Education Should Lead To The Next American Success Story

Monday, June 09, 2014

If we haven’t prepared our young people to be financially self-sufficient once they finish their k-12 education, we have failed our most fundamental duty.  

The “we” is meant to be inclusive. A strong education system is good not just for the national economy, it is good for the citizens of the state and local community. Ultimately, a good education seeks to improve the lives of people; which means creating conditions in which people can get jobs that pay enough to support a family and provide economic security. This leads to a virtuous cycle:  working people who can afford to buy goods and services, supporting local businesses, and the local economy.

The connection between education and income is clear. A high school diploma, technical college certificate, or college degree not only increases one’s skills and productivity, but signals to employers that the individual is motivated, can complete tasks, is ambitious, and has self expectation. The more highly educated an individual is, the more likely they are able to participate and compete in the job market, to have a job, to work more hours, and to be paid more; and less likely to be unemployed. But the benefits of education go beyond the economic returns. Higher levels of education also correspond to improved health, lower rates of mortality, and lower rates of crime. 

Education includes both academic and technical/trades training.

Research has shown that greater parent education correlates positively with children’s health, cognitive abilities, and academic achievement.  The children of more highly paid workers  are also less likely to grow up in poverty, less likely to be poor as adults, and more likely to be better educated and paid as adults; therefore less likely to rely on public assistance. The benefits of a more educated population accrue not just to more educated workers, but to future generations and the broader society. 

An educated workforce is more attractive to new businesses, encourages existing businesses to expand locally, and can incite local entrepreneurs to build new businesses in support of these.

It has been said time and again that our education system is "a system that works for the system." It's time that it starts working for our kids. Our goal should be to promote strategies for eliminating achievement gaps and for raising the bar for high achievers that are aligned with the needs of students, families, business, and communities. 

In the United States, one of our greatest strengths is our deep conviction that with an education and a dream, every American can achieve his or her own success. Today, that ambition isn't enough. If we are going to cultivate the next generation of American success stories; we must invest, innovate, and tap the intellect and ideas of every possible sector to do it.

Samuel Blakemore


Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

A New Way To Stop The Poverty Education Cycle

For more years then proud to talk I have watched, sometimes up close and very personal, the plight and future of so many kids.  Mostly black and a few others this group was destined not to greatness or success, but to a life of food stamps, welfare, poor education and poorer still educational prospects.  So often in my own work I would see and feel the excitement of the ... (click for more)

Additions And Improvements At Camp Jordan Arena Coming Soon

Additions and improvements are coming to Camp Jordan Arena in the near future. At the Thursday night meeting of the East Ridge city council, approval was given for buying new playground equipment. It will come from Gametime, a locally-based company. The VP of Marketing lives in East Ridge and made a proposal to set up the playground at Camp Jordan so his company could use it for ... (click for more)

Tribute Service For Luther Masingill Held At Historic Engel Stadium

It took a place as big as historic Engel Stadium for Chattanooga to say goodbye to their beloved Luther. Hundreds came Thursday afternoon to pay tribute to Luther Masingill who died early Monday morning after a radio career that spanned an amazing 74 years. It was clear from all who spoke that he was considered not only a radio personality, but also a role model. One after ... (click for more)

Freeman-Led Owls Whip Cleveland, 30-14, To Win 5-AAA Title

Junior Rashun Freeman's stunning versatility stole the show Friday night. Freeman caught a touchdown pass, returned a punt for a second score and had one of three Ooltewah interceptions as the fourth-ranked Owls whipped Cleveland, 30-14, to win the District 5-AAA championship in front of a near-capacity crowd at James N. Monroe Stadium. “I practice hard and that shows ... (click for more)

Baylor Beats Father Ryan For D-II State Volleyball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Friday was a magical day for the Baylor Lady Red Raider volleyball team. Facing arch-rival Father Ryan for the fourth time this season, Baylor evened the score at 2-2, but the last time at Siegel High School was the sweetest as it came in the championship match of the D-II Class AA state tournament. Father Ryan had a huge group of students in its ... (click for more)