U.S. Chamber Launches Cross-Country Tour to Discuss Education Reform, Issues Call to Action for Business Community

September 27, 2012

Breaking the Monopoly of Mediocrity Aims to Rally Thought Leaders in Education, Government, and Business to Improve Education Across the Nation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW) and the National Chamber Foundation (NCF), affiliates of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, today announced the launch of Breaking the Monopoly of Mediocrity, a cross-country tour to discuss education reform in local communities, highlight the important role the business community must play, and encourage local leaders to become a catalyst for change.

Running from October 2012 – March 2013, the tour will provide an interactive forum for business, community, and education leaders to discuss local challenges and offer strategies to implement change. The forums will also include a private screening of Won’t Back Down, a feature film based on the real-life story of a single mother who leads an education reform movement that transforms her daughter’s chronically low-performing school. Each tour event will use this film to ignite the conversation around education reform and highlight the urgency of breaking the status quo.

“Education plays a vital role in the economic fabric of our country, and local schools have a direct impact on the success of businesses large and small,” said Margaret Spellings, president of the U.S. Chamber’s Forum for Policy Innovation. “We must work together to ensure our schools provide the best education possible and adequately prepare youth for life and work. Without action, everyone will lose.”

At each stop on the tour, ICW will provide key resources including a how-to guide for business engagement, a school governance guide, and a city fact sheet highlighting the state of education in each city. Currently, the tour is planned to make stops in Memphis, Tenn., El Paso, Texas, Phoenix, Ariz., Trenton, N.J., and Jefferson City, Mo., 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.

“Today in the U.S., the dropout rate is soaring and up to half of those students who do graduate high school lack the skills needed to succeed in the workforce,” said Linda Childears, president and CEO of the Daniels Fund. “Education is critical to the future of the American workforce, and the business community must be a strong advocate for education reform.”

To learn more, visit: www.breakthemonopoly.com

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

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, a nonprofit 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.

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

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