State of the Union 2011: College is Key to School Reform
Last night, President Obama spoke eloquently about the need for a radical shift in the way we think about our public education system:
Over the next ten years, nearly half of all new jobs will require education that goes beyond a high school degree. And yet, as many as a quarter of our students aren’t even finishing high school. The quality of our math and science education lags behind many other nations. America has fallen to 9th in the proportion of young people with a college degree. And so the question is whether all of us -- as citizens, and as parents -- are willing to do what’s necessary to give every child a chance to succeed.
The President spoke of the need for innovation, not from the top-down, but from the grass-roots and community level. He reminded us that when change is owned by a community - teachers, principals, school boards, families - the odds of long-term, sustainable success rise exponentially. For the past several years, this has been the work of College Summit. We’ve worked to understand how to catalyze change in communities and schools around one simple goal: an appropriate, attainable postsecondary plan for every young person. We began by training young people to be Peer Leaders in the hopes that they would spread the idea of college-going throughout their school community. We expanded to training and supporting educators in this work, and in recent years we’ve widened our lens to look at the role of school administrators in building college-going culture.
The College Summit Education team plays a large role in this work. We manage the products that our students and educators use today including Workshop, The Navigator, Launch, CSNav, and Educators’ Academies; we also research and develop the innovative tools and supports that we hope will build capacity and encourage stakeholders at all levels to own this culture change in our schools.
Look for regular updates on this blog from our College Summit Education team members about our work to support the President’s mandate for better, more future-focused schools for all students.