The documentary Waiting for Superman was a big wake up call for many, but not for me. The documentary pointed its cameras towards America’s failing public school system and brought to light the dismal educational conditions some students are in. Here are some facts for you:
- In 2009, 68% of 4th grader public school students scored below a proficient reading level.
- 46.2 million people in the US are classified as poor.
- There is a combination of home-foreclosure, lower household income and more joblessness.
- One in four children in America go hungry.
- The high school graduation rate in the US is about 70%.
- 40% of students entering college must take remedial courses.
- Students are graduating from both high school and college unprepared for, the world of work and, real-world challenges and opportunities.
- Only 47 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds voted in the last presidential election.
I spent over 30 years on the front line and in the trenches; I’ve seen the ways that we are failing our students and our educators. I’ve dedicated my life to helping public schools achieve the American Dream for all of our students. My vision, “Every student, in every classroom, in every school across America will have access to, and be provided with, high quality educational opportunities that will prepare them for our global, competitive, and diverse society.” It is a vision that I am proud to be in pursuit of, but its fulfillment requires collective and focused efforts. The old African Proverb is true, “it takes a village to raise a child.” With the release of my new book, Are You In A Pickle? and with the start of this website, I invite you to be a part of that village. Our young people need you, our communities need you, and our nation needs you.