I was heartened to learn that in a recent Woelfel Research poll taken among 50-plus voters, that 74% percent indicated that Education was among the “very important issues” in determining whom they will vote for in 2012. Understandably, only a few issues such as Job Growth (83%) and Rising Health Costs (83%) polled higher. (A graph depicting the Woelfel Research can be found at link: http://pubs.aarp.org/aarpbulletin/201203_DC?pg=4#pg4 .)
Part of our work in 2012 must be to help every single citizen (over 50-plus or not, parent or not, conservative or not, liberal or not) understand why Education must remain high on our National priorities.
Even those who understand student academic performance in deeper, disaggregated data slices—and who might, for instance, stress that America’s fourth graders compare well with their peers in Finland, Korea, and Singapore—also know that by the time successful 4th graders make it to high school in America, they are more likely behind their peers from other nations. In fact, a 2009 McKinsey study documented that “the longer American children are in school, the worse they perform compared to international peers.”
Like in other countries, we have issues in America-issues that all need immediate and severe reparations. None of our issues can be remedied with hope for any sustainability without the work we know we need to do in our educational system-in every state, every county, every city, every school and in every classroom.
The kids can wait? The kids cannot wait!