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


A Haven For Small Business Owners

With the latest incentive recently announced by the City of Chattanooga, the community is becoming a haven for small business owners and entrepreneurs.     The small business incentive program is a win-win for both business owners, while at the same time promoting an incentive for hiring full time employees. We all know that small businesses represent the primary ... (click for more)

Is A Hotel In The Arts District A Good Idea?

This design certainly looks somewhat better than what was presented before on the new hotel by the Walnut Street Bridge, and I can understand why the developer would want that site. But I just question whether a commercial entity such as a hotel in a residential and arts district is the best option. John Fricke (click for more)

City Receives $400,000 Federal Grant To Study Passenger Train Service

The United States Department of Transportation has announced Chattanooga has received a $400,000 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant to study the potential use of existing railways for a passenger rail system in Chattanooga. There were 72 awards announced in 46 states and Washington, D.C. Out of numerous grant applications across Tennessee, ... (click for more)

Former Assistant Police Chief Eidson Not Charged In Shooting Of Stepson On Englewood Avenue

Former Chattanooga Police Department Assistant Chief Kirk Eidson was not charged in the shooting of stepson Robert Ingle, 18, on Sunday morning in North Chattanooga. However, Ingle was charged with domestic assault and vandalism. In the incident shortly after 9 a.m. at 1049 Englewood Ave., Mr. Eidson said Ingle came to the house asking him to take him to their other house ... (click for more)

Baylor Ends Big Week With Win Over GPS

The Baylor volleyball team probably doesn't get many days off during the week in midseason, but they earned a day off on Tuesday following a long and successful stretch in the last eight days. The Lady Red Raiders, won 10 of 11 matches in the last eight days, including a big win over arch-rival GPS on the road Monday night.  As a result, coach Sarah Lail urged her girls ... (click for more)

UTC's Hudson Named Special Teams Player Of The Week

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga senior Tommy Hudson is the Southern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week, the league office announced today.  Hudson scored twice in the Mocs 42-6 win at Austin Peay on Saturday .  Hudson returned three punts for 65 yards, including a 58-yard touchdown in the third quarter.  That added to his 33-yard receiving ... (click for more)