Curry School Hosts VA. House Education Committee Summit

The Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia hosted the 2nd Annual House Education Committee Summit, an event bringing together Virginia legislators with state and national education experts to discuss the a variety of topics with the goal of increasing the success of Virginia’s public education system.

Under the leadership of Virginia House Delegate and Chairman of the House Education Committee Steve Landes, the summit was planned in partnership with the University of Virginia and The Hunt Institute, a non-partisan center for educational policy and leadership affiliated with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that honors the legacy of former North Carolina Governor James B Hunt, who was also in attendance at the Summit.

“This Summit brings together a broad variety of leaders to present unbiased, accurate, and balanced information related to the most pressing issues in education in the Commonwealth,” said President Sullivan.  “I am pleased that the University is hosting this important event and helping lead the conversation.”

For two days, members of the Virginia House of Delegates joined state and national education experts to discuss a variety of education topics such as early childhood education, higher education, public charter schools, educational leadership, and making effective use of student data to increase achievement gains.

“The annual Summit is designed to build capacity and expand our knowledge base on the most recent education matters so we can make sound, informed policy decisions to support our education system,” said Chairman Landes.

The Summit opened with remarks from UVA President Teresa Sullivan, during which she hailed the work of the Curry School, specifically the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening, or PALS, that is being used in schools throughout the Commonwealth and in all 50 states in the United States.

“The Curry School is a national leader in early-childhood education, college access, assessment, and other important education challenges,” Sullivan said.

Pianta was among the presenting experts, reporting on the current research of early childhood education. The Curry School is leading the Kindergarten Readiness Project, a statewide initiative of aiming to assess entering kindergartners on multiple elements of kindergarten readiness.

Following a welcome by President Sullivan ad Chairman Landes, former N.C. Governor James Hunt also shared a few remarks.  In addition to the session on early childhood education, a series of panel discussions and presentations followed from a number of leading education experts including: Congressman Bobby Scott (D-3rd), House Ranking Member, Committee on Education and the Workforce; Anne Holton, VA Secretary of Education; Dr. Billy Cannaday, president, Va. Board of Education; Barry DuVal, president and CEO, Va. Chamber of Commerce; Aimee Guidera, executive director, Data Quality Campaign; Nina Rees, president and CEO, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools; as well as K-12 and higher education administrators, and legislators.

According to Delegate Landes, the Summit helped to ensure the Commonwealth has a strong public education system that produces quality, high-skilled, and well-educated workers capable of succeeding in tomorrow’s economy.