Corporate America’s Education Reform
The special interest group that most directly and forcefully represents the views of corporate America in the areas of literacy and education reform, that has published its positions on these and related matters in publicly available papers, and that has the eager ear of Washington, is the Business Roundtable. The Business Roundtable, formed in 1972, is a coalition of CEOs of the nation’s largest corporations. Now consisting of about 150 CEOs, the Business Roundtable member companies employ more than 10 million U.S. workers. Over the last decade, it has judiciously positioned itself to turn its agenda for education into public policy, at both the state and national levels. It has entered into partnerships with state departments of education, and its members sit on national “advisory” committees. Most recently, Edward B. Rust, Jr., CEO of State Farm Insurance Companies, and Norman R. Augustine, former CEO of Lockheed Martin, were appointed to President Bush’s education advisory committee. Rust is the current chair of the Education Task Force of the Business Roundtable, and Augustine is its previous chair.