DENVER — Gaston Caperton, president of the College Board, has been selected to receive the 2007 James Bryant Conant Award. The award will be presented by the Education Commission of the States (ECS) on July 11 in Philadelphia as part of the ECS 2007 National Forum on Education Policy. The James Bryant Conant Award recognizes an individual for outstanding contributions that have had a positive and long-term impact on the quality of American Education. The award is one of the most prestigious honors in the education community and is named for ECS´ co-founder.
Formerly as governor of West Virginia and founding director of the Institute of Education and Governance at Columbia University, and presently as president of the College Board, Caperton has been an extraordinary education statesman in the tradition of previous Conant Award winners Terry Sanford, James Hunt, Lamar Alexander, Richard Riley, Roy Romer, Fred Rogers, Sharon Lynn Kagan, Thurgood Marshall, John H. Stelle, Nancy Grasmick and others.
As West Virginia´s governor from 1989 to 1997, he was an "education Governor" in every best sense of the term and revolutionized the state´s educational system. Under his leadership, more than $800 million was invested into modernizing and improving school facilities throughout the state. Fifty-eight new schools were built and more than 750 existing schools were renovated, providing enhanced learning opportunities for students through new classrooms, laboratories, media centers, theatres and related educational spaces. After serving as governor, Caperton was the founding director of the Institute on Education and Governance at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Caperton´s national impact on education increased with his appointment as president of the College Board in 1999. In this position, he has championed the cause of underrepresented and disadvantaged students and focused a national spotlight on their academic needs. He has worked to expand access to Advanced Placement courses and examinations throughout the nation, including partnerships with historically black colleges and universities and Hispanic-serving institutions to increase the number of Advanced Placement teachers of color, and created the College Board´s Task Force on College Access for Low-Income Students in 2005.
Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, 2006-08 ECS chair, will present the award to Caperton at a banquet in his honor as part of the National Forum, to be held in July 10-13 in Philadelphia. The forum will feature sessions on topics ranging from redesigning high schools to strengthening workforce development. Speakers and participants include governors, legislators, state and district superintendents, education researchers, higher education officials, and business and philanthropic leaders.
To see the detailed agenda or register for the National Forum on Education Policy, visit http://www.ecs.org/NF2007