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Walker Institute brings panel and student research together

The Olene S. Walker Institute of Politics and Public Service is hosting the Haven J. Barlow Spring Leadership Forum. A panel featuring the leading voices on education in Utah will discuss “Education in Utah: Where Are We? Where Are We Going?” on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in the Shepherd Union Building’s ballrooms.

Former governor Walker will introduce the panelists, and the co-chair of Education First, Nolan Karras, will facilitate the discussion.

The six members of the panel will include Mark Bouchard, Prosperity 2020 chair; Utah Sen. Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton; Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan; Larry K. Shumway, former state superintendent, and Nicole Tripp, a Weber State University student.

Stuart Call, a political science major currently serving as an intern for the Walker Institute, said it is important to understand why Utah needs an education focus.

“Education is important to our growth in Utah,” Call said, “especially in an economic way.”

The event will bring together prominent figures in the debate of education in Utah, along with a student research presentation on teacher effectiveness. The Walker Institute student research team of Tripp, Dallin Cottle, James Duckworth, Noreen Barnes and Andrew Hyder worked with associate political science professor Gary Johnson, history professor Kathryn MacKay and assistant teacher education professor Louise Moulding.

The research team came together in the spring and summer of 2012 and examined the national funding for President George Bush’s No Child Left Behind, and explored the execution of teacher-effectiveness programs in Utah, with an emphasis on selected counties.

After studying the data, the team will make policy recommendations to state and local agencies, elected officials and the academic community about execution and funding of teacher-effectiveness programs.

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