National Education Goals Panel, served as board vice chair of Achieve, Inc., and as chairman of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education.
Education is the cornerstone of American democracy and must be available to all citizens.