Left nav goes here

Contact: Lisa Johnston
(404) 879-5544
Released: 10/31/2011

Leaders from 25 States Chart Ways for Career/Technical Education to Build Nation’s STEM Work Force

JACKSONVILLE, Florida — More than 60 educators and state officials from 25 states will gather at the Southern Regional Education Board’s (SREB’s) annual State Leaders’ Forum in Jacksonville, Florida, November 3-4, to focus on how career/technical education can strengthen the nation’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) work force.

"The United States lags behind other nations in STEM education at the elementary and secondary level. And many businesses simply cannot find employees with the background they need in math, science and technology," said SREB Senior Vice President Gene Bottoms. "We’re bringing together state legislators, policy-makers and education leaders to brainstorm new ways for career/technical education to play a pivotal role in building a STEM-literate work force."

The conference begins at 1 p.m. on Thursday, November 3, and ends with a luncheon on Friday, November 4. All events will take place at the Crowne Plaza Jacksonville Riverfront Hotel.

The forum will open with an analysis of what makes a STEM-literate work force and why it is so important to America’s future. The discussion will be led by Eric Seleznow, state policy director for the National Skills Coalition in Washington, D.C., and Adam Gamoran, chair of the National Research Council Committee on Highly Successful Schools or Programs for K-12 Education and director of the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

SREB President Dave Spence will present recommendations from the SREB Middle Grades Commission related to creating a strong STEM focus early in the middle grades. Other forum topics will include successful approaches to improving STEM education in several SREB states, an analysis of where states stand in improving students’ STEM proficiency, how to teach the new Common Core (and other rigorous) State Standards through career/technical (CT) education in STEM pathways, and the development of STEM-focused CT curricula through SREB’s Preparation for Tomorrow initiative.

Speakers will include: West Virginia State Senator Robert Plymale; Kara Gae Neal, superintendent/CEO of Tulsa Technology Center, Oklahoma, and SREB Board Member; Lan Neugent, assistant superintendent, Division of Technology, Career & Adult Education, Virginia Department of Education; Lolita Hall, state career and technical education director, Virginia Department of Education; Kathleen Taylor, bureau chief, CTE, Adult Education and Apprenticeship Programs, Division of Career and Adult Education, Florida Department of Education; Kathy D’Antoni, assistant state superintendent of schools, Division Technical, Adult and Institutional Education, West Virginia Department of Education; Roderic Duckworth, interim deputy director for career and technical education, Arkansas Department of Career Education; Dawn Morrison, Preparation for Tomorrow co-facilitator, Alabama State Department of Education; Kathy Shibley, senior executive director, Center for Student Support and Education Options, Ohio Department of Education; Karen Smith, state coordinator for High Schools That Work and Preparation for Tomorrow team leader, Kentucky Department of Education; and Dave Wilson, director of corporate marketing and academic programs, National Instruments, Texas.

For more information about the conference or career/technical education in your state, contact SREB Communications.

SREB, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, advises state education leaders on ways to improve education. SREB was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislatures to help leaders in education and government work cooperatively to advance education and improve the social and economic life of the region. SREB has 16 member states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Each is represented by its governor and four gubernatorial appointees.

Southern Regional Education Board
592 10th Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30318-5776
(404) 875-9211

For additional information, please e-mail communications@sreb.org