Gov. Ruth Ann Minner, DE
Gov. Sonny Perdue, GA
Gov. Felix P. Camacho, GU
Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, ID
Gov. Tom Vilsack, IA
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, KS
Gov. Kathleen Blanco, LA
Gov. John Baldacci, ME
Gov. Mitt Romney, MA
Gov. Jennifer Granholm, MI
Gov. Tim Pawlenty, MN
Gov. Haley Barbour, MS
Gov. Brian Schweitzer, MT
Gov. Dave Heineman, NE
Gov. Bill Richardson, NM
Gov. George E. Pataki, NY
Gov. John Hoeven, ND
Gov. Edward Rendell, PA
Gov. Anibel Acevedo-Vila, PR
Gov. Mark Sanford, SC
Gov. Michael Rounds, SD
Gov. Phil Bredesen, TN
Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., UT
Gov. Jim Douglas, VT
Gov. Charles W. Turnbull, VI
Gov. Mark R. Warner, VA
Gov. Joe Manchin III, WV
Gov. James Doyle, WI
Heartland Institute (EDC)
Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council (NR)
Rick Curtis, President
Institute for Health Policy Solutions (HHS)
Dr. Anthony Downs
Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution (special session on transportation options)
Dr. Bryan Hannegan
Associate Director for Transportation, White House Council on Environmental Quality (NR)
Dr. Curtis W. Johnson
President, The Citistates Group (special session on transportation options)
Tom R. Keating
Turning Point Alternative Learning Program, Minnesota (ECW)
President and CEO, ConnectKentucky (EDC)
Chairman, Milken Family Foundation (ECW)
Paul T. Morris
Executive Director, Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency (EDC)
Blue Valley Northwest High School, Kansas (ECW)
Dr. John Rutledge
Rutledge Capitol (EDC)
Dr. Jorge Schement
Co-director, Institute for Information Policy, Penn State University (EDC)
Dr. Henry Simmons
President, National Coalition on Health Care (HHS)
Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Education (ECW)
Executive Director, Western Business Roundtable (NR)
Hon. Stephanie R. Timmemeyer
Cabinet Secretary, West Virginia Department of Environmental
Dr. Reed V. Tuckson
Senior VP, Consumer Health and Medical Care Advancement, UnitedHealth Group (HHS)
Co-Founder, Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP)
Thomas L. Friedman
Columnist for The New York Times, author, and Pulitzer Prize winner
Deputy Director-General, Ministry of Education, People's Republic of China
Publisher/Editor of EducationWorld, India and Founder-Editor of Business India and Businessworld
- Economic Development and Commerce (EDC) - Broadband Deployment-A Critical Component for Economic Development
- Education, Early Childhood and Workforce Committee (ECW) - Strategies to Recruit, Reward and Retain Teachers
- Health and Human Services (HHS) - Uniquely American Solutions for Health Care Reform
- Natural Resources (NR) - The National Environmental Policy Act's Role in Energy Production
- Other Governors' Session: Future transportation options and innovation
- 2004-05 Chair Virginia Gov. Mark Warner's Initiative - Redesigning the American High School
Plenary Session Discussion Subjects - Redesigning High Schools: An International Perspective; Competing in a Flat World; and New High Schools from the Ground Up
Dr. Yang Jin, Deputy Director-General of the Basic Education Department of the Ministry of Education for the People's Republic of China, spoke about challenges and priorities for high school education in China. He said in essence that while China has become a global producer of goods and services, its educational lag currently translates into a requirement for intensive labor input to produce enough for the nation to be able to afford crucial imports.
Dr. Yang said that on average, 15-year-olds in China receive about eight years of education, comparable to the education that Americans received 100 years ago, and there is an education gap that leaves rural children behind those in urban communities. The Chinese system requires six years of compulsory primary education, three years of junior middle-level education, and three years of high school. Up to middle-level, the gross enrollment rate is 94 percent. But at the high school level, only 47.6 percent of children are enrolled. In turn, the enrollment rate is only 19 percent at the university level. Dr. Yang told Governors that China's education goals include universalizing fifteen years of education by the year 2020to include compulsory primary and middle-level education along with three years of high school; and improving equality of educationto include equity between the education of rural and urban students.
Yang also noted that there has been a cultural breakdown in China, as evidenced by such phenomena as a rising divorce rate. During 2004, for example, eight million couples married, but one million divorced, and the problem is particularly acute20 to 30 percentin urban areas. Accordingly, another of the nation's goals is to use education to promote 5,000 years of Chinese culture while building a modern, harmonious society.
Two other goals are to change teaching and learning methods to foster students' creativity and individuality, to focus on those with learning disabilities, and to move from a rigid examination-oriented system to a value-added one. As well, a new teacher ranking system has been developed to provide a ladder up which teachers can climb and develop professionally and to ensure regular assessment of teachers' abilities.
China, Yang said, enrolls 20 percent of the world's students with only 2 percent of the world's educational funding, so what the nation does with respect to their education system must be cost-effective. Comparing China to the United States, Yang said that the U.S. offers flexibility, the ability to develop students' critical thinking and creativity, and community involvement in the educational systemall of which would benefit China.
Yang closed by urging a cooperative effort between the United States and Chinaand between U.S. governors and officials of China's 31 provinces. He also recommended empirical comparative research to identify, generate, and promote good practices with respect to curriculum standards, textbooks, assessment, models, and teacher training.
The next speaker was Dilip Thakore, Publisher/Editor of EducationWorld, India and Founder-Editor of Business India and Businessworld magazines. He told Governors that there are 900,000 primary schools in India and 133,000 secondary schools. That number might sound high, but it is low relative to population. And Thakore stressed that 90 percent of those schools are public and poorly managed. With respect to the few private schools available, instruction in English is critical, in part because it in turn opens up access to the best textbooks in the sciences and humanities, translating into large numbers of engineers, doctors, lawyers, and businessmen. Thakore noted that science and math are also compulsory for all privately educated students in India up to the tenth grade, higher than he believed is the case in the United States.
Fully 53 percent of children enrolled in primary schools in India do not make it to the secondary level, and Thakore said that the primary objective of EducationWorldIndia's first education magazineis to transfer the best practices of private education to the public education system in India.
Thakore said that unlike primary and secondary educationwhere private schools operate most effectivelythe higher education system in India is rigidly controlled by central and state government. Because so few schools are high-quality, competition for admission is intense. And since the capacity of higher educational institutions is such that it can accommodate only 7 percent of college-age studentscompared with 60 percent in the U.S.there is mass migration out of India for educational purposes, much of it to the United States.
One of EducationWorld's primary missions is to compel the Indian government to raise spending on education from 3 to 6 percentsomething that hasn't been done in the 50 years since it was promised. Thakore urged NGA to take its mission of upgrading education in the U.S. around the world. He emphasized that to eliminate terrorism, spread democracy, and end poverty, a massive investment needs to be made in education worldwide.
Next, Tom Friedman spoke about his book The World Is Flatwhich puts forth the theory that technology has leveled the jobs playing field worldwide. His theory began to develop when he decided to look at criticism regarding outsourcing of jobs from the perspective of those to whom the jobs are being outsourced. What he discovered was that not only are products of American companies being made outside the United States but that Americans are being served daily by people outside the country, an example being computer assistance being provided to someone here by someone abroad over the telephone.
In The World Is Flat, Friedman argues that there have been three eras of globalization: (1) from 1492 until the early 1800s, when geographical exploration and colonization shrank the world from large to medium; (2) from the early 1800s until 2000, when companies globalized for markets and labor, shrinking the world from medium to small; and (3) our current era, built not on nations or companies but rather around individuals, shrinking the world from small to tiny. In short, people can now globalize themselves.
Friedman holds that ten forces, events, and technologies came together to create this level playing field. The first flattener began on November 9, 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell. Five months after that, Microsoft shipped its breakthrough Windows system. Combined, this meant that the wall came down and windows came up, providing a graphical user interface through which to look at the world. Also in 1989, the design of the World Wide Web began.
The second flattener began August 9, 1995, when a small start-up company called Netscape in Mountain View, California went public, giving us the first commercial Internet browser, making activity previously reserved for scientists and computer experts available to everyone. Netscape also ensured that the Internet would not be owned by any company. And it triggered a dot-com boom, which in turn led to massive investment in fiber-optic cable, connecting people throughout the world.
A third flattener is something Friedman calls "work flow"the software and software standards that connect the bandwidth with personal computers, allowing interoperability between software systems.
The fourth through ninth flatteners consist of outsourcing, offshoring, open-sourcing (meaning different people collaborating from a distance on the writing of software), supply-chaining (meaning that an item is taken off the shelf at one place and replicated elsewhere, so that a company like Wal-Mart makes money without having to produce anything), insourcing (under which a corporation contracts with another corporation to do its work without the product buyer being aware of ite.g., Toshiba tells a customer to ship a malfunctioning laptop under warranty via UPS for repair, and it turns out that UPS itself makes the repair under contract to Toshiba), and in-forming (i.e., Google, under which you can in essence inform yourself).
The tenth flattener Friedman refers to as the 'steroids,' meaning wireless technology, voiceover IP, and advances in graphical design and user interface that enhance and essentially turbocharge collaboration.
Friedman concludes in his book that future wealth will go to nations, states, cities, companies, and individuals who understand these conditions and both educate their people to take advantage of them and provide the infrastructure through which to do so. In addition, we must adapt our habits to these new circumstances, because we are moving toward a world in which value will be created by who you connect to and collaborate with. And he emphasized that when the world flattened, three billion people in India, China, and the former Soviet empire walked onto the playing field. Although many of them are not yet prepared to plug and play, even a percentage as small as 10 would mean 300 million new playersor twice the size of the American labor force.
At a second plenary session, Mike Feinberg, co-founder of the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) program spoke. KIPP is a network of 38 high-performing public schools serving 6,000 students in 14 states and the District of Columbia. Feinberg began the program when he discovered as a fifth-grade teacher in Houston that many of his students were not receiving the stimulation they needed. Consequently, KIPP was begun as a fifth-grade program in which the school day was lengthened, classes were held for four hours on Saturdays, and the school year was lengthened by an extra month in the summer. The result was that the percentage of students passing the state test rose from 40 to 98 during the first year of the program. Also by year's end, two-thirds of the students had acquired a gifted and talented label, enabling them to go to Magnet middle schools. Feinberg and his academic partner then asked to change the program into its own school, in order to keep its students through the turbulent middle and high school years, and successful KIPP schools were opened in both Houston and the Bronx, New York. Houston KIPP has been ranked an exemplary or recognized school every year since it opened. And that was with a population that was 99 percent minority and eligible for free meals. In New York, KIPP is the highest performing school in the Bronx and the fifth highest in all of New York City.
Of the first group of students to finish KIPP, 85 percent were college-bound, a percentage that has now risen to 90.
New KIPP schools have opened primarily in urban areas but also in the Mississippi Delta. Most encompass fifth through eighth grades. And because there is not sufficient room for all KIPP students to attend the high schools of their choice, KIPP is starting high schools as well. In addition, an early childhood program called Baby KIPP has been launched. Feinberg emphasized that KIPP schools are not meant to be cookie-cutter, but they do have five attributes in common:
- more time spent in school.
- "choice," meaning students, parents, and teachers all choose to be there.
- power to lead where there is an effective school leader in place who has control over staff and budget.
- high expectations that are clearly defined and observable.
- positive results that are measurable.
To cover the cost of keeping school open longer during the day, the week, and the year, administrative costs have been kept lean. This means a teacher may wear several hats, as an administrator, custodian, and bus driver, for example. At the same time, efforts have been successful in raising teacher salaries by about 20 percent for the extra time spent in school.
Also during the meeting, for the first time in the nation's history, states reached a common definition for their high school graduation rate. At a special ceremony, forty-five Governors and twelve national organizations signed onto Graduation Counts: A Compact on State High School Graduation Data. Compact signatories agreed to the following recommendations.
- Begin implementing a standard four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate.
- Lead efforts to improve state data collection, reporting and analysis, and link data systems across the entire education pipeline from preschool through postsecondary education.
- Take steps to implement additional indicators that provide richer information and understanding about outcomes for students and how well the system is serving them.
- Report annual progress on the improvement of their state high school graduation, completion, and dropout rate data.
Tom Friedman, author of The World Is Flat, said: "...when I grew up in the fine state of Minnesota as a young boy in the ‘50s, my parents used to say to me, "Tom, finish your dinner. People in China and India are starving." And [now] I tell my girls, "Girls, finish your homework because people in China ad India are starving for your jobs."...There is no such thing as an "American" job."
Selected Policy Positions Adopted:
(1) Urging the federal government to provide adequate funding and support to state and local homeland security programs for the protection of critical infrastructure; (2) calling for a continuation of discussions with state and local government groups and representatives of the communications industry to develop mutually agreed upon national guidelines for state taxation of communications services and service providers that: encourage investment, innovation, and competition; preserve state authority; provide necessary resources; and advance public interest; (3) outlining the Governors' consensus recommendations for reform of Medicaid and other parts of the health care system that can help keep Medicaid sustainable in the long-term, including reforms in the areas of prescription drugs, cost sharing, benefit packages, assets transfers, waivers, judicial reforms, treatment of the commonwealths and territories, and the clawback provision; (4) outlining issues that remain to be addressed following the recent reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), including funding, the need for highly qualified special education teachers, regulations, alignment with existing federal laws, testing of students with disabilities, and Medicaid billing; (5) expressing the Governors' priorities with respect to the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP); (6) asking the federal government to establishwith state inputa national sex offender registry with national standards to assist states in dealing with the sex offender problem; (7) emphasizing the importance of the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program in reducing dependency and promoting self-sufficiency for low-income individuals; (8) urging Congress to clarify that rail-based solid waste facilities should not be subject to preemption under the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act of 1995; (9) calling on the federal government to coordinate schedules of clean air programs and to establish timelines for national standards consistent with those schedules; (10) supporting the use of conservation easements as a tool for land protection; (11) highlighting the Governors' support for the National Drought Preparedness Act; outlining federal actions that would help states fight wildfires, including maximization of the use of fixed winged air tankers and continued support and funding for state fire programs; and calling for the study of the process for permitting water storage projects; and (12) expressing the Governors' support for federal regulatory policies that encourage market stability for all domestic energy production; the need to improve domestic energy production and to grant states the primary role in decisionmaking with respect to exploration and production on federal lands within their borders; the need for federal policies designed to add stability to domestic production and to provide for longer-term investment; and the Governors' opposition to federal preemption in the siting of liquefied natural gas (LNG) terms and the need for maintaining the authority of states and communities to participate in the planning the permitting process.