Past Event

Getting Smarter, Becoming Fairer

A Progressive Education Agenda for a Stronger Nation

12:00 AM - 11:59 PM EDT

August 23, 2005

Please join the Center for American Progress and the Institute for America’s Future for a special presentation:

Getting Smarter, Becoming Fairer
A Progressive Education Agenda for a Stronger Nation

America today faces a newly globalized economy, rapidly changing demographics, and a dangerous achievement gap. A renewed investment in and commitment to universal high quality education are critical to sustaining America’s overall economic health and a strong and vibrant citizenry in the 21st century. For more than a year, Renewing Our Schools, Securing Our Future: A National Task Force on Public Education has investigated and considered new and innovative strategies to revitalize public education. Please join the Task Force along with the Center for American Progress and the Institute for America’s Future at the release of Getting Smarter, Becoming Fairer: A Progressive Education Agenda for a Stronger Nation.

Video & Transcript
• Full Event: Video
• Transcript: Full Text 


John Buchanan is an ordained Baptist minister and served churches in Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington, DC. He represented Birmingham, Alabama, in the Congress for sixteen years. As a senior member of the House Education and Labor Committee, he was instrumental in the writing and passage of Title IX. A member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, he was a member of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations and to the U. N. Human Rights Commission. After leaving Congress, he chaired for ten years the civil liberties organization, People For the American Way. He served as chairman of the Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education and worked on behalf of civic education with the Bicentennial Commission and the National Education Goals 2000 Panel. He serves on the Board of Advisors of the National Council of Churches; National Council of the U.N. Association of the U.S.; and the National Board of Advisors at the Center for Civic Education. His numerous awards include the Common Cause Public Service Achievement Award. He is currently consultant to the Biotechnology Industry Organization.

Louis Caldera became the 18th President of the University of New Mexico on August 1, 2003. As President, Caldera leads the state’s flagship research university and third-largest employer. As President, he has emphasized improving undergraduate education and expanding the impact of the university in the sciences, engineering, health care and public policy. Before coming to UNM, Caldera held the post of Vice Chancellor for University Advancement at the California State University system, the largest four-year university system in the country. Caldera served as Secretary of the Army from 1998 to 2001 during the Clinton administration, where he initiated highly-popular educational programs for soldiers and recruits. As Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service from 1997 to 1998, he ran the federal grant-making agency supporting Americorps, the National Senior Service Corps, and Learn and Serve America. As a member of the California State Assembly from 1992 to 1997, Caldera focused on economic development, education, and children’s health and safety. Caldera holds a B.S. from West Point, an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Caldera lives in Albuquerque with his wife, Eva, and three daughters.

Charita Crockrom, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, has twenty-eight years of experience as an educator, twenty of which she spent at her alma mater, Collinwood High School in Cleveland. Crockrom has just completed her first year as Principal of John F. Kennedy High School in Cleveland. She previously served as Principal of Collinwood High School from 2001 to 2003, and Principal of Collinwood Middle School from 2000 to 2001. She also served as Assistant Principal of Collinwood High School for five years. Crockrom has won numerous awards celebrating her teaching, professionalism, and administrative skills, including: three British Petroleum Teacher of the Year awards (1992, 1993, and 1995), Continental Airlines Most Inspirational Teacher (1992), Teacher of the Year from the Ohio Senate (1992), and the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club “Made In Cleveland” Award (2002). She presently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Secondary Principals, and is part of its Steering Committee and a candidate for President Elect of the organization in 2005. Crockrom is certified to teach English/Language Arts for grades K-12, holds a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and a Principal Certification from Cleveland State University.

Judith McHale was named President and Chief Executive Officer of Discovery Communications, Inc. (DCI) in 2004. She is responsible for the overall strategic direction, business development, and operations of all DCI resources and properties in the United States and around the world. McHale had previously been President and Chief Operating Officer, a post she held since 1995. McHale created the Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership in 1997, which provides advanced satellite technology to deliver free educational programming to over 380,000 students and their communities in ten countries across Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. McHale is a member of the Board of Directors of Polo Ralph Lauren, the Host Marriott Corporation, Cable in the Classroom, Vital Voices Global Partnership, The Africa Society, Sister-to-Sister: Everyone Has a Heart Foundation, and the National Democratic Institute. Before joining Discovery in 1987 as its General Counsel, McHale served as General Counsel for MTV Networks. She began her career as an attorney at the New York law firm of Battle Fowler. McHale graduated from Fordham Law School and earned her undergraduate degree in politics from the University of Nottingham in England.

Margaret A. McKenna is the President of Lesley University, a position she has held since 1985. Prior to her appointment, President McKenna served as Director of the Bunting Institute, Vice President of Radcliffe College, White House Deputy Counsel to President Jimmy Carter, and Deputy Under Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education. Prior to those assignments, McKenna held posts as the Executive Director of the International Association of Human Rights Organizations and as a trial attorney with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. McKenna serves on the boards of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, the Cisco Learning Institute, the Datatel Scholars Foundation, the Boston Higher Education Partnership and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. President McKenna also serves on the board of Dominion Resources, Inc, a Fortune 400 company. She has served as Board Chair for the Council of Independent Colleges and has served on the American Council on Education’s President’s Task Force on Teacher Education. McKenna is the recipient of six honorary degrees and of numerous awards, including the Lelia J. Robinson Award from the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts, and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Pinnacle Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Philip D. Murphy is a Senior Director of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. He served on the Goldman Sachs Management Committee from 1999 until 2003 and co-headed its Investment Management Division from 2001 until 2003. During more than 20 years at Goldman Sachs, Murphy developed some of the firm’s most important global client relationships and helped set and execute the strategy for a variety of businesses. He hired and mentored scores of professionals. He chaired a series of firm-wide task forces and committees on topics such as compliance and reputational judgment, reinvigoration of a client culture, internal communications, and articulation of the firm’s public benefit. Murphy is also very active with a number of public interest organizations such as the NAACP, 2nd Floor Advisory Council, and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, among others. Murphy is a native of the Boston area and is a graduate of Harvard College and The Wharton School. He lives in New Jersey with his wife Tammy, sons Josh, Charlie and Sam, and daughter Emma.

Governor Janet Napolitano was sworn into office in January 2003 and has made her mark as a governor who moves quickly to approach the biggest problems facing the state. In her first year in office, she won approval of a budget that erased a billion-dollar state budget deficit without raising taxes or cutting funding for public schools or other vital services. Now in her second year as Governor, a centerpiece of her administration is to ensure that all Arizona children will report to first grade safe, healthy, and ready to succeed academically. To that end, she is working hard to establish full-day kindergarten and a quality childcare rating system as options available to parents throughout Arizona. Governor Napolitano is also working aggressively to redirect Arizona’s economy toward high tech industries offering high-skill, high-wage jobs. Prior to being elected Governor of Arizona, she served one term as Arizona Attorney General and four years as U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. Born in New York City and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, she is a distinguished alumna of Santa Clara University and the University of Virginia Law School. She has lived in Arizona since 1983, when she moved to Phoenix to practice law.

Delia Pompa has over 30 years of experience leading local, state and federal agencies, national and international organizations, and academic institutions to understand and to respond to the needs of children and their teachers. In her current position as Director of the Achievement Alliance, Pompa works with a coalition of organizations, including the Business Roundtable, the Citizen’s Commission on Civil Rights, the Education Trust, Just for the Kids, and the National Council of La Raza. The coalition works to provide accurate, non-partisan information about student achievement. Pompa is the former Director of the Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs and the former Executive Director of the National Association for Bilingual Education. She began her career as a kindergarten teacher in the Edgewood Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas. She went on to serve as an administrator in the Houston Independent School District and as Assistant Commissioner of the Texas Education Agency before coming to Washington, D.C. She is the former Director of Education, Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention, and Youth Development for the Children’s Defense Fund. Pompa serves on a variety of national boards and committees for a wide range of institutions addressing the educational needs of children.

Dr. James L. Pughsley is the former Superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and is now serving as a consultant with the Mill Valley, CA-based Stupski Foundation, which works directly with U.S. public school districts to help ensure all children in America, regardless of race or income, have access to a high-quality public education. Dr. Pughsley served as Superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) from 2002 until June 2005 and had been with the district since 1996. Under his leadership, CMS took a strategic approach to doing business that had a tremendous impact on student achievement and community confidence in the school system. He spearheaded efforts to improve the quality of teaching in the classroom, implemented strategies to increase equity within the district, and provided strong leadership and direction to the district’s 148 school building administrators. Prior to joining CMS, Dr. Pughsley served as Interim Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent in Virginia Beach City Public Schools. He also served as Superintendent in Monroe City Schools in Louisiana and held top administrator positions in the Clark County School District in Nevada. Dr. Pughsley has been recognized for his leadership skills and his commitment to quality education for all children. In 2000-2001, the Charlotte Black Political Caucus honored him for his commitment to education. In November 2003, the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE) named him 2003 Superintendent of the Year. He received his undergraduate degree from Northern Arizona University and his Masters and Doctorate in Educational Administration from the University of Arizona.

Wendy D. Puriefoy is President of Public Education Network (PEN), the country’s largest network of community-based school reform organizations, reaching 11.5 million poor and disadvantaged children in 1,600 school districts and 16,000 schools in 34 states and the District of Columbia. Ms. Puriefoy has been deeply involved in school reform since the 1970s, when she served as a special monitor of the court-ordered desegregation plan for Boston’s public schools. Prior to being recruited as President of PEN, Puriefoy was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of The Boston Foundation in Boston, Massachusetts. She serves on the boards of numerous national organizations including Children’s Defense Fund, DEMOS, Learning Matters Inc., and the National Center for Family Philanthropy. Puriefoy received her bachelor’s degree from William Smith College and holds three Master of Arts degrees in African American Studies, American Studies, and American Colonial History from Boston University.

Chauncey Veatch became a teacher in 1995, at the end of his active duty service in the United States Army. Veatch has taught seventh- and eighth-grade science, mathematics, reading, writing, social studies, physical education, English as a Second Language (ESL), and ESL for adults. In 1999, Veatch began teaching at the high school, where he requests that students with learning disabilities, special education students, pregnant teens, students involved with gangs or drugs, and non-English speakers be placed in his classes. Currently, Veatch teaches at Coachella Valley High School and the Riverside County Head Start program. Veatch was recently named International Ambassador for Education by La Prensa Hispana. He is active in the Troops to Teachers program, the PTA’s national outreach campaign to Hispanic parents and in NASA’s elementary school science outreach program to African-American, Hispanic-American, and Native-American students. Veatch also served on the Federal Task Force on Homelessness and Severe Mental Illness, and U.S. Surgeon General Koop’s Council on Drunk and Drugged Driving. Veatch earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of the Pacific, a Juris Doctorate from the University of Notre Dame, and his teaching credential from Chapman University.

Roger Wilkins is the Clarence J. Robinson Professor of History and American Culture at George Mason University. During the Johnson administration, Wilkins served as Assistant Attorney General. He has written for both The New York Times and The Washington Post, and was Associate Editor of The Washington Star. While on the editorial page staff of The Washington Post, he shared a Pulitzer Prize in 1972 for Watergate coverage with Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, and Herb Block. Wilkins has served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Africa-America Institute and is currently a vice chair of the board of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He is publisher of NAACP’s journal Crisis, has served on the Board of Trustees of the University of the District of Columbia and the District of Columbia Board of Education, and now serves on the Board of Education Trust. He was awarded the 2002 NAIBA Book Award for Adult Non-Fiction for his book Jefferson’s Pillow: The Founding Fathers and the Dilemma of Black Patriotism . His current interest is in early childhood education for America’s poorest children. Wilkins holds a law degree from the University of Michigan. He and his wife, Patricia King, have a grown daughter and live in Washington. He has two other adult children from a former marriage.

Robert L. Borosage is President of the Institute for America’s Future, an organization founded to put forth a populist economic agenda for our country’s future, and Co-Director of its sister organization, the Campaign for America’s Future. He is also an Adjunct Professor at American University’s Washington School of Law. Borosage writes widely on political, economic, and national security issues for publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Nation. He is a frequent commentator on television and radio, including Fox Morning News, Radio Nation, National Public Radio, C-SPAN, and Pacifica Radio. Borosage was the founder and Director of the Campaign for New Priorities and founder of the Center for National Security Studies. He has served as Director of the Institute for Policy Studies, Advisor to Carol Moseley-Braun, Barbara Boxer and Paul Wellstone, and Senior Issues Advisor to the presidential campaign of the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson. Borosage is a graduate of Yale Law School and holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs from George Washington University.

John Podesta is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Center for American Progress. Podesta served as Chief of Staff to President William J. Clinton from October 1998 until January 2001, where he was responsible for directing, managing, and overseeing all policy development, daily operations, congressional relations, and staff activities of the White House. He also coordinated the work of cabinet agencies with a particular emphasis on the development of federal budget and tax policy, and served in the President’s Cabinet and as a Principal on the National Security Council. Podesta is currently a Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center. He has taught courses on technology policy, congressional investigations, legislation, copyright and public interest law. He is considered one of Washington’s leading experts in technology policy, and has written a book and several articles and lectured extensively on these issues. A Chicago native, Podesta worked as a trial lawyer in the Department of Justice’s Honors Program in the Land and Natural Resources Division, and as Special Assistant to the Director of ACTION. He has served as a member of the Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States, and the United States Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy. He is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and Knox College.