Tuesday, October 26, 2004


(Jackson, Miss.) - State and national education policy leaders, including former Democratic North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt, will convene in Downtown Jackson tomorrow to discuss education reforms and their implications for the state's students at the "Mississippi Education Summit" hosted by Governor Haley Barbour. The gathering will be one of the largest education events in Mississippi history.

"I've long said we need to broaden our thinking to make more headway in education in Mississippi," said Governor Haley Barbour. "That starts with listening to our teachers as well as learning from the experience of other states. All of the education symposiums we have held this fall gives us an opportunity to do that."

The Summit is the fourth and largest gathering of the four education conferences led by Governor Barbour, and it includes hundreds of teachers, administrators, elected officials, business leaders, nationally-recognized speakers, and other education stakeholders. Governor Barbour's four education forums will lead to a major education reform package that will be sent to the Legislature in January.

The Summit will feature four breakout sessions both in the morning and afternoon. They include:

· "The Teacher Advancement Program, Helping Teachers Teach" led by Dr. Tamara Schiff with the Milken Family Foundation;

· "No Child Left Behind: Opportunities and Partnerships, More Efficient Use of Resources" led by The Honorable Sue Sclafani with the U.S. Department of Education;

· "National Trends in Charter School Development, Encouraging Administrative Innovation and Excellence" led by Anna Varghese Marcucio with The Center for Education Reform;

· "Transparency in District Budget Reporting: Arkansas's Act 35, More Efficient Use of Resources" led by Gary Stark an Educational Policy Analyst with the University of Arkansas and Senator Steve Bryles from the State of Arkansas;

· "A Call to Action: Teaching At-Risk, Helping Teachers Teach" led by Gaynor McCown and Dianne Morales with The Teaching Commission;

· "Privatizing Non-Educational Functions of District Budgets, More Efficient Use of Resources" led by Lisa Snell with The Reason Foundation;

· "21st Century Business Needs and Vocational Education, Encouraging Administrative Innovation and Excellence" led by Charles Harrison with Accountability Plus, Larry Crane with Northrop Grumman, Dean Norman with MSU CAVS Extension Program, and J. Michael Thomas with Mississippi Association of Career and Technical Educators;

· " Education for a Lifetime, Encouraging Administrative Innovation and Excellence" led by Ron Packard with

Keynote speaker Governor Jim Hunt is nationally recognized as one of the leaders in education policy development. Hunt set the standard in the South and across the U.S. for contemporary education reforms as governor of North Carolina.

"It is a pleasure to share my school reform record in North Carolina -- and my current efforts to help transform the teaching profession as part of The Teaching Commission -- with the people of Mississippi," said Governor Hunt, who now leads the James B. Hunt, Jr. Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy. "Governor Barbour is doing the right thing by listening to the concerns and interests of the people of Mississippi and bringing so many promising education reform ideas to the table as he develops his own proposals. I'm proud to be part of this bipartisan process."

The public and the media are invited to attend the day-long Summit to be held at the Downtown Marriott hotel from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Registration can be done at


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Governor Haley Barbour
P.O. Box 139 Jackson, MS 39205
Phone: 601.359.3150 Fax: 601.359.3741