Gov. Bob Riley, AL
Gov. Sarah Palin, AK
Gov. Togiola Tulafono, AS
Gov. Janet Napolitano, AZ
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, CA
Gov. Bill Ritter, CO
Gov. M. Jodi Rell, CT
Gov. Ruth Ann Minner, DE
Gov. Charlie Crist, FL
Gov. Sonny Perdue, GA
Gov. Felix Camacho, GU
Gov. Linda Lingle, HI
Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, ID
Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich, IL
Gov. Mitch Daniels, IN
Gov. Chet Culver, IA
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, KS
Gov. Ernie Fletcher, KY
Gov. Deval Patrick, MA
Gov. John Baldacci, ME
Gov. Martin O'Malley, MD
Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm, MI
Gov. Tim Pawlenty, MN
Gov. Haley Barbour, MS
Gov. Matt Blunt, MO
Gov. Brian Schweitzer, MT
Gov. Dave Heineman, NE
Gov. Jim Gibbons, NV
Gov. John Lynch, NH
Gov. Bill Richardson, NM
Gov. Jon Corzine, NJ
Gov. Eliot Spitzer, NY
Gov. Michael F. Easley, NC
Gov. John Hoeven, ND
Gov. Ted Strickland, OH
Gov. Brad Henry, OK
Gov. Ted Kulongoski, OR
Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vilá, PR
Gov. Don Carcieri, RI
Gov. Mike Rounds, SD
Gov. Phil Bredesen, TN
Gov. Jon Huntsman, UT
Gov. Jim Douglas, VT
Gov. John deJongh, Jr., VI
Gov. Tim Kaine, VA
Gov. Chris Gregoire, WA
Gov. Joe Manchin III, WV
Gov. Dave Freudenthal, WY
President, Information Technology & Innovation Foundation
(regional economic growth working session)
Hon. Samuel W. Bodman
Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy (NR)
Jone M. Bosworth
Director, Department of Early Learning, State of Washington (ECW)
C. Jeffrey Grogan
Partner, Senior Account Manager and Chief of Staff, Monitor Group
(regional economic growth working session)
Mary Ann Hanley
Governor's Policy Advisor for Workforce Development,
State of Connecticut (ECW)
S. Keith Hargrove
Chair of the Industrial, Manufacturing, and Information Engineering Department, Morgan State University (STEM working session)
Michael N. Harreld
President, PNC Bank, Greater Washington Area (ECW)
Partner, Vinson & Elkins LLP and Former Chair, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (NR)
Vice President, Regional Innovation, the Council on Competitiveness
(regional economic growth working session)
Hon. Michael O. Leavitt
Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
Executive Director, TIES Teaching Institute for Essential Science
(STEM working session)
Founder and President, EntreWorks Consulting (regional economic growth working session)
Hon. Frank Pallone, Jr.
U.S. Representative from New Jersey and Chairman, House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health (HHS)
Executive Director, Merck Institute for Science Education (STEM working session)
William A. Reinsch
President, National Foreign Trade Council (EDC)
William H. Schmidt
Professor of Educational Psychology and Measurement and Quantitative Methods, Michigan State University (STEM working session)
Ambassador Susan C. Schwab
U.S. Trade Representative (EDC)
Managing Director, Toucan Capital (regional economic growth working session)
Associate Director, National Center for Technological Literacy,
Museum of Science, Boston (STEM working session)
Professor of Mathematics, Charles Dana Center, University of Texas at Austin (STEM working session)
Mary Jo Waits
Center Director, Pew Center on the States (regional economic growth working session)
Partner, Goldman, Sachs & Company (NR)
U.S. Senator from Tennessee
John T. Chambers
Chairman and CEO, Cisco Systems, Inc.
Founder, FIRST and President, DEKA Research and Development Corporation
Chairman and CEO, Luntz, Maslansky Strategic Research
Mary Ann Rankin
Dean, College of Natural Sciences, University of Texas at Austin
Director and Chairman of Executive Committee, Citigroup, Inc.
William H. Schmidt
Professor of Educational Psychology and Measurement and Quantitative Methods, Michigan State University
James H. Simons
President, Renaissance Technologies Corporation and Founder and Chair, Math for America
- Economic Development and Commerce Committee (EDC) – globalization and its impact on state competitiveness
- Education, Early Childhood and Workforce Committee (ECW) – Early Childhood Education: Building Public-Private Partnerships for Reform
- Health and Human Services Committee (HHS) – children's health care
- Natural Resources Committee (NR) – Driving Clean Energy Investments: Recommendations from Wall Street
- Other Sessions – working sessions on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education; and regional economic growth
- Plenary Session Discussion Subjects - Innovation America; Leading the Way on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math; The Language of Innovation: "Words That Work;" Competitiveness: A View from Congress
John Chambers, CEO of Cisco, spoke to governors about the importance of technology not as simply innovative itself but as a source and means of innovation. And he said that collaboration, whether it be within a company or non-profit or between those entities and government agencies, was essential to innovation. He encouraged governors to work with businesses to develop and implement innovation policy initiatives in their states.
Robert Rubin, former Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department and now Director of Citigroup and Chairman of the Board of the "Local Initiative Support Corporation," the nation's leading community development support organization, spoke to governors about the economic outlook and what issues were important for state chief executives to address. He argued that in order to rise to the challenges of global economic advancements, our nation requires a political system in which there is a willingness to reach across party and ideological grounds to find common ground and make politically difficult choices. He went on to say that in a world in which knowledge-based activities can be communicated electronically, national borders no longer apply relative to labor force. And with nations such as India and China providing large populations with increasing productivity and cost efficiencies, the U.S. is at a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace. To deal with this reality, Rubin posed three objectives: robust economic growth, broad-based participation in that growth, and increased economic security achieved in ways that do not undermine the incentive to work. In turn, these objectives must meet challenges in four categories: multiple financial imbalances (including budget and trade deficits and continued growth in major entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid); serious shortfalls in education, infrastructure, research, energy policy, health care, urban blight, and other areas of domestic policy; cost-benefit imbalances in our nation's regulatory and litigation regimes; and international economic policy, including trade, immigration, and cooperation with other nations in developing flexible exchange rate markets. Rubin said that in the past, those who favored trade liberalization did not necessarily support domestic policy changes that are needed to ensure fiscal soundness and improvements in the health, education, and welfare of Americans, and vice versa. And he argued that the two must go hand in hand to ensure our nation's competitiveness in a global economy.
Governor Napolitano opened the second plenary session by announcing that with funding from the Intel and Gates Foundations, a challenge grant opportunity was being created for states to build effective STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education agendas. A total of six state grants would be awarded, totaling $500,000.
James Simons, President of Renaissance Technologies Corporation and a former mathematics professor, spoke to governors about the efforts of the organization he founded—Math for America—to improve math education in our nation's schools. Dr. Simons focused his address on the need to make the job of teaching math and science more attractive. He referred back to the Sputnik era, when fear that our nation was lagging behind the Soviets in math and science—particularly as these fields related to ensuring the nation's defense—led to passage of the National Defense Education Act and the creation of other programs to stimulate interest in math and science. In fact Dr. Simon was the first beneficiary of the National Defense Education Act to earn his Ph.D. at a time when there were fewer than one hundred Americans with Ph.D.s in mathematics. In contrast, ten years later there were fourteen hundred, reflecting the power of a federal program to achieve meaningful results. Today, Simons argued, the emphasis has shifted from defense to economic competitiveness, but the stakes are no different, and Americans are falling behind because—in his words, "American schools are not doing their job." A large part of the problem, he said, is the fact that someone with math and science skills can earn far more in the private sector than in public school teaching, and many Americans (particularly women) who in the past would have been limited to teaching jobs because of discrimination against them in non-teaching, private-sector fields are no longer so limited, reducing still further the pool of potential teachers. Moreover, many of the best qualified teachers stay in education for only a short time, moving on to higher-paying jobs as more lucrative and promising opportunities arise. The irony is that what would make the most sense is for the very best-qualified mathematicians, engineers, and scientists to be ‘teaching,' not ‘doing,' to ensure that the next generation is prepared. Simons said that the two most critical solutions to this problem are very simply higher pay and greater respect for teachers. Simons' program "Math for America" focuses on these solutions in New York by offering tuition assistance and fellowships to aspiring teachers and by providing opportunities for those already in the teaching field to hone and improve their skills, thus becoming "masters teachers." Simons said that he would like to see this kind of effort undertaken on a nationwide basis through the creation of a "Math Science Teaching Corps (MSTC). Although federal legislation to accomplish the goals Simons espouses had been introduced, it had not won consideration.
A panel discussion was held on three topics: the value of comparing a state STEM education system to those of top-performing nations on international assessments; how to build STEM teach capacity; and how to engage students in STEM early, and sustain their interest. Panelists included William Schmidt, a Michigan State University professor; Dean Kamen, an inventor and entrepreneur; and Mary Ann Rankin, Dean of the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Texas, Austin. Professor Schmidt recommended four areas in which governors could lead a national effort: (1) Develop rigorous, challenging, coherent standards; (2) Identify the means by which to ensure that those standards are taught equally across schools and districts within a state; (3) Institute more requirements for children, with less choice and arbitrariness; and (4) Better prepare teachers.
Dean Kamen spoke of his formation in 1992 of a program called FIRST, which began with a pilot project in New Hampshire with the support of 23 well-known firms such as Boeing and Xerox, each one adopting a school and depending on volunteers among their scientists and engineers to show the children of that school what science and technology could accomplish. At the end of six weeks, the children would engage in a robotics competition. Five years later, the program had grown to several hundred teams and expanded outside of New Hampshire. Ten years after the program started, the robotics competition had grown to such an extent that it required the Houston Astrodome to house all of the competitors' entries, which had grown in number to 1,000, sponsored by roughly 1,000 companies. And follow-up data from these projects indicate that 50 percent more of the children who had participated in FIRST are likely to go to college and three times more likely to become an engineers. Female participants were 300 percent more likely to pursue technology in college, and minorities showed 150 percent advancement in the career goals. And one of the most advantageous aspects of the program is its low cost, given the volunteer participation of private sector firms.
Mary Ann Rankin spoke of the successful teacher preparation program for math and science majors that had been created at the University of Texas in 1997. This program, called UTeach, has resulted in a two-fold increase in the number of math majors, and six-fold increase in the number of science majors, securing teacher certification. Statistics indicate that UTeach participants are high test scorers and achievers, and that five years after graduating, 82 percent of participants are still teaching, and they continue to receive mentoring and support after becoming teachers. Rankin noted that UTeach has exploded the myth that high-performing math and science majors in a major research university aren't interested in teaching as a career. It's simply a matter of piquing their interest with a challenging program. Consequently, UTeach has become a model for other states.
In a presentation on "The Language of Innovation: Words that Work," Frank Luntz, Chairman and CEO of Luntz, Maslansky Strategic Research told governors that only a minority of Americans believed the economic was headed in the right direction, and while 62 percent believed they were better off now than five years earlier, only 32 percent believed the nation itself was better off. He asked everyone in the plenary session to raise their hands if they believed they were better off than their parents' generation, and the majority responded. But when he asked how many believed that the quality of their children's lives would be better than theirs, the numbers responding were fewer. Luntz's point was that innovation would be critical to improving the quality of life for generations to come. And data indicate that innovation is most desired in education (which is about the future), health care (which is about the present), and public safety (which cuts across time). Luntz went on to say that while the Republican agenda tended to focus on giving tax incentives and the Democratic agenda tended to focus on raising the minimum wage as means of economic improvement, data suggest that ‘innovation' ‘is what Americans believe will bring about positive economic change, and fewer than one-third of Americans who were polled believed that we have the most innovative economy. Moreover, a large percentage believed that schools had deteriorated in the previous decade. Statistics, Luntz said, bore those out. Seventy percent of 8th graders were not now proficient in reading, a student dropped out of school every 29 seconds, and 1.1 million American students were not graduating from high school. Fully 99 percent of respondents felt that if we failed to innovated, our economy would be left behind, and 88 percent said that our nation's children would be left behind. Finally, one-third of Americans believed that the federal government should play the dominant role in innovation, as compared with two-thirds who believed that the states should predominate.
At the closing plenary session, U.S. Representative Bart Gordon of Tennessee, Chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology, spoke to the governors about an effort that he had undertaken with Senators Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico to secure a study by the National Academy of Sciences on American competitiveness in the 21st Century. In turn, the National Academy had brought in a variety of academic and business leaders to conduct the study, which culminated in a report titled "Rising Above the Gathering Storm." The report made two key recommendations: (1) boost math and science skills among students and promote an increase in teacher certification in these subjects, recognizing that our ability to compete with other nations will result from advanced skills, not from cheap labor; and (2) develop energy independence and renewable, clean energy sources. A variety of steps would enter into achieving the first recommendation, among them the award of scholarships for those pursuing careers—including teaching—in math and science. The second recommendation might appear to fall largely under the jurisdiction of the federal government, but Rep. Gordon argued that the states have an important role to play in the process as well. He said that within the Department of Defense is an advanced research agency where the Internet was developed, and he proposed that the same type of agency be established within the Department of Energy. The agency would identify the most likely cutting edge alternative renewable energy ideas and explore them indepth, something with which the states could assist by identifying energy research and related resources within their boundaries. Not only would such an endeavor help achieve energy independence; it would also create high-tech jobs for a new generation of mathematicians and scientists. Gordon went on to recommend that efforts be undertaken at the state level—something he has done at the federal level—to achieve energy efficiency and conservation in government offices. And he mentioned that he was seeking to establish a revolving fund from which to pay for conservation efforts on the part of agencies that otherwise lack the funds to undertake them.
Former Tennessee governor and now U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee spoke about three issues. The first was ‘unfunded mandates': federal mandates to the states that lacked the funding needed to carry them out. He cited the example of higher education, funding for which had risen only 10 percent at the state level since the year 2000, compared with a 57-percent increase in spending on Medicaid, despite the fact that the report to which Rep. Gordon had referred—"Rising Above the Gathering Storm"—concluded that higher education is the second most important priority (the first being K-12 education) for remaining competitive in the 21st Century. As a direct result of spending limits on postsecondary education, tuition had risen five times as much as state funding. And much of this problem is linked to rising Medicaid costs associated with federal mandates. Another unfunded mandate that Sen. Alexander criticized was "Real ID," which—in the Senator's words—"would turn all of the drivers license examiners in all fifty states in CIA agents trying to idcentify who is legally here and who is a terrorist," at a cost to states of up to $11 billion over five years.
The second issue Sen. Alexander addressed was the "Rising Above the Gathering Storm" recommendations. He urged governors to implement actions to promote education in math and science, including summer programs and scholarships for teachers. He pointed out that the projected price tag for carrying out the report's recommendations was $10 billion, but the results would be well worth the investment.
The third issue raised by the Senator was teacher salaries, which he said should be based not on longevity alone but on teaching quality and ability, a goal that he argued the states could help achieve.
During a question-and-answer session, concern was raised by Governor Dave Heineman of Nebraska that in some states, the governor has little control over how education dollars are spent at the local level. Sen. Alexander recommended that in those states, governors challenge every community to set higher standards internally.
A question was raised by Governor Jim Douglas of Vermont about whether the competitiveness strategies suggested by Rep. Gordon and Sen. Alexander would be used as well to contain current health care costs and make health care more affordable. Sen. Alexander responded that our competitiveness would surely depend on getting health care costs under control. And Rep. Gordon urged governors to oppose the federal ban on re-importing drugs from foreign countries, which would help lower health care costs.
In response to a question from Governor Ernie Fletcher of Kentucky about what direction Congress might take regarding coal usage, Rep. Gordon said that energy development and environment were inextricably linked, so he expected that significant investments would be made in clean coal technology, using funding that previously would have been in the form of tax benefits to oil companies. Sen. Alexander added that leading environmental groups advocated the inclusion of carbon recapture as part of any coal-based solution to our energy problems, something that justifies further development. And Alexander argued that there are only three sources of energy adequate to address global warming, clean air, and energy independence: conservation, nuclear, and clean coal. In response to a question about the application of technologies such as conversion of coal to liquid, Rep. Gordon said that abandoned military bases and in certain cases private refineries might be used for such conversion, something that Governor Bill Ritter of Colorado argued justifies federal assistance.
Governor Ruth Ann Minner of Delaware, commenting on Sen. Alexander's proposal for states to begin internal government energy conservation, said that lower-maintenance bulbs were being placed in traffic lights in her state. Although the bulbs cost more, the resulting reduction in maintenance offset that cost, and the state saved one-half million dollars in its electric bill the first year after replacing only one-third of the traffic light bulbs in the state. Also, the state sent a letter to every residence, offering its households two energy-saving light bulbs, which could be picked up at local libraries. The project proved to be so popular that the state had to order three times the number of bulbs it had anticipated buying. Finally, the state produced a booklet giving its citizens energy-saving tips. Governor Don Carcieri echoed Gov. Minner's remarks, saying that Rhode Island had also installed energy-saving bulbs in its traffic lights.
Sen. Alexander agreed with Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska on the importance of tapping into the natural gas that is abundant in western states such as her own.
U.S. Senator and former Tennessee governor Lamar Alexander said: "…nothing made me madder when I was governor than to have some Congressman come up with a big idea, put it into law, hold a press conference, take credit for it, and send me the bill. And then that Congressman…would usually be home at the Lincoln Day dinner or the Jackson Day dinner in the next month making a big speech about local control. Happens all the time up here. And I'm sorry to say that we Republicans who got elected in 1994 promising never to do that are just as bad as the Democrats, and sometimes worse."
Selected Policy Positions Adopted:
(1) Making specific recommendations to improve future rounds of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), and underscoring support for priority transfer of BRAC properties that meet state needs; (2) outlining broad principles to guide Congress in preparing to reauthorize federal surface transportation law, with emphasis on the need for a strong intergovernmental partnership for surface transportation; (3) underscoring the need to ensure a state role in trade and investment policy development and implementation; (4) reflecting and supporting the continued work of governors to reform high schools and postsecondary education; (5) supporting greater alignment of preschool through college (P-16) education to improve educational outcomes for students of all ages through state innovation and the streamlining of unnecessary and burdensome federal bureaucracy; (6) calling on the federal government to work with states to study the state fiscal impacts of illegal immigration, and urging the federal government to pay for services connected to immigration law enforcement; (7) outlining the limited circumstances through which the National Guard could be placed under Title 10 for domestic operations and calling for governors to retain control of Guard forces during dual domestic missions; (8) highlighting improvements that should be made to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program since passage of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, to include the restoration of state flexibility in program design and the avoidance of harsh penalties for failure to meet new work requirements; (9) calling for an increased federal investment in health information technology in underserved and rural areas; (10) highlighting state-led regional ocean initiatives; (11) clarifying the governors' support for a "Good Samaritan" permit program to encourage the cleanup of abandoned hard rock mines; (12) calling for full funding of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and urging the National Marine Fisheries Service to work closely with states on a variety of implementation issues; (13) noting that while governors support improving the security and integrity of state drivers' license and identification card systems, the federal Real ID Act would alter long-standing state laws, regulations, and practices governing the qualifications for and production and issuance of licenses and identification cards in every state, and recommending changes to the law including providing compliance flexibility to the states; (14) calling on Congress to avoid legislation that would preempt state laws and regulations and to adequately fund federally mandated programs; (15) urging Congress and the Administration to recognize and grant the right of local self-government to the people of Guam; (16) encouraging states not currently conforming with the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement to join the agreement, and calling on Congress to honor the efforts of states by passing federal legislation authorizing participating states to require remote sellers to collect sales taxes on remote sales; and (17) encouraging the federal government to work with states to ensure that the intent of the Medicare Prescription Drug program is realized.