Archive for April, 2008
Several people over the last week and a half have emailed me or called me to let me know that Mayor Jackson is looking for a new Cleveland Municipal School District Board Member. Those of you who know me well are quite aware that the plight of education in our fair city, the state, and in our country is one of my gravest concerns. I do not believe that we are preparing our children for the world of work in the new Knowledge Economy. Without exception, they all said "this is your chance. Is it? Only time will tell.
I do know this. If we continue to only talk, study and pore over statistics, nothing will change. We need to strategically begin doing things in a focused, intentional way. Only then can we turn our educational system in a direction that will prepare us all for the future. I firmly believe that education is the key that moves us from poverty to prosperity. We need to treat "our" children like the asset they are. Some refer to them as "human capital"; I prefer to call them our "investment in the future".
How do we stop drop-out rates of 60%? How do we create the value in education that will make kids want to stay in school? How do we make public education affordable and sustainable in a time when housing values are decreasing and large expanses of land do not pay taxes? How do we retain quality teachers and recruit more of the same? How do we create a safe haven for learning? How do we give our children the soft skills necessary to survive in the workplace and at the same time prepare them to pass proficiency tests. Hard questions not only asked in our urban school districts but in suburban and rural districts as well.
Together, as a community we can answer these questions and more but we need to treat education as an investment not only for the parents of children, but for each and every one of us who is a neighbor, an employer, a business leader, an elected official and anyone else who believes that we have a duty to future generations.
So I could write this post and say I am done, but should I be done? Is it enough to talk and write or is it necessary to do? The answer became clear to me as I walked to the post office box to mail this application to 601 Lakeside Avenue. I needed to take this chance.