TITLE: Forum on Education and the Economy: Gov. Roy Romer
SPEAKER: Roy Romer
EVENT DATE: 2008/06/27
FORMAT: Video + Captions
RUNNING TIME: 32 minutes
TRANSCRIPT: View Transcript (link will open in a new window)
Education reform has been a policy focus in the United States since "A Nation at Risk" was released in 1983. Despite the best of intentions and large investments by both the public and private sectors, we are slipping in comparison to our industrialized peers, placing 25th out of 30 in math and 21st in science on the 2006 PISA test. Our nation's high schools continue to graduate only 70 percent of students on time, and only half of those who graduate are prepared for college and the workforce. Yet because policymakers, educators and American families don't typically connect these warning signs to an imminent crisis, there is little urgency for bold reforms. We want to steer the debate about education reform to emphasize the impact a mediocre education has on the nation's economy.
The Library of Congress hosted a national, non-partisan policy forum to discuss the connection between education and the economy. Economic, educational and political experts will examine data tracking the U.S. performance internationally that measure the skills needed to succeed in a global economy. The discussants will also explore the current and future economic implications to the United States. How can we persuade Americans that continued poor educational performance has real economic consequences for our nation?
Gov. Roy Romer, chairman of "Ed in 08," ended the conference by reviewing the landscape of education reform from the first governor's conference in 2000 and spoke about the upcoming post-presidential election landscape and offered his perspective, as a former governor and former urban school superintendent, of the challenges and re-alignments that will be needed to move serious reform forward.
Funding for the forum was provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Speaker Biography: Gov. Roy Romer is the chairman of Strong American Schools and spearheads the public awareness campaign ED in ???08. Romer's expertise in education stems from his position as superintendent of schools for the Los Angeles Unified School District. In Los Angeles he focused resources to improve instruction and construct schools. He advocated for literacy and math curricula that included computer-based learning programs and more teacher training. As a result, elementary school reading and math scores were above national levels for the first time in decades. Romer was governor of Colorado for three terms, from 1986 to 1998, and was the general chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1997 to 2000. He was vice chair of the Democratic Leadership Council, an information-age think tank that examines national political and policy issues, where he studied effective educational strategies and school reform initiatives.