U.S. Chamber and Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry Host Education Reform Forum

February 7, 2013

Breaking the Monopoly of Mediocrity Tour Stops in Jefferson City to Rally Thought Leaders in Education, Government and Business, and Address Local Education Issues

JEFFERSON CITY, MO—Breaking the Monopoly of Mediocrity, a cross-country tour focusing on education reform in local communities, stopped in Jefferson City today. The forum was hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW), the National Chamber Foundation (NCF), and the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The discussion included education, government and business leaders who gathered together to discuss a variety of education topics including how to ensure that all of Jefferson City’s students are graduating college and the workforce ready.

“Today, too few students are completing their K–12 education, and increasingly, students are graduating high school without attaining the skills needed to succeed at a postsecondary institution or in the workforce,” said Cheryl Oldham, vice president of ICW. “Local school districts play a critical role in ensuring that students are adequately prepared to enter the workforce, and the business community must do everything in its power to ensure that these districts are supported.”

Research shows that by 2020, nearly 60 percent of jobs in Missouri will require a career certificate or degree but only 37 percent of adults in the state currently have these qualifications. In an effort to improve this statistic, the state has taken steps to increase expectations for students through its Top 10 by 20 Education Reform Plan. The plan sets ambitious achievement targets and strategies to ensure that Missouri ranks in the top ten states on key education indicators by 2020. 

“Our overall goal is to see all students proficient and ready for college and the workforce by the time they graduate. That is why we are collectively working to create resources and initiatives that address these issues,” said Daniel P. Mehan, president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “By working together, we can ensure that Missouri’s children are put first so that they are prepared to be productive members of society.”  

The tour will also stop in Albany, NY, Billings, MT, Orlando, FL, San Diego, CA, Tacoma, WA, and Trenton, NJ with more locations to be announced.

“Breaking the Monopoly of Mediocrity” is supported by a grant from the Daniels Fund, a Colorado-based foundation established by Bill Daniels, a cable television pioneer known for his generous support of innovative causes.

To learn more, visit: www.breakthemonopoly.com

Follow the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag: #breakthemonopoly

The Daniels Fund provides college scholarships to deserving students, and grants to outstanding nonprofit organizations. Visit www.DanielsFund.org  for more information.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry (www.mochamber.com) was founded in 1923 and is the largest business association in Missouri, representing almost 3,000 employers providing more than 425,000 jobs for Missourians.

The Institute for a Competitive Workforce is a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, promoting the rigorous educational standards and effective job training systems needed to preserve the strength of America’s greatest economic resource, its workforce.

The National Chamber Foundation (NCF), a non-profit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is dedicated to identifying and fostering public debate on emerging critical issues. We provide business and government leaders with insight and resources to address tomorrow’s challenges.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

www.uschamber.com            @USChamber            www.freeenterprise.com