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Public education today is the product of more than a century of reform and revision. Historically, changes to who and how we teach have been driven by the changing economic imperatives —the mission of public schools has always been to prepare young people to enter the workforce and contribute as needed.
That remains true today. To ensure that our children are prepared, our businesses are competitive, and our communities thrive, we must transform our public schools.
This we know: every child born to poverty that we send to college is another adult we move into the middle class. That translates into an increased number of people in stable jobs, a rise in home ownership, and potentially more intact households and two-parent families. And, of course, it is more likely their kids will get a good education—enhancing the cycle of prosperity.
The children of Memphis need a first-rate education that is comparable with the highest-performing districts in the country. Creating that school experience for them is a struggle, but if we make it our struggle now, we can spare our young people a much bigger battle in the future: entering tomorrow’s workforce underprepared.
This change requires that we adjust and reconfigure our resources. That we recruit new teaching professionals with targeted skills who will build careers and lives in Memphis. That we encourage and inspire our current teachers to continuously improve their craft.
This larger community conversation—with teachers, about students—has repercussions far beyond the walls of schools. Residents, parents, congregations, and business owners are already playing a part in shaping the new educational experience in Memphis—whether it’s with their silence, their detraction, or their participation. We open the debate to those who have reservations, or who, up to now, may have been silent. There is a place for dialogue in the movement. But not as a substitute for action.
If you’re passionate about the future of Memphis, join the movement and get involved.
The time is now. Please join us. Our teachers and our students are counting on you.