“We are just students trying to become lawyers, doctors, congressmen like yourself, and one day president so we can make a change to not just the state of South Carolina but also the world,” wrote 8th grader Ty’Sheoma Bethea in a letter to President Barack Obama and Congress. “We are not quitters.”
When the president shared the student’s letter and her appalling experience in a Dillon, S.C., middle school during his address last night before a joint session of Congress, his message was clear: our students won’t quit on their education and neither should we.
During his speech, the president articulated his vision for the country’s future prosperity and included investments in education as one of the three pillars on which that prosperity depends. He then challenged not just educators and lawmakers but also students, families, and communities to take responsibility for making the U.S. education system the best in the world.
“Such ambitious goals begin with comprehensive support for the whole child,” wrote ASCD Executive Director Gene Carter in response to the address. “That is why we are enormously pleased that the president is making it his administration’s mission to ensure that every child in the United States has access to a complete and competitive education.”
ASCD’s advocacy efforts have long focused on addressing the priorities for education outlined by the president, including the urgent need to end the high school dropout epidemic and the need to support career ladders and other incentives for teachers and school leaders, which aim to recruit and retain the best and brightest, particularly in high-need schools.
The association applauds the president’s inclusion of education as a critical component in his blueprint to improve the nation and will not quit when it comes to ensuring education policies that support what is best for our kids. At the ASCD Annual Conference in March, we will introduce the 2009 ASCD Legislative Agenda, which will guide our work toward meeting the president’s challenge.
What do you think of the president’s goals for education? Will the country be able to meet them?
To be notified when the 2009 ASCD Legislative Agenda is published online, sign up to be an Educator Advocate. You will also receive regular updates when Congress is in session and alerts telling you when your voice can make a difference for kids.