Education- “Empowering People”
Education attainment is key to both our individual and collective success. Creating an environment where all members of society view themselves as assets, and in turn, are given the proper opportunity, investment, and encouragement to become their best is the most compelling competitive advantage of a free society.
American capitalism commends and opens opportunity to individuals who obtain the proper education/training that transforms them into high-skilled resources within our economy. These individuals who rightfully capitalize on available opportunities surround themselves with others like them. Collectively, as a group, they prosper and in turn attempt to ensure that their children expand upon their successes. The dominating comparative statistics between “have” and “have not” communities, give these individuals a false sense that they and their families are equipped to compete globally.
In stark contrast, individuals are also punished for not obtaining the proper education/training that positions them as high-skilled resources within our economy. Most often the undereducated have limited avenues of opportunity. These individuals most likely reside in financially improvished communities with others like them. The reality of their day-to-day living conditions contributes to a focus on short-term survival. The long-term strategic payoff of an education, although it may be recognized and valued, becomes an out of reach economic vehicle. The end result, collectively, produces a culture of low expectations/achievement, which facilitates a cycle of poverty and its accompanying negative attributes: unstable households, violence, crime, substance abuse, and dependency on government to meet basic needs.
Two unique challenges persist from the two realities described above:
1. American’s best public school districts are not delivering a superior global education, as identified in the OECD’s PISA results. The racial achievement gap focus gives a false sense that districts that perform well on standardize tests are offering a good education when data shows that these districts are losing pace with students in other developed countries.
2. Low educational achievement must be curved within the country’s low performing school districts. Within improvished communities, high dropout rates at both the high school and college levels do not contribute to economic sustainability for individuals, communities, or the nation as a whole. A cultural shift from no hope to realistic optimism must occur to make the investment of time, energy, and finances within reach for those individuals within communities of high poverty and accompanying low education attainment.
Our Piece of the Solution:
Through our Center for Education Awareness (“The Center”), the 21st Century Harvest Foundation, Inc. will positively impact the country’s overall academic achievement. To produce a positive return, The Center will employ a simple yet effective strategy:
- Increase public awareness on the value of education attainment and global academic competitiveness;
- Reinforce messaging with compelling data, which provides new insight into roadblocks to success and how to reverse negative trends;
- House a database of tools/resources that will aid stakeholders in identifying assistance;
- Establish education achievers as role models in low achievement communities;
- Advocate for increasing college savings and overall affordability.