Home Home Home About Us Home About Us About Us About Us /links/index.html /links/index.html /links/index.html /advertising/index.html /links/index.html /advertising/index.html /advertising/index.html /advertising/index.html About Us About Us /archives/index.html About Us /archives/index.html About Us /archives/index.html /archives/index.html /subscribe/index.html /archives/index.html /subscribe/index.html /archives/index.html /subscribe/index.html /subscribe/index.html /survey/index.html /subscribe/index.html /survey/index.html /subscribe/index.html /survey/index.html /survey/index.html /survey/index.html /links/index.html /survey/index.html /links/index.html /links/index.html /links/index.html
Home About Us About Us /links/index.html /advertising/index.html /advertising/index.html
About Us /archives/index.html /archives/index.html /subscribe/index.html /subscribe/index.html /survey/index.html /survey/index.html /survey/index.html /links/index.html










Camps & Sports


Children’s Corner

Collected Features


Cover Stories

Distance Learning


Famous Interviews


Medical Update

Metro Beat

Movies & Theater


Music, Art & Dance

Special Education

Spotlight On Schools

Teachers of the Month


















New York City
November 2001

National Education Summit Reaffirms Educational Commitment
By Marylena Mantas

Governors, educators and CEOs attended the 2001 National Education Summit recently reaffirming their commitment to education at a time when the country faces growing security concerns since the events of September 11th.

“It’s important that as education leaders we’re not intimidated. We didn’t even consider canceling,” said Governor John Engler, co-chair of Achieve. “We’ve been planning since February, and by coming here, we simply have a chance to show our dedication to do the work that needs to be done and to make America stronger.”

Sponsored by Achieve, an independent, bipartisan, nonprofit organization, the Summit took place at the IBM Palisades Executive Conference Center, in Palisades, NY and was the fourth one of its kind to take place in the US. Participants, which included approximately 25 state governors, 35 corporate leaders and 30 educators, reflected upon the progress made in education since the 1999 Summit (two Summits took place in 1989 and in 1996) and emphasized their commitment to keeping education a priority.

“Incremental improvement doesn’t change the fact that even our best students in America are just average by international standards,” said L.V. Gerstner, Jr. Chairman and CEO of the IBM Corporation and co-chair of Achieve. “It doesn’t explain the fact that the gap between white students and Latin American students grew wider during the decade of the 90s. The grim reality is that even as our overall achievement inches up, our sons and daughters remain severely handicapped by a system that expects too little and then routinely rewards substandard performance against even those minimal requirements.”

Prevailing buzz words throughout the two day conference included accountability, assessment, standards, testing and achievement gap, reflective of the topics included in the six-page final Statement of Principles adopted at the end of the conference.

The Statement illustrated a renewed commitment to improving three critical areas in education, including testing, accountability and teaching. All improvements are set to take place within an educational environment also committed to raising academic standards.

“The objective here is to elevate the performance of all our children. All of them. That’s the goal,” said Gerstner, who characterized the “struggle” to improve education a “national problem.”

The Statement urges the education community to “raise achievement for all students while closing the achievement gap separating the educational ‘haves’ from the ‘have-nots’…these goals are an irreducible educational minimum for the United States. Nothing less than their full attainment will serve that nation’s social, democratic, and economic interests.”

Participants, particularly the educators present, emphasized that improving the quality of teachers stands at the forefront of achieving the new goals.

“Once and for all it’s time to stop talking about making the teaching profession more attractive, and do it,” said Gestner. “We can hang our heads, we can moan about teachers’ pay. We can say it’s too low, call it unfair, or we can leave here with a commitment to fix the problem: Competitive salaries, pay tied to performance, and pay for expertise. Teaching is a profession. Let’s treat it like one.”

The Statement of Principles provides states with guidance in implementing measures to achieve better results in the three areas specified as critical. The Statement urges states to adopt “good” tests characterized by quality, transparency, utility, coherence, comparability and strategic use of data. To strengthen accountability, the Statement urges states to employ policies of adequate phase-in, assistance before intervention, flexibility to schools to change, sanctions and shared accountability and alignment without college admissions and employment. Finally, to improve teaching the Statement calls for changes in recruitment and preparation, tools and support, matching strong teaching to the schools in the greatest need and compensation.

“The President’s education strategy, especially the call for higher standards and more accountability, dovetails the goals of state after state across this country,” said Governor Engler (Michigan). “And, one of the things I hope we can do is that we can support not only the President but those in Congress who have joined with him and with us—the nation’s governors and education leaders—in this battle which we surely must win.”

Participants also attended several demonstrations illustrating how the use of technology driven education programs provide professional development for teachers and improve the collecting of data for decision-making. Demonstrations were presented by a number of companies, including Great Schools.net, Decision Support and System, Learning with the Library of Congress and Teachscape.


Education Update, Inc., P.O. Box 20005, New York, NY 10001. Tel: (212) 481-5519. Fax: (212) 481-3919. Email: ednews1@aol.com.
All material is copyrighted and may not be printed without express consent of the publisher. © 2001.