Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dream of a Nation- Realizing Our Future Together

In an increasingly interconnected world, societal awareness of key social and environmental issues is critical. This is exactly what Dream of a Nation, a new book and national initiative, is taking on. Dream of a Nation spans 12 chapters and explores problems, new ideas and innovative success models presented by over 60 leading icons and organizations, like the Coalition for Community Schools. We are proud to include the smart and creative perspective of the Coalition for Community Schools as a critical piece of the solution to the improvement of our education system, and ultimately, our nation.
Education is the foundation for success in modern society. The quality of our educational system directly influences the strength of our nation. Educated citizens solve tough problems and contribute to society in meaningful ways. Yet the US is one of only two industrialized countries in which today’s young people are less likely than previous generations to complete high school—with nearly one-third of students failing to graduate on time. Among those who do, 40 percent lack the skills to succeed in college and the 21st-century workplace.
Fortunately, there are passionate teachers and administrators, concerned citizens, elected officials and organizations working diligently across the country to create an equitable, effective, high-quality educational system for our students. They are pioneering new models of success that are challenging convention, changing the definition of what education means and catalyzing transformation.
New Approaches to Schools
Every American wants improved education. The difficulty is finding and agreeing on creative, cost-effective ways to improve the performance of schools. By taking a look at models and schools who have found success, a path forward can be found. Over 90% of students at the schools of the Harlem Children’s Zone are going on to college. Other cities have adopted the similar ‘Community Schools’ model, the model CCS works so diligently to implement, and those schools’ math and reading proficiency rise by almost 75% as a result. Both systems hold educators and students to the highest expectations and are finding that those expectations can be met.
By looking at these successes and why they work, we can learn a lot. Beyond a vigorous academic program, community schools respond to societal factors, family circumstances, poverty and health problems that also play a major role in a students learning experience. Studies show students are succeeding in community-supported environments. This is a model that works!
See here to read CCS’s essay and see other ideas for educational success:
A little more about Dream of a Nation- Over three years in the making and with contributions from more than 60 pioneering visionaries and organizations, a comprehensive path forward is presented across a range of key issues including: Building an Equitable and Green Economy, Waging Peace, Strengthening Community, Media Reform, People-Centered Government, Ending Poverty, and much more. It is everyday citizens who make this nation great and the critical information found in Dream of a Nation empowers you with what you need to be an agent of change.
“At a time when America’s challenges seem greater than ever, when polarization threatens to leave us permanently divided, Dream of a Nation reminds us of what we have in common—and all that we can build when we work together.” –Bryan Walsh, TIME Magazine

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