Good morning, The state of the American education system today is unacceptable.... let me know what you think:

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 03/08/2011 - 10:28.

The White House, Washington

Good morning,

The state of the American education system today is unacceptable. As many as one quarter of American students don’t finish high school. We've fallen to ninth place in the proportion of young people with college degrees. The quality of our math and science education lags behind many other nations.

For the sake of the next generation, and America's economic future, this has to change.

Providing our nation's students with a world-class education is a shared responsibility. We can't out-compete the rest of the world in the 21st century global economy unless we out-educate them. It's going to take all of us -- educators, parents, students, philanthropists, state and local leaders, and the federal government -- working together to prepare today’s students for the jobs of the 21st century.

That's why I want to hear from you. As President Obama's chief advisor on domestic policy, I focus much of my time on education reform. As part of the White House’s new Advise the Advisor program, I've posed a few key questions for parents, teachers and students to answer so we can get a sense of what’s working in your communities -- and what needs to change.

Take a minute to let me know what you think:

The good news is that we're making progress and seeing improvements around the country already, focusing on our own Three R's: responsibility, reform and results.

Take Miami Central High School, where the President and I traveled on Friday. Several years ago, Miami Central was struggling. Achievement was lagging at the school, and morale was down. Graduation rates hovered at just 36 percent.  But the Miami Central community came together. They set high expectations, and they did the hard work to reform their school. They've turned around their performance -- academic achievement is improving, and graduation rates have improved by nearly 30 points. Miami Central is now well on its way toward providing college and career readiness for its students.

Today, we're visiting TechBoston Academy, a great example of private-sector, non-profit and higher-education partners working with communities to help prepare students with the knowledge and skills they'll need to succeed in college and careers. At TechBoston Academy sixth grade through twelfth grade students learn by using technology in their classrooms. Thanks to strong partners, TechBoston students have access to a 21st century curriculum, early enrollment in college classes, and an extended day program to provide enrichment and to deepen learning in core subjects.

These schools in Miami and Boston are just two examples of success. I'm looking for feedback from more all-star schools, as well as your strategies and challenges to reform our education system. 

As I mentioned earlier, education reform is a shared responsibility for all of us, and it's one that we at the White House take very seriously.


Melody Barnes
Director of the Domestic Policy Council

P.S. If you're passionate about education issues we've set up a special email list focused on education  that will offer more frequent updates on the topic moving forward:

The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW • Washington, DC 20500 • 202-456-1111


Federal help for educating LOCAL GOVERNMENT LEADERSHIP

One thing I learned trying to deal with environmental injustice in Northeast Ohio: broadcast your concerns about Northeast Ohio government failure as directly as possible in Washington, DC - NOT IN NORTHEAST OHIO - leaders in the Federal Government in Washington are competent... leaders of the local Northeast Ohio government are not.

I appreciate the many ways the Federal government communicates electronically with citizens, and takes our personal feedback in response - in dealing with Washington, DC, I actually feel like a proud American... rather than an abused Clevelander.

Here is my feedback to the White House on how to fix the broken education system in Cleveland, which I don't think our leaders are willing to hear in Cleveland, no matter how loud citizens scream this:

#1 Criteria for Choosing the Next CEO of Cleveland Metropolitan Schools is He/She MUST Make Cleveland #1 in the World in Educating Lead Poisoned Children

My towns of Cleveland and East Cleveland, Ohio, have some of the worst lead poisoning and worst public education outcomes in America, and that is the greatest crisis impacting our children, families, communities and schools - and how we address that must change. Our leadership does not understand the systemic, complex harm caused our society by lead poisoning, so I have dedicated significant time and energy to educating the community on these concerns - and promoting significant change in how our leadership addresses lead poisoning in all ways here, including with our public schools.

I propose the #1 Criteria for Choosing the Next CEO of Cleveland Metropolitan Schools is "He/She MUST Make Cleveland #1 in the World in Educating Lead Poisoned Children" -

Please send as much Federal help as possible for educating LOCAL GOVERNMENT LEADERSHIP in Northeast Ohio on the importance of eradicating lead poisoning in providing quality education and environmental justice to citizens - the folks in charge just don't get it here!

Thank You

Thanks so much for submitting your feedback! The White House will be reading through your comments and suggestions and posting a summary what folks had to say in the coming days.

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