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


True Revenue Situation

My honorable and respected friend Roy Exum tells us again today, “It has been 12 years since the county fathers have approved a tax increase ... .” I’ll take his word for that, but want some more information. “No tax increase for 12 years” is just the chorus; I want to hear the rest of the song, the specific verses that really tell the tale. The fact is, although Roy’s bare ... (click for more)

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)

Judge Walter Williams May Go Back On The Bench As Administrative Hearing Officer

One of the city's most colorful judges may go back on the bench. The City Council on Tuesday is set to vote on the nomination of former City Court Judge Walter Williams as administrative hearing officer - a new city position. The law license of the former judge was transferred to disability inactive status in August of 2015 after he suffered a stroke early in the year.  ... (click for more)

Body Believed To Be That Of McCallie Student Jackson Standefer Recovered In Colorado River

A body believed to be that of a McCallie School student who was swept away in a creek in the Grand Canyon was recovered on Friday. The Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center said it was notified by a commercial river trip that they located a body on the Colorado River at River Mile 152. Park rangers responded and recovered the body, which was transported to the rim ... (click for more)

Morgan, Smith, Parrott Pace Lady Pounders Past Bearettes 6-0

Maybe Central softball coach LeeAnne Shurette won’t nag her Lady Pounders so much in the coming days. Central collected eight hits, including two-run singles by Tatum Morgan and Janara Smith, on Friday to back Brooke Parrott’s three-hitter and the Lady Pounders defeated Bradley Central 6-0 in the East Hamilton tournament at The Summit. “Shurette has been nagging, maybe ... (click for more)

McCallie Earns 3-1 Soccer Win Over Rival Baylor

When his team needed him the most, McCallie senior Drew Viscomi did what he does best. Two minutes after the Blue Tornado allowed an equalizer to rival Baylor in the Division II Mid-East Region soccer match on the Red Raiders’ home field, Viscomi’s strike put his team back on top. Five minutes later, the All-American and school single-season scoring leader ... (click for more)