Education Should Lead To The Next American Success Story

Monday, June 9, 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

Possessiveness, Jealousy And Greed: The Original Three Stooges

Are possessiveness, jealousy and greed the original three stooges? Not really. The words “possessiveness,” “jealousy,” and “greed” are often viewed by the majority of people as all negative qualities when displayed.  But are they? In this column, as it is solely my opinion, agree or disagree, I am throwing the dictionary with its designated meanings out the window.  Good ... (click for more)

Hopscotching On North Market Street

I work in the North Shore area.  North Market Street looks like children's hopscotch markings all the way from the bridge up to the light at Mississippi.  You need a trained dog to figure out all the markings. Traffic was already crawling since the addition of townhomes, apartments and a busy Publix in the area.  Really, you have to stop and study it or just follow ... (click for more)

Legislative Hearing On Volkswagen Emissions Scandal To Be Held In Chattanooga Oct. 29; Haslam To Visit VW Plant Wednesday

The Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee’s Appropriation Subcommittee will be conducting a hearing in Chattanooga to review the financial impact on the state from Volkswagen’s violation of U.S. emissions standards. The meeting will be held at the Hamilton County Department of Education, 3074 Hickory Valley Road, on Thursday, Oct. 29, from 1:30-3:30 p.m.  Members ... (click for more)

Bradley County Commission Decides Not To Provide Animal Pickup Service

Bradley County Commissioners on Monday finally put animal control to rest. It was not easy and it was not without confusion, but in the end, the county will not provide animal pickup service. Confusion began when commissioners were asked to approve the agenda, which included two options for animal control pick up. Item “D” provided for the SPCA of Bradley County to pick ... (click for more)

Baylor Boys Win 17th D-II AA Golf Title; Baylor Girls Take Second

  MANCHESTER – On a sun-drenched afternoon, it was a special day for Baylor golf and for the King Oehmig family. Highlighted by a 5-under, 31 on the final nine holes, Baylor senior Oliver Simonsen shot a two-day, 3-under 141 to lead Baylor to the 2015 TSSAA D-II AA boys state championship at WillowBrook Golf Course here Tuesday. Carrying one-of-a-kind black golf ... (click for more)

Ooltewah Whips Lady 'Canes For Shot At District 5-3A Volleyball Title

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Familiar rivals will play for the District 5-3A volleyball tournament championship on Wednesday. Ooltewah (41-11) and Walker Valley (28-11), the tourney’s Nos. 1 and 2 seeds, respectively, posted semifinal wins Tuesday night at Cleveland Middle School and earned their shots at the title, along with berths in next week’s Region 3-3A tournament. The Lady ... (click for more)