President Bill Clinton made some very constructive comments that are very relevant to the on-going efforts to improve education in Jacksonville in a speech at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre last night.
"There is so much good in our world because of our interdependence... We have to be animated by a vision of shared opportunity and shared responsibility in the sense that we're all part of the same community... We need to spend more time thinking about what we can do and less time disagreeing."
The ONE by ONE conversations are grounded in this same framework to elicit our community's shared vision and priorities for improving our public schools. This fall, we will come together to rally around this vision and determine how we can each take responsibility for advancing quality public education for all students.
It could not be a more important time to focus on public education. A new report produced by a task force of the Council on Foreign Relations reinforces the urgency of addressing the widening gap in young people prepared in the knowledge and skills critical to insuring America's future security.
"Leaving large swaths of the population unprepared also threatens to divide Americans and undermines the country's cohesion, confidence and ability to serve as a global leader," it wrote. (Read the full report here.)
As a community, state and nation, we must heed Clinton's advice to work together to break through the barriers that have prevented our public schools from adequately preparing all students. There is a role for every community member in helping our schools leap forward.
- Pam Paul