Civil Rights Organizations to President Obama: Investment in Education Reform Is Critical to U.S. Economic Stability

WASHINGTON (January 25, 2012) — The Campaign for High School Equity (CHSE), a coalition of leading civil rights and education advocacy organizations, is calling on President Obama to fully commit to investing in education reforms that are critical to the success of the country’s future workforce. Sustainable U.S. economic growth will require meaningful support of policies that ensure all of America’s students graduate high school prepared to drive innovation in critical sectors like manufacturing, health care, educational services, and alternative energy.

“We cannot afford to tolerate a climate in which students of color, the very ones who will make up the bulk of the nation’s future workforce, have the least access to high-quality public education,” said Michael Wotorson, executive director of CHSE. “American companies cannot be expected to bring jobs back home if our workforce is not prepared to claim them. President Obama’s recognition of the need to prioritize high school graduation rates is very encouraging. Still his administration must do more than the president revealed in the State of the Union address to lead essential education reforms that provide the strategic investment of the resources necessary to ensure that all students have the opportunity to succeed.”

CHSE’s Plan for Success is a blueprint for the administration and Congress that’s designed to ensure that America leads the world in educating its people. The Plan for Success provides a comprehensive set of recommendations designed to strengthen public schools, support effective teaching and offer every student a pathway to graduation and beyond. Specifically, the Plan for Success calls for policies that:

  • Make all students proficient and prepared for college and career;
  • Hold schools accountable for student success;
  • Provide students with the excellent leaders and teachers they need to succeed;
  • Invest communities in student success;
  • Provide equitable learning conditions for all students; and
  • Provide students with expanded learning opportunities.

CHSE is also calling for the meaningful engagement of communities of color to ensure that all students, including English language learners and students with diverse learning needs, have access to high-quality educational content and teachers who have been trained to effectively teach students from under-resourced communities by using methods that research demonstrates are essential to success in college and career.

“The current level of investment in public education is completely inadequate to meet the demands of a knowledge-based economy. If America is truly committed to building a strong and sustainable economy, then we must recognize that all of our students are the building blocks,” said Wotorson.

Stephanie Dukes, (202) 248-5463,