2020 Vision
Comprehensive Action Plan developed by the Governor’s Education Excellence Commission

By: Deborah Bayle
President & CEO

I have had the privilege of serving as a member of the Governor’s Education Excellence Commission for the past several months.  The group is chaired by Governor Gary Herbert, and is comprised of educators from the public, private and higher education arenas, as well as government officials, business leaders and leaders from community organizations.

Several members of United Way of Salt Lake’s Board of Directors serve along with me on the Commission, including Senator Pat Jones, Commissioner William Sederburg and Superintendent Larry Shumway.

The vision of the Commission is to articulate the educational goals and objectives, short-term, medium-term and long-term, for public education and higher education and to establish the education roadmap for success toward building educational excellence in Utah.  As Governor Herbert stated during the group’s first meeting, “We need to start talking together, learning from each other and working together to find solutions to the challenges of advancing education in Utah.  I believe we can, and I believe we will”.

At our most recent meeting, held on November 9, after months of work, the group voted unanimously to accept a comprehensive action plan that establishes a framework for reaching the goals of education excellence for our state.

The Vision Statement for the Action Plan is as follows:

By 2020, and thereafter, at least 66% of Utahns, ages 20 to 64, will have a postsecondary degree or certificate, ensuring a well-educated citizenry and workforce that qualitatively and quantitatively meet the needs of Utah employers, which will lead to greater economic prosperity and a better quality of life for all Utahns.

To reach 66% by 2020, Utah must act differently, boldly and decisively to make strategic investment and incorporate proven strategies. The group adopted five strategic imperatives that will get the process flowing and provide the greatest return on investment. The five strategic imperatives are identified as follows:
1.     Bolster Early Childhood Education
2.    Improve Instructional Quality and Curricular Alignments
3.    Strengthen Postsecondary Education
4.    Align Educational Attainment and Vocational; Training with Economic Development
5.    Utilize Technology to Effectively and Efficiently Accomplish the Strategic Imperatives

The 2020 Vision aims to strengthen the economy through education.  Research indicates that 66% of all jobs in Utah will require postsecondary credentials over the next decade.  The work of the Commission coincides well with the work of United Way of Salt Lake.  We share the same values: increasing opportunities for individual reliance and stronger families, a better quality of life for our communities and more prosperity and vitality for the state as a whole.