Something rather unique, however, was an event that followed. It featured a historic meeting of chief executives on stage, and we're not talking about school principals or central office bureaucrats. This was a meeting of governors—20 percent of the nation's current chief executives, to be exact.
In fact, it was the largest meeting of sitting governors (outside the national and respective party conventions) to ever convene regarding a single topic, and that doesn't even consider the fact that Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was in the front row of the crowd (and he even chimed in a few times). The governors in attendance were:
- Gov. Sean Parnell (D-AK)
- Gov. Jack Markell (D-DE)
- Gov. Martin O'Malley (D-MD)
- Gov. Mary Fallin (R-OK)
- Gov. Paul LePage (R-ME)
- Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
- Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I-RI)
- Gov. Bill Haslam (R-TN)
- Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA)
- Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI)
We were disappointed that there wasn't much talk of school choice—especially considering the numerous school choice milestones that took place all over the country this year—but Walker made a point to pledge his support for expanded educational options (not a surprise considering his state's huge expansions in 2011).
|Governors from 10 states talk education reform. From L-R, Parnell, Markell, O'Malley, |
Fallin, LePage, Hickenlooper, Williams, Chafee, Haslam, McDonnell, and Walker.