Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have laid waste to large sections of two of our largest states. Our news is full of tragic stories, but also replete with heroic efforts by many, as well as an intense spirit of giving and caring. By nature, we are a good people and in our hearts we care about the welfare of our neighbors, even if as neighbors they live hundreds or thousands of miles away.
While perusing some educational statistics compiled by the National Center for Education Statistics, I began to think through just how we possibly got ourselves into many of the social, civic and political conundrums in which we now find ourselves. As always, education matters.
It’s funny to me that the prompt on Facebook for posting says, “What’s on your mind?”
The issue of education, as expected, has been inserted into the presidential campaign. Not surprisingly, some candidates prefer to focus on how states should avoid accountability for the continued failure of our students, while raising the boogeyman of 'Common Core' as a term rather than the reality of higher standards and expectations developed by states.
And so Benghazi fades, the VA story fades, the missing plane, the missing girls in Africa, Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, IRS, the list goes on, all fade from the headlines in this attention-deficit, 24/7 news cycle.
One thing that has been consistent during the recent economic recession and subsequent upturn -- dare I say recovery -- has been the way two states have led the country in growth, job creation and economic development.
With the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Baines Johnsons declared War on Poverty, much is being written about perspectives on levels of success, value of the effort, and only a little about the length and cost of a war that has been declared, yet never correctly embraced.
A postsecondary education is one of the best investments a person can make. Data available prove education creates a lifetime of opportunity and potential for success. People in the workforce, on average, earn almost twice as much with a bachelors degree than those with only a high school diploma. The pursuit of knowledge pays off!
If you've read the news recently, you've witnessed the backlash against the implementation of the Common Core State Standards both in Florida and across the country. These new standards have been met with opposition across the political spectrum.
"Let the public service be a proud and lively career. And let every man and woman who works in any area of our national government, in any branch, at any level, be able to say with pride and with honor in future years: I served in the United States government in that hour of our nations need.' President John F. Kennedy trumpeted this clarion call to a new generation in his inaugural address, Jan. 20, 1961.