Gov. Bob McDonnell's office announced Tuesday that the governor will be holding an education summit featuring state and national education experts and state lawmakers in Richmond in August.
"The Governor's K-12 Education Reform Summit: Investing in Students Today, Creating the Workforce of Tomorrow,” will be held Aug. 15 - 17, and will be chaired by former state Secretary of Education Jim Dyke and House Majority Leader and high school teacher Del. Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights.
“Virginia is blessed to have one of the best K-12 education systems in the country, one which gives young people the opportunity to achieve their dreams,” McDonnell said. “Unfortunately, at this time, we cannot guarantee this opportunity for all students and until we can, it is incumbent upon Virginia’s leaders to explore areas for reform. I thank former Secretary Jim Dyke and House Majority Leader Kirk Cox for their willingness to serve as summit co-chairs. Their vision is exactly what we need to take Virginia’s K-12 system to the next level. In today’s economy we must compete with other countries such as China, India and Germany. Our future economic competitiveness and quality of life depends on strong K-12 outcomes.
“Education is the single most important responsibility of state government for the generations to come. Education drives our economy, ensures innovation in our future and is the biggest factor in accelerating social mobility and lifetime achievement. Until every child, in every zip code is guaranteed access to a quality education, we have not done our job. Every child deserves the best chance to achieve his or her dreams.”
The summit is designed to bring together legislators, policymakers, education stakeholders and experts to discuss and collaborate on developing "best practices" in education policy.
“The Education Summit is another significant initiative by Governor McDonnell to ensure Virginia is a national leader in education reforms that better prepare our students for the best jobs of the 21st century," Cox said. "I look forward to working with K-12 education reform leaders from around the country to develop strategies that will put the focus on teaching. As a teacher with 30 years of classroom experience, I believe one of the Summit’s top priorities must be to find ways to translate proven classroom strategies to policy by listening to teachers who are on the front lines.”
“I'm excited to be part of this Education Summit that will focus on students and the teachers who prepare them and not on the politics of the status quo," said Dyke, who served as education secretary under Gov. L. Douglas WIlder. "Virginia must mount an aggressive and immediate bipartisan effort to promote innovation, merit, options and reform that provides our students with the skills needed to be competitive in a global economy and well rounded citizens of the world.”