Mayor Fenty kicked off The Excellence in Action National Summit on Education Reform and introduced host Jeb Bush.

“In a world so divided,” Gov Bush said, “We gather with a shared purpose.”

“Our shared purpose is undergirded by the belief that:  1) education should be a national priority, and 2) we need systemic change that moves to a student-centered, not adult-centered system, where every student gains at least a year’s worth of knowledge for each year invested.”

Gov Bush thinks that we are close to tipping point where customized learning environments will become the norm, where social promotion will be replaced by a system where students advance at their own pace after mastering objectives, and a system that rewards great teachers.

Some states have been spurred on by Race to the Top grants, dozens of states are not waiting for grants but are raising standards, expanding options for students, and implementing real accountability.

The defining reform of 2010 was the modernization of the way teachers are trained and retained.  Twelve states passed meaningful reforms to assess teacher on student performance.  Louisiana and Colorado deserve real credit for their leadership.

Bush closed his opening address, “I hope that Republicans in congress make [education] the one place where we can put aside partisanship and find common groups to make sure that children learn.”

Also see Chiefs for Change and Gov Christie: Failure is Not and Option

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Tom Vander Ark
Tom Vander Ark is author of Smart Parents, Smart Cities and Getting Smart. He is co-founder of Getting Smart and Learn Capital and serves on the boards of 4.0 Schools, eduInnovation, Digital Learning Institute, Imagination Foundation, Charter Board Partners and Bloomboard. Follow Tom on Twitter, @tvanderark.

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