WASHINGTON -- The Campaign for High School Equity (CHSE), a coalition of leading civil rights organizations, agrees with President Obama's call for meaningful public education reform in the State of the Union Address last night as one critical strategy for winning the future by bolstering U.S. economic growth.
CHSE warns, however, that without vigorous federal leadership, the nation's schools will be ill-prepared to provide every student with the high-quality education needed to succeed in the global economy. According to the Alliance for Excellent Education, if high school students continue to drop out at the present rate of more than 1 million students per year, the crisis will cost the nation more than $300 trillion over the next decade.
"Our current level of investment in public education is wholly inadequate to support the President's desire that America out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world. If we do not act now, we will almost certainly condemn our young people to a future of gravely limited opportunity and deprive U.S. industry of the human capital it needs to lead the world," saidMichael Wotorson, executive director of CHSE. "It is our collective responsibility as policymakers, educators, community leaders and parents to pursue meaningful education reform at all levels. We sincerely hope President Obama's commitment can help drive the transformation our nation's education system desperately needs."
President Obama asked Congress to swiftly revamp current federal education policy, but to be effective; CHSE is calling for the engagement of communities of color from the start of the reform implementation process. Students of color represent the fastest growing population in many of the nation's largest school districts. These students must succeed in the classroom for the nation to create the highly skilled workforce necessary to ensure the nation's future prosperity.
CHSE is a coalition of leading civil rights organizations representing communities of color that is focused on high school education reform. Members include the National Urban League, National Council of La Raza, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, League of United Latin American Citizens, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund, Alliance for Excellent Education, National Indian Education Association, and Southeast Asia Resource Action Center.
CHSE is a special project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.