April 10, 2008
Author and Governor Bob Wise to Speak at Webster University's Holden Public Policy Forum
ST. LOUIS, April 10, 2008 – Former W.Va. Gov. Bob Wise will discuss his forthcoming book Raising the Grade: How High School Reform Can Save Our Youth And Our Nation and other secondary education issues as part of the Webster University Holden Public Policy Forum’s Issues in the 21st Century speaker series. The presentation will be held on Tuesday, April 15, at 5:30 p.m. at Webster’s campus in the Old Post Office.
Gov. Wise now serves as president of the Alliance for Excellent Education. Under his leadership, the Alliance has continued to build its reputation as a respected authority on high school policy, and to advocate for reform in America’s secondary education system, working to ensure that all students graduate from high school prepared for success.
According to Gov. Wise, each year, approximately 1.2 million U.S. students do not graduate from high school on time. Nationally, only about 70 percent of students earn their high school diplomas. Among minority students, this figure drops to about 50 percent.
“Over the past 30 years, the modern workplace has radically changed, and the demands on those making the transition from the classroom to the workforce continue to rise,” Gov. Wise said. “Students from Boston and Birmingham no longer compete against each other for jobs; instead, their rivals are well-educated students from Sydney and Singapore.”
As globalization has progressed, American educational progress has stagnated. Today, said Gov. Wise, the United States’ high school graduation rate ranks near the bottom among developed nations. And on virtually every international assessment of academic proficiency, American secondary school students’ performance varies from mediocre to poor.
During Gov. Wise’s administration from 2001 to 2005, West Virginia saw a significant increase in the number of students completing high school and entering college. As governor, he fought for and signed legislation to fund the PROMISE Scholarship Program and created the Governor’s Helpline for Safer Schools.
In 2001, Gov. Wise proposed salary bonuses for teachers who achieve National Board certification, which helped triple the rate of certified teachers in the state. Additionally, Education Week’s Quality Counts 2004 report gave West Virginia its highest cumulative grade of all 50 states.
Since joining the Alliance for Excellent Education, Gov. Wise has become a sought-after speaker and advisor on education issues. He has advised the U.S. Department of Education and frequently testifies before the U.S. Congress.
The Holden Public Policy Forum at Webster University is a bi-partisan speaker series, created by former Mo. Gov. Bob Holden and Webster University that brings public policy leaders to St. Louis to discuss key national and international issues. For more information about the Holden Public Policy Forum, visit www.webster.edu/holdenppf or call 314-968-7423. Webster University is a nonprofit, international university, based in St. Louis, Mo., with a worldwide network of more than 100 campuses across the United States, Europe and Asia.
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