Press Release from the State of Tennessee, Aug 12, 2010
President of Achieve to Address Role of K-12 Schools in Attracting Jobs and Capital Investment
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber today announced Michael Cohen, president of the nationally recognized education reform organization Achieve, will keynote the Commissioner’s Luncheon on September 16, 2010 during the 57th annual Governor’s Conference on Economic and Community Development in Nashville, Tenn.
Founded in 1996 by a coalition of business leaders and the nation’s governors, Achieve is an independent, bipartisan organization dedicated to helping states raise standards and graduation requirements, as well as improve assessment and accountability. In 2005, Achieve created the American Diploma Project, of which Tennessee is one of 35 participating states. Governor Bredesen also serves as co-chair of the Achieve Board of Directors.
“Over the past seven and a half years, we’ve made substantial investments in Tennessee to push our state to the forefront of reforming our public education system,” said Governor Bredesen. “Tennessee recognizes that higher standards and greater achievement are key to a more competitive workforce and long term growth for our economy.”
“Mike Cohen has been one of the nation’s leading voices in pushing states to make sure young people who graduate from high school are prepared for either college or the workplace,” said Commissioner Kisber. “He knows communities with a record of success in K-12 education have a distinct competitive advantage when it comes to attracting new jobs and capital investment.”
In 2004, Achieve released the groundbreaking report Ready or Not: Creating a High School Diploma That Counts, which led Education Week magazine to label Achieve one of the seven most influential education policy organizations in the U.S.
“Job creation is at the top of the list of important issues for Tennesseans, especially during this election cycle,” said Cohen. “Research shows the connections between academic performance by a community and economic growth are intrinsically linked and communities need to hold their policy makers accountable if they want to succeed in both areas.”
Before joining Achieve in 2003, Cohen held several senior education positions in the Clinton Administration, including Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education and Special Assistant to the President for Education Policy.
The 57th annual Governor’s Conference on Economic and Community Development has the theme “Vision Into Action” and will be held September 16th and 17th at the Nashville Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Mr. Cohen will provide the keynote address at the Commissioner’s Luncheon on the 16th and Governor Bredesen will keynote the following day at the Governor’s Luncheon on the 17th.
In addition to the plenary luncheons, the Governor’s Conference will bring in experts from across the country to discuss:
* the job growth potential of electric vehicle development
* how communities can revive their economies from a flood or other natural disaster
* where the solar and renewable energy industry is headed
* review best practices for responding to a request-for-proposal from a company
* how to develop a positive a relationship with a site selection consultant.
Commissioner Matt Kisber will also reprise his popular question-and-answer session from last year’s conference.
Registration for the 2010 Governor’s Conference on Economic and Community Development is available online at the ECD web site at www.tn.gov/ecd. Just click on the “Vision Into Action” button in the middle of the home page. Registration is $200 for the full conference and only $40 for students. Registration by August 26th allows attendees to obtain discounts on room rates at the Nashville Renaissance Hotel and pre-registration for the conference closes on September 13, 2010.
About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to create higher skilled, better paying jobs for all Tennesseans. The department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. To find out more, go to www.tn.gov/ecd or www.investtennessee.org.
Created in 1996 by the nation’s governors and corporate leaders, Achieve is an independent, bipartisan, nonprofit education reform organization based in Washington D.C. that helps states raise academic standards and graduation requirements, improve assessments, and strengthen accountability. Achieve is leading the effort to make college and career readiness a national priority so that the transition from high school graduation to postsecondary education and careers is seamless. To make college and career readiness a priority, in 2005 Achieve launched the American Diploma Project Network. Starting with 13 original states, the Network has now grown to include 35 states educating nearly 85 percent of all U.S. public school students. Through the ADP Network, governors, state education officials, postsecondary leaders and business executives work together to improve postsecondar y preparation by aligning high school standards, assessments, graduation requirements and accountability systems with the demands of college and careers. For more information about the work of Achieve, visit www.achieve.org.