Sec. Duncan Praises Hunt Institute, Chairman for National Standards Efforts

June 18, 2009

Cary, N.C. – In an address to nearly 200 participants – including 21 of the nation’s governors – U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan praised Hunt Institute Foundation Chair, Jim Hunt, for being a true education reformer and pushing for national standards, and the Hunt Institute for its work on national standards.

“Governor Hunt called for common national standards when it wasn’t politically popular,” said Secretary Duncan. “His Institute has done important work with the National Research Council that shows that there is the political will to accomplish this task today.”

The Hunt Institute began its work on the issue of national standards in 2006. Since that time, it has commissioned the National Research Council to conduct a series of workshops which revealed that the current “standards-based” approach to education has fallen short of its lofty and admirable goals. The Hunt Institute publication, Blueprint, has explored those findings in depth. In May, Hunt also testified before the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor on Strengthening America’s Competitiveness Through Common Academic Standards.

Secretary Duncan delivered the keynote address at the 2009 Governors Education Symposium (GES), co-sponsored by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, and conceived by the Hunt Institute in 2002. This year, governors tackled the priorities outlined in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA): standards and assessment, longitudinal data systems, teacher effectiveness, and turnaround support for failing schools.

Duncan added, “It started with governors like Jim Hunt and Roy Romer, who have been very helpful to me in these first few months. I’d like to salute Jim Hunt and Roy Romer for their vision and courage on the issue of education reform. They challenged all of us to make education more than a political talking point or an empty slogan.”

The 2009 GES set a record number for attendance, and was praised by governors for bringing them together with the nation’s foremost experts in education to identify tangible ways to dramatically improve student achievement in their states.

For more information on the Hunt Institute’s work on national standards, or to access Blueprint, please visit

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