Gov. Jim Hunt to Participate in NBC’s Education Nation

September 24, 2010

Gov. Jim Hunt to Participate in NBC’s Education Nation

Former governor tapped to provide voice on challenges facing early childhood education in America

Durham, NC, September 24, 2010 – Gov. Jim Hunt, Chairman of the James B. Hunt, Jr. Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy Board Foundation, will be a featured panelist on “A Fresh Start: Leveling the playing field before school begins” on Monday, September 27, 2010, from 4:45-6:00 PM. This panel is part of NBC’s Education Nation—a week-long focus on the state of education today.

The two-day Education Summit will present 12 panel sessions on important topics in education such as workforce readiness, developing great teachers, technology and innovation, higher education, parental involvement, early education, and the politics of education.

In addition to Hunt, panelists include Gary Knell, president and CEO of Sesame Workshop; Ellen Galinsky, CEO of Families and Work Institute; Sterling Speirn, president and CEO of the Kellogg Foundation; Susie Buffett, chairwoman of The Sherwood Foundation, the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation and the Buffett Early Childhood Fund; and Larry Berger, CEO and co-founder of Wireless Generation.

The nation’s first “education governor,” Hunt is a nationally recognized leader in education, and he has been at the forefront of state and national education reform. He served an historic four terms as governor of North Carolina, and early childhood education was a primary focus of his agenda. Among his many successes in education, his early education program, Smart Start, has been emulated by states across the nation and received the prestigious Innovations in American Government Award from the Ford Foundation and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Hunt also focused on the improvement of teaching quality, set high standards for K-12 public schools, and was a national leader in ensuring rigorous accountability for student performance. In the 1980’s, Governor Hunt and the Carnegie Corporation of New York created the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards which he chaired for 10 years. In the last decade of his governorship, the schools of North Carolina increased NAEP scores more than any other state in America. His work has been recognized with numerous national awards, and in 2006, he was named one of the 10 most influential people in American education, along with Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

The Education Nation Summit will be covered on MSNBC and streamed on live and for delayed viewing. For more information about Education Nation, go to

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