The American education system needs improvement. While we continue to spend more money each year on education, far too many students lack adequate resources to learn, particularly students of color and low-income students. Education is a right, not a privilege, and no student should be left out, written off or ignored.
Education is an issue that affects us all. Jobs are leaving this country and American employers say that students today lack the skills they need to join the 21st century workforce. If we do not create new opportunities to education students, our economy will continue to suffer, today's students won't be able to find jobs or afford homes, our standard of living will decline, our democracy will be at risk and we will continue to fall behind as other countries surpass us.
Our investments. Since 1999, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation has invested more than $500 million to significantly improve student achievement in urban areas through strong leadership to support great teachers, school district efficiency to push more resources to the classroom, and more options for parents seeking high-quality public education for their children. We focus on improving urban school districts because they serve one of every four American children. These districts represent the greatest opportunity to dramatically improve student achievement. We also invest in specific areas where we believe we can provide value to the field, based on our views that:
- To become effective, efficient organizations that serve students well, American school districts and schools need strong, talented leadership.
- Every person and every dollar in school district central offices and schools must be focused—efficiently and effectively—on students, and districts must be held accountable for results.
- All students do better when they are supported by a great teacher.
- Every child should have the opportunity to attend a high-quality public school.
- Best practices should be shared.