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March 14th, 2011

Branstad/Reynolds Press Conference Live @ 9 a.m.

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Written by: The Iowa Republican

Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today announced more details concerning the Branstad-Reynolds administration’s education summit planned for July 2011. The announcement was made during the administration’s weekly press conference.

“Restoring Iowa’s schools to best in the nation status is one of the four major goals of this administration,” said Reynolds. “We have already announced that United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will deliver the keynote speech on Monday morning, July 25th, but today we are pleased to announce Linda Darling Hammond, Dr. David Driscoll and Vivien Stewart will also speak at the summit.”

Linda Darling-Hammond is one of the nation’s top experts on teacher effectiveness.  A Stanford University education professor, Darling-Hammond will be the keynote the afternoon of Monday, July 25th. She started the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and the School Redesign Network. Her many publications include a 2010 book, “The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future.”

Dr. David Driscoll will be the keynote speaker for the morning of Tuesday, July 26. Dr. Driscoll is chair of the National Assessment Governing Board, the panel that sets policies for the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, the only test taken by K-12 students in every state. He was the 22nd commissioner of education in Massachusetts from 1998 to 2007. He will speak about what reforms worked in Massachusetts, which is the top-performing state on NAEP, and what reforms he think schools around the nation need to consider now.

Vivien Stewart, senior advisor for education at the Asia Society, will talk about why the world’s high-performing school systems are successful. Her expertise includes what those systems do to recruit, prepare, support, compensate and evaluate top-quality teachers. For much of the past decade, Ms. Stewart was in charge of development of the Asia Society’s programs to promote the study of Asia in U.S. schools, and initiatives to connect U.S. and Asian education leaders. While at the Carnegie Corporation, she helped create the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Additionally, Lt. Gov. Reynolds announced a series of public town hall meetings as well as three small roundtable discussions prior to the summit to better understand the challenges in today’s education environment.

The town hall meetings will be held across the state in education settings, and will be open to the public.

The three roundtable discussions will include business executives to talk about the qualities they look for in a globally competitive work force, teachers to talk about what is needed to be more effective in the classroom, and higher education and K-12 leaders to discuss ways to better prepare students for college or post-secondary training.

“We want to hear Iowans’ recommendations for what should change to improve the quality of education. We want to share our concerns, and hear what they want to accomplish.” Reynolds said.

The education summit will be held at The Iowa Events Center.

Last week the administration launched a new blog on education in Iowa, which is maintained by Gov. Branstad’s Special Assistant for Education Linda Fandel.  Iowans looking for regular updates on the education summit, developments shaping education reform across the state, the nation and the world, highlights from outstanding work going on in Iowa schools, as well as places improvement is needed can visit

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