Hunt Institute, NGA Host Governors to Focus on Critical Education Issues

June 12, 2017

Denver, CO – The National Governors Association and The Hunt Institute hosted six of the nation’s governors in Denver, Colorado, at the 2017 Governors Education Symposium, along with high-ranking officials from an additional 10 states. The Symposium, first conceived by The Hunt Institute in 2002, is designed to bring the nation’s governors together to engage in candid dialogue about critical challenges facing education. 

Former Governor Jim Hunt (D-NC), Governor Asa Hutchinson (R-AR), and John Hickenlooper (D-CO) served as co-chairs and provided strong, insightful leadership throughout the sessions and discussions.

“Having the opportunity to engage with other governors, to hear what they are doing to lead education in their states, is essential,” said Gov. Hunt, founder and chairman of The Hunt Institute. “Fostering this kind of dialogue is the primary reason I founded the Institute—to ensure that governors have access to experts from around the country and that they are able to harness the energy and momentum needed to drive systemic educational improvement.”

The first day of the Symposium ended with remarks from U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who shared her vision for working together with states to improve education for all students.  DeVos told governors, “Education problems won’t be solved by Washington.  The best solutions come from the bottom up.”  

The two-day meeting also featured panel discussions and remarks from a variety of experts, including: NGA Executive Director & CEO Scott Pattinson; Hunt Institute Executive Director & CEO, Dr. Javaid Siddiqi; Alan Golston, President, United States Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy; Dr. Aaliyah Samuel, Director, Education Division, NGA Center for Best Practices; Jeremy Anderson, Education Commission of the States; Sharon Lynn Kagan, Teachers College; Ellen Galinsky, Families & Work Institute; Susan Gates, SAS Institute; Ralph Smith, Campaign for Grade Level Reading; Linda Fandel, Special Assistant for Education to Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds; Anissa Listak, Founder and CEO, National Center for Teacher Residencies; Jal Mehta, Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Stanley Litow, IBM International Foundation; and a number of exceptional educators and state policy leaders who provided an on-the-ground perspective on the issues discussed. 

“Over two days we traversed the full education continuum, from early care and education, into K-3 literacy and K-12 education, and straight through to workforce and postsecondary pathways,” said Gov. Asa Hutchinson, GES co-chairman and governor of Arkansas. “The candor and insights shared by my colleagues were invaluable, and I hope they walked away feeling as energized and committed to improving education as I have.”

Hunt Institute Media Contact: 
April White Henderson
NGA Media Contact:
Elena Waskey

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