Governors' Schools To Establish Clearinghouse
Delegates to the first national conference on governors' schools have voted to establish a national association and clearinghouse that would promote and provide information on the state-funded residential summer programs for outstanding high-school students.
Terry Sanford, former governor of North Carolina and now a U.S. Senator, began the first governor's school in 1963 as a cornerstone of his education and economic-development program for the state. In recent years, as education reform has risen to the top of many governors' agendas, such schools have proliferated. Twenty-eight states now have governor's schools.
Although the programs generally stress leadership skills, the areas they may offer intensive training in vary widely and include the liberal arts, public policy and civic leadership, international relations, business and economics, science, and the performing arts.
Meeting as a group for the first time in Lexington, Ky., last month, program representatives from the 26 states with governors' schools and six more that are planning such schools resolved to strengthen the movement by encouraging the remaining states to establish such programs and by using them as models for innovation throughout the school system.
"We never intended the Governor's school to be isolated," said Senator Sanford, the keynote speaker at the conference. He added that the school he started in North Carolina had helped bol8ster "the quality of every classroom in the state."
Kentucky's "Governor's Scholars Program" will take the lead in establishing the national association, which will then set up a clearinghouse for information on speakers, films, and other resources.
Conference participants also discussed the possibility of setting up a faculty exchange among governors' schools, packaging special curricula for use in secondary schools, hosting adjunct teacher-training programs to build on successful approaches used in the governors' schools, and establishing a national alumni group for former students.
The conference was co-sponsored by the Kentucky program and the Society for Values in Higher Education, based at Yale University.