Governor Bob McDonnell and Secretary of Education Laura Fornash today announced "The Governor's K-12 Education Reform Summit: Investing in Students Today, Creating the Workforce of Tomorrow," hosted by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. The summit will be held in Richmond, Virginia August 15th -- 17th and is chaired by Jim Dyke, the former Virginia Secretary of Education under Governor Wilder, and House Majority Leader and high school teacher Kirk Cox.
"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," said Governor Bob McDonnell. "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." Governor McDonnell continued, "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."
"Governor McDonnell and I remain committed to ensuring that every student in Virginia, upon high school graduation is college or career ready, and in most cases, both," remarked Secretary of Education Laura Fornash. "Each child is uniquely deserving of a quality education and that is why K-12 education continues to be a focus of the administration."
Summit co-chair and House Majority Leader Kirk Cox commented, "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. 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."
Former Virginia Secretary of Education Jim Dyke remarked, "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. 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."
The Governor's K-12 Education Reform Summit: Investing in Students Today, Creating the Workforce of Tomorrow will feature state and national experts in K-12 education and provide opportunities for Virginia legislators, education stakeholders, and policymakers to share best practices and opportunities for collaboration. This summit builds off of the successful 2012 legislative session and focuses on Governor McDonnell's first priority as Governor -- to produce jobs and opportunities by ensuring a quality workforce.