America’s Greatest Education Governor

July 18, 2008 | Blog

The National Education Association (NEA) — the nation’s largest teachers’ union — recently awarded the title of “America’s Greatest Education Governor” to North Carolina’s Mike Easley.

While many such awards may seem hokey on their face, this is actually one that is well-deserved, based on Governor Easley’s leadership on improving teacher quality and public education in North Carolina.

Easley pioneered Teacher Working Conditions surveys. As my New Teacher Center colleague (and North Carolina resident) Eric Hirsch says, assessing working conditions involves collecting data to determine what teachers want and need, and how their perceptions of various aspects of their jobs correlate with student achievement and teacher retention. Fundamentally, it’s about helping schools create environments where teachers can thrive and students can succeed.

In addition, the NEA recognized Easley’s leadership on three other policy initiatives:

  • The More at Four pre-kindergarten program for at-risk four-year-olds;
  • The Learn and Earn initiative, which allows high school students to jump-start their college education through 42 Learn and Earn high schools located on community college or university campuses; and
  • EARN grants, which have allowed approximately 25,000 students from low- and moderate-income families to receive up to $8,000 of financial aid over two years.

Easley was first elected Governor in 2000 and will complete his second term in office at the end of 2008.

Read the NEA press release

Read more on teacher working conditions here and here

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