State News

N.C. Chamber asks how business can improve education

Posted August 5, 2010

— North Carolina’s business, political and education elites huddled Thursday to talk about how business could help schools do a better job of developing better workers.

North Carolina Chamber of Commerce President Lew Ebert said the goal of the summit in Durham is to explore how the education and business communities can "improve the learning experiences and job outcomes for students."

Jim Hunt, who was governor from 1977-1985 and 1993-2001, urged the N.C. Chamber to support four efforts to improve schools:

  • "rigorous and accurate" testing of student learning throughout the year
  • "fair" pay for teachers based, in part, on "how well their students are learning"
  • better training, mentoring and professional development for teachers
  • "reasonable diversity" in schools

A panel discussion about how business can promote K-12 education followed Hunt's remarks.

Discussion also centered around North Carolina's graduation rate, post-high school education and American education's global ranking.

Dennis Bega, a senior policy adviser with the U.S. Department of Education, said that further academic or vocational training after high school is increasingly necessary for North Carolinians to "take advantage of the opportunities that the new economies are creating."

Scheduled speakers at the daylong conference include Gov. Beverly Perdue, Cynthia Marshall, president of AT&T of North Carolina and chair of the N.C. Chamber, and Stan Litow, IBM's vice president of corporate citizenship and president of the IBM International Foundation.


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  • josephlawrence43 Aug 6, 2010

    One thing they can do--encourage their member businesses to provide adequate time off and encourage parents/employees to get involved in their local schools. Parental involvement in a childs school is as equally valuable as money in a childs education.

  • snickers27588 Aug 5, 2010

    Gee, maybe if business had helped I could've spelled education correctly in my previous post!

  • snickers27588 Aug 5, 2010

    Since when did it become the responsibility of the business comunity to improve educatuion? Isn't that one of the things our taxes are supposed to be used for? Oh excuse me, our taxes went to promote businesses! It must've just slipped my mind for a moment.

  • Sidekick Aug 5, 2010

    Hunt, the education governor for 12 years, still doesn't have a clue.

  • Sidekick Aug 5, 2010

    Stop main-streaming students. Establish ciriculiums to teach kids that are not going to be hi-tech, medical/law and other disciplines to learn trades and skills. Why wait for Community College to teach a student to be a top notch mechanic if he can graduate with a certificate in the field of his vocational choosing? These kids do not advanced science and math training.
    Why can't Hunt and his croonies see what the parent sees.

  • ruthpauly Aug 5, 2010

    How about giving the teachers what they need to do their jobs including the right pay scale (come on we pay un-educated football players millions but can’t come off a living wage for a teacher). Giving different students different programs depending on there abilities. Don't block all kids in one big expectation. Some do well with vocational training and some with higher educational goals, we need to identify these different paths and give all the right skills to further their next steps in life.

  • Pseudonym Aug 5, 2010

    Quote:"I have a great idea. How about these "elites" spend a year in the classroom "showing" us how to develop better workers. I'm sure they will know exactly how to deal with the kids that are always late, sleep in class, will not do homeowrk, will not study, disrupt class and constantly have their cell phones out.
    Dat MoFo"

    What??? That would require managers to do real, actual work instead of sitting in meetings, building Powerpoint presentations, writing mission statements, and hanging out by the coffee machine. Didn't Dilbert teach you anything?

  • dhilliard2 Aug 5, 2010


    Step 2- teach everyday living skills on how to cope with the working world

    Step 3 - offer interships to students starting in middle to high school so they can test the waters on different opportunities

  • WHEEL Aug 5, 2010

    MOTH, I can sympathize with where you are going but the Citizens of N.C. appear unable to elect people smart enough to govern themselves much less "develop better companies"

  • utterance Aug 5, 2010

    Learning applicable concrete skills would help. Instead, students learn about theories and are encouraged to ruminate about the abstract instead of being taught how to manage a budget or develop a business process or any other number of actual business needs.

    Then they graduate and there's the huge disconnect between what the students have to offer and what the employers say they want.