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Sunday, August 31, 2008

World-Class Education A Moral Obligation

That's what Obama said and he is right. America's economy depends on it.

America, now is not the time for small plans. Now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy.

Roy Romer of Strong American Schools said that providing a world-class education for all our children required “political will.” All Americans, whether they have children or not, need to invest in the education of ALL of America's children, if only for self-interested economic reasons. It seems that it should be common knowledge that education and economy are not just linked, but alloyed.

I wrote about Gov. Romer's roundtable discussion earlier this week.
{Gov. Romer} continued, “If we put as much into education as we do athletics, we would be first in the world.” I agree. It is not money. It is commitment. The money will follow commitment.

Moral Obligation. Political Will. Commitment. Surveys routinely report that Americans are committed to education. Americans need more than an intellectual commitment. We need a deep sense of moral obligation translated into political will. When America, the richest country in the world, decides it really wants a world-class system, nothing will stop America.

Senator Ted Kennedy recalled JFK's challenge to put a man on the moon.
We are told that Barack Obama believes too much in an America of high principle and bold endeavor, but when John Kennedy called of going to the moon, he didn't say it's too far to get there. We shouldn't even try.
Our people answered his call and rose to the challenge, and today an American flag still marks the surface of the moon.
Yes, we are all Americans. This is what we do. We reach the moon. We scale the heights. I know it. I've seen it. I've lived it. And we can do it again.

Maybe education for all children is not as sexy as the moon, but it is certainly a more important challenge. The moon challenge appealed to nationalistic pride. Somehow the education challenge needs to take hold in the American psyche. But as long as survey results continue to report self-satisfaction with schools at the local level, I fear that the chance of a world-class education for all will continue to play second fiddle to faddism.

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