Athens, Ga. – More than 100 of Georgia’s top education leaders and policymakers are expected to attend the University of Georgia College of Education’s second annual Education in Georgia: A State of the State Report on Thursday, Oct. 1, at UGA’s Gwinnett Campus.
The theme of the conference, co-sponsored by UGA’s Education Policy and Evaluation Center, is Emerging Educational Priorities During the Period of Economic Recovery. The keynote speaker will be former West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise, now president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, and a nationally recognized adviser in high school educational policy.
Wise, author of the book, Raising the Grade: How High School Reform Can Save Our Youth and Our Nation, served as governor from 2001-05. He fought for and signed legislation to fund the PROMISE Scholarship Program which has helped thousands of West Virginia students remain in the Mountain State for college. He established a character education curriculum in all state schools and created the Governor’s Helpline for Safer Schools. During his administration, West Virginia saw a significant increase in the number of students completing high school and entering college. He also signed major legislation creating a nationally recognized pre-K program that will eventually cover all of the state’s four-year-old children.
In 2001, Gov. Wise proposed salary bonuses for teachers who achieve National Board certification, which helped triple the rate of certified teachers in the state.Education Week’s Quality Counts 2004 report gave West Virginia its highest cumulative grade out of all 50 states. He was also the first West Virginian to chair the Southern Governors’ Association.
From 1983 to 2001,Wiseserved in the U.S. House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of West Virginia. During his tenure, he worked aggressively to preserve federal financial aid for students to attend college.
UGA Education Dean Arthur M. (Andy) Horne will offer opening remarks for the daylong conference. Other featured speakers and their topics include:
- Jeff Humphreys, director, of the Selig Center for Economic Growth, Terry College of Business, UGA. “Economic Outlook for Georgia’s Public and Private Pre-K-12 Education Industry: 2010.”
- Ron Cervero, associate dean for outreach and engagement, College of Education, UGA. “Georgia Issues and Plans: A Summary.”
There will be three concurrent breakout sessions in the afternoon featuring the following topics and speakers:
- Risk Factors in Predicting School Completion. Amy Reschley, assistant professor in educational psychology, College of Education, UGA.
Emerging Policy Considerations for English Language Learners. Pedro R. Portes, The Goizueta Foundation Distinguished Chair of Latino Teacher Education,professor in counseling, and executive director ofthe Center for Latino Achievement and Success in Education, College of Education, UGA.
- Assessment and Accountability Reform. Eric Houck,assistant professor in educational administration and policy, College of Education, UGA.
“We believe this annual conference is an important part of the effort to improve student achievement in Georgia schools,” said Horne. “We are excited to have the opportunity to present new research and innovative approaches to addressing some of the challenging issues we face today in education.”
From focusing on dropout prevention, creating violence-free schools, identifying an optimal mathematics curriculum to defining the best strategies for training, mentoring and retaining teachers, faculty at UGA’s College of Education are working to improve education in Georgia, he said.
“That’s why we created the Education Policy and Evaluation Center here at UGA- to help us reach Georgia’s school leaders and administrators with the latest data on best practices to help inform their decisions through policy briefs, research and evaluation studies to identify what is working,” said Horne.
For more details on the conference, see www.coe.uga.edu/dean/stateofthestate/SOS2009/index.html.