"For too long we have made the school systems responsible for solving society's ills. It is time for the community to get into the trenches with the educators and solve this problem together. We as a nation can't afford not to."
Past President of AOL and Chairman of the Board of The Learning Alliance
Moonshot Moment: Commencement Address
Excerpts from Ray Oglethorpe's Addresses to George Washington University School of Education's Class of 2013
|The Learning Alliance Board Chairman, Ray Oglethorpe|
Ray Oglethorpe, Board Chairman of The Learning Alliance and former President of America Online, recently gave the commencement address to G.W.U. School of Education's graduating class of 2013. Here are a few excerpts from his speech:
- "My father was the youngest of 13 children and my mother the youngest of 11 children born into abject poverty in a coal patch town in Pennsylvania. By taking a chance, my parents were the only ones of their siblings to escape the grinding poverty of the coal mines. Because I was lucky enough to have public school teachers who instilled in me a love of learning, a world of opportunities opened up to me."
- "As I approached retirement, I wanted to give back to education. More than just being on college boards and raising endowments for private schools, I desired to effect education in a more profound way. So, I got in the trenches with the teachers and focused on how to teach 90% of children in my school district to read at grade level by 2018. I would like to see these changes adopted across the country."
- "Here is my vision for the future of education: by 2038, I see a United States that has regained its spot as the most educated country in the world. I see the U.S. booming again because of higher levels of educational attainment that have pumped an added $80 trillion in the economy during these 25 years. Due to higher education levels, high school dropouts, juvenile delinquency, crime, the prison population, drug abuse, mental health issues and teenage pregnancies, which all used to be related to low educational attainment and low literacy, are all down. Taxes for social services are also down."
- "Reflecting on the billions we've spent on so-called educational reforms since 1983, we have gone down multiple paths that didn't address the core issues of leadership development, teacher professionalism, mastery learning and community involvement. They focused on restructuring, negative incentives and a culture of blame. Are we going to continue to tinker, blow more billions and continue to slip into mediocrity?"
Don't forget to save the dates of July 31 (5:00-8:00 p.m.) and August 1 (8:00 a.m. to noon) to attend Indian River County's Emergent Learning Days. You will learn about our community's amazing literacy accomplishments during the past year and see how your can be involved in goals for the upcoming year as we collectively pursue 90% literacy. For more information, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: