Recently, former South Carolina Governor and U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley gave remarks to the S.C. House Education Task Force. The context was a State Supreme Court decision in favor of more equitable funding for high-poverty, rural school districts.
His remarks are worth reading in full, but here are my take-aways:
- “Don’t get boxed into a construct that making positive change is too expensive, too complicated, and can’t be done.”
- “Have a sense of urgency. Recognize that now we are catching up. . . . Over the course of 20 years [when this case was brought before the Supreme Court], our State policies left behind 25 percent of our children.”
- Attract and retain effective teachers and leaders. (I agree, and agree.)
- Focus on early childhood education. (I agree again.)
- “Raise the expectations of 7th and 8th graders through pre-career, technology, occupational and college exploration opportunities.
- Provide engaging after school and summer learning programs. (And of course I agree.)
- “Art and music are a part of a high-quality education.”
Click here to read Mr. Riley’s entire statement.