||NATIONAL EDUCATION GOALS PANEL
MEDIA ADVISORY Media Contact: Brian Turmail 202-842-3600 x222, cell 202-256-7696
NATIONAL EDUCATION GOALS PANEL DIRECTOR BIDS FAREWELL
Ken Nelson announces retirement after seven years of service
WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 7, 2000) – The National Education Goals Panel bid farewell to Executive Director, Ken Nelson today at their Fall Meeting. Nelson, who served in that capacity for seven years, announced that he would be retiring effective December 2000. Emily Wurtz, Senior Education Associate, will serve as acting Executive Director.
Chairman Gov. Tommy Thompson (R-WI) and members of the Panel thanked Nelson for his years of service and hard work.
“Ken’s unrelenting dedication and service in the education arena will be missed,” said Thompson. “His efforts, and the hard work of the Panel members, helped steer the Panel in the right direction and the nation’s education system benefited because of it.”
The Panel also bid farewell to the following members: Gov. Cecil Underwood (R-WV), Gov. Jim Hunt (D-NC), U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley, Michael Cohen, Assistant Secretary of Education for Elementary and Secondary Education and congressmen Bill Goodling (R-PA) and Matthew Martinez (D-CA).
Under Mr. Nelson’s leadership, the Panel undertook a number of significant initiatives including:
• Publishing an annual collection of promising state and local practices known as
• Initiating a set of special studies called “Lessons from the States” that describe effective
state and local practices for improving education;
• Introducing a series of interactive teleconferences that have been broadcast to over 600
downlink sites for educators and key policy makers nationwide;
• Strengthening emphasis on state-level data and progress and working closely with
Governors, State Legislators, State Boards of Education, Chief State School Officers and
Business Education Coalitions; and,
• Using the NEGP website, www.negp.gov, as a source for Panel publications and other
resources for education improvement.
Mr. Nelson’s professional career, prior to his appointment at the NEGP in 1994, included extensive experience in local, state and national leadership. He served, for 20 years, as a member of Minnesota House Representatives, always serving on the Education Committee. He also chaired the House Education Appropriations Committee for eight years, where he was responsible for the development and passage of eight omnibus finance and education improvement bills. Mr. Nelson earned national attention for his leadership on reform measures such as performance-based graduation standards, technology initiatives and academic incentives.
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