Today at THE PLAYERS second annual Champions for Education summit, business, education and philanthropic leaders announced an unprecedented and significant plan to invest in improving public education in Duval County. Quality Education for All, a donor collaborative dedicated to improving human capital in our public schools, was formally unveiled as a $50 million fund to strengthen the pipeline of great educators and leaders in Duval County.
Quality Education for All will invest in the human talent needed in classrooms and schools. Research tells us that the single most important in-school factor in a child's education is the quality of the teacher in the classroom and, by extension, the leader in the school. Improving teacher effectiveness is the factor most likely to improve academic achievement among students. Citizens of Duval County recognized this key factor during the ONE by ONE conversations, from which "Great Educators and Leaders" emerged as a top community priority.
The announcement came during a highly-anticipated event featuring former Governor Jeb Bush as the keynote speaker. A subsequent panel discussion was moderated by Jacksonville Public Education Fund President Trey Csar and included Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti, State of Florida Commissioner of Education Tony Bennett, Chair of the Florida State Board of Education Gary Chartrand, Executive Director of Teach for America Jacksonville Crystal Rountree, and Chairman of Duval County School Board Fel Lee.
"The time to act is now," Chartrand told the group gathered this morning. "Let's go!"
-- Deirdre Conner