NGA and The Hunt Institute co-hosted the 2013 Governors Education Symposium. To inform participants and generate conversation about the themes of the symposium, the two organizations developed a set of issue briefs discussing four areas: college- and career-training ready standards, building coalitions to scale and sustain reform efforts, teacher and leader effectiveness, and reallocating resources to improve student achievement.

The first issue brief on standards focuses on governors’ and state policymakers’ role in this work in the coming years, including implementing the standards and aligning them with other components of the education system, preparing for drops in test performance, considering the impact of the standards’ work on other education reform efforts, ensuring and sustaining stakeholder support, and ensuring involvement of higher education and business communities. The issue brief that focuses on building coalitions recommends that governors’ offices and other state policymakers consider opportunities to bring together a variety of groups (e.g., business community, non-profit organizations, and the public) under a common agenda as a mechanism for successful reform that is scale-able and sustainable. Tennessee, Arizona, and Kentucky are profiled as states that have built coalitions to scale and sustain reform efforts. The teacher and leader effectiveness brief focuses on three high-leverage areas of reform that are powerful policy levers for governors: strengthening the quality of educator preparation programs, revising certification to focus on demonstration of performance, and enhancing educator evaluation systems to more closely tie to professional development and support. The final issue brief discusses several considerations for reallocating resources toward a more focused goal of improvement student achievement and encourages governors and state policymakers to: align resource strategies to broader reform; use policy as a vehicle to provide autonomy to educators, establish goals and accountability, and build the knowledge and capacity of education leaders; and setting an agenda that focuses on critical resource areas, such as finance systems, compensation systems, and delivery models.

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