The Jacksonville Community Council Inc. (JCCI) released their much anticipated Spring 2011 community report this week, Recession, Recovery … and Beyond (Pdf).
Our Data and Policy Director, Jason Rose, had this to say about the report's findings that our region's future economic success is deeply connected to education quality:
The report takes an in-depth look at the state of the economy in Northeast Florida, and lays out a series of evidence-based recommendations for moving Jacksonville and the surrounding seven county region towards recovery and prosperity.
One of the most critical of these steps, they found, was the need to invest more in supporting and improving public education at all levels.
Study Chair Elaine Brown said that matching educational outputs to employment needs is critical to fostering sustainable economic growth in the region, and noted that across all of the counties studied they heard deep concern about Florida's failure to invest in education at the state level.
Specifically, the study emphasizes the need to focus on improving the overall graduation rate and rates at which those graduates are truly career or college ready. Some recommendations for doing so include leveraging and replicating successful models that already exist in the region's public schools, such as career academies and college preparatory schools, as well as forging strong business-school partnerships to foster improved student achievement and alignment of curriculum goals with the skills necessary for workforce or postsecondary education success.
-- Deirdre Conner