The academic achievement gap in Tennessee is a drag on economic development and a threat to America's national security. Research over the past several years has shown that the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in today's workforce are much greater than the skills and knowledge that were needed to be successful in the workforce twenty years ago. For example, seven of the ten fastest growing occupations in Tennessee today require some type of post-secondary degree. Quite frankly, Tennessee's labor force is not prepared for those jobs. In addition, 3 out of 4 of 17-24 year olds in America are ineligible to enlist in the military, many due to educational deficiencies. Tennessee must do better.
Memphis Commercial Appeal published the following letter from CPI President General John Castellaw.
By John G. Castellaw, Lieutenant General, US Marine Corps (Retired) – As one of 200 retired general and flag officers who strongly support a new state-federal early learning proposal as a matter of national security, I read the October 17 guest column, “Prekindergarten hasn’t met expectations” with great disappointment.
A real tragedy is that three out of every four young Americans between 17 and 24 cannot meet the requirements for military service many because they are academically unprepared; three out of four!
This post originally appeared in The Tennessean on January 13th, 2013.
The Tennessee legislature opened a new session this past week amid intense speculation over possible legislative initiatives. Many challenges are facing our legislators in this coming session, but none is more important than continuing to improve our children’s education by supporting our local public schools.