|Governor of North Carolina (1977-1985; 1993-2001)
Jim Hunt is a nationally recognized leader in education and has
led his state through twenty years of dramatic economic change.
Serving a historic fourth term as Governor, he has been at the forefront
of education reform in his state and in the nation. The Rand Corporation
reports that North Carolina public schools improved test scores
more than any other state in the 1990s. Governor Hunt wants them
to be first in America by 2010.
He has particularly focused on early childhood development and
improving the quality of teaching in America. His Smart Start program
is a nonprofit, public-private partnership rooted in each of the
state's one hundred counties providing quality child care, health
care, and family support for each child who needs it. It is funded
primarily by the state but is also supported heavily by private
corporations and individuals. Smart Start has been visited and studied
by early childhood leaders from all fifty states and many foreign
countries. It received the prestigious Innovations in American Government
Award from the Ford Foundation and the John F. Kennedy School of
Government at Harvard University.
Governor Hunt has devoted much of the last fifteen years of his
life to excellence in teaching in the United States. In 1985 he
co-chaired with David Hamburg the "Committee of 50" which
led to the Carnegie Forum on Education and the Economy and eventually,
to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. He served
in that capacity for ten years, developing standards for what accomplished
teachers in America need to know and be able to do and assessments
to "board certify" them. Governor Hunt also serves as
the chairman of the National Commission on Teaching and America's
Future at Stanford University. Its report in 1996, What Matters
Most: Teaching for America's Future, is stimulating major changes
in teacher education programs and public policies that advance teaching.
Governor Hunt also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie
Corporation of New York.
A strong supporter of high standards in public schools, Governor
Hunt has served as chairman of the National Education Goals Panel
and vice chairman of the board of Achieve, Inc. He has put into
place in North Carolina one of the nation's most rigorous approaches
to measuring student performance, requiring mastery of promotion
and graduation and providing assistance to turn around failing schools.
His state's economic gains from educational improvement have been
impressive. North Carolina has regularly led the nation in new job
creation per capita and in foreign investment. He has focused on
new technologies by establishing the North Carolina School of Science
and Mathematics, the Microelectronics Center of North Carolina,
and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. In higher education,
he serves as chairman of the National Center for Public Policy and
Higher Education located in San Jose, California.