We hear it every day: ‘The success or failure of our education system directly correlates to the success or failure of the U.S. economy.’ We know that learning and mastering essential skills, such as writing and mathematics, in K–12 and postsecondary schooling is crucial to landing a job and excelling in the workforce. Yet, it’s also known that American public schools are failing across the board.
Early Childhood Education
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation publishes content on early childhood education and related issues. Find and access current and archived items in our database.
The business community is the number one consumer of the public education system and therefore must be an involved and engaged stakeholder in the education of America’s children. Through the Business Education Network (BEN) ―a coalition of business leaders engaged in Pre-K to 12th grade education policy, programs, and research―participants will develop and promote the implementation of programs and policies that improve academic achievement in this country.
In May, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) expanded its commitment to the preparation children receive prior to kindergarten, an area recent research has shown to be integral to academic success, with the announcement that new Race to the Top funds would be used for grants to enhance early childhood education Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius joined business, law enforcement, and military leaders to announce the Race to the Top—Early Learning Challenge, highlighting how investments in high-quality early learning programs help reduce crime, strengthen national security, and boost competitiveness.
The U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services announced October 20 that 35 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico submitted applications for the Race to the Top–Early Learning Challenge (RTT–ELC), a $500 million state-level competitive grant program to improve early learning and development.
In 2008, Annick Pruett, President and CEO of the Rifle Chamber of Commerce in Colorado read an article linking children who are read to at a young age with high levels of community involvement when they get older.
Join ICW on June 8 for a webinar discussing three regions where business leaders are successfully driving education improvement efforts in their communities.
In addition to his May 25 announcement regarding RTTT, Secretary Duncan, along with Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, also announced that the Administration plans to use approximately $500 million of the $700 million made available in the FY2011 appropriations bill for a major competition in support of bold and comprehensive state plans for raising the quality of early learning programs.
2010 was a busy and productive year for ICW. We continued to grow our Business LEADs Network; convened a high-level panel of experts to discuss the midterm election results and their impact on education and workforce policy; published numerous reports on the importance of business supporting a range of issues, from early childhood education to extended learning time opportunities; and brought the documentary film Waiting for “Superman” to business audiences in a nationwide 12-city tour; among many other efforts.