The Benefits of Education Transcend Race and Ethnicity

Author: Helios Education Foundation

November 13, 2015

Every student, regardless of zip code, deserves a high-quality education. 

The challenges of ensuring a competitive education for Florida students are not new. These challenges and the resulting impact to student success have long been chronicled by subpar reading scores for Florida’s third graders, standardized test scores that trend below the national average and an increasing need among Florida’s students for remediation upon entry into postsecondary education. A combination of these factors as well as other influences have earned Florida the rank of 28th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in the most recent Quality Counts report published by Education Week in 2014. 

The struggles of minority students are not isolated to the challenges highlighted by the Tampa Bay Times’ series, Failure Factories, which explored five Pinellas County elementary schools deemed the lowest performing in Florida. The impact of poverty, concerns for student safety and lack of educational resources are challenges that resonate within a number of educational environments, yet disproportionately impact racial minorities. Educational environments that fall short of delivering foundational elements that promote learning are shortchanging their students, the community and the public trust.

Without the foundation of a robust social, emotional and highly-rigorous early learning environment, Florida students will be absent the required skills to lift themselves and their communities in light of future challenges. 

As our global economy continues to link people to careers that span the globe, it is imperative that we invest in educating all children and give them the power to improve their lives and communities.  Statistics assert that individuals with a postsecondary license or degree are more actively engaged in their communities, suffer from fewer periods of unemployment and are less reliant on social services as compared to individuals without a postsecondary degree.  The impact of a postsecondary degree transcends race and ethnicity and has the power to lift communities across the country. The enrichment of our society is a virtue that benefits everyone.

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