Although 16 million American children face the extra challenges of poverty, an increasing body of evidence shows that they can achieve at the highest levels.
Teach for America believes that Leadership is essential for solving this issue. They recruit a diverse group of leaders with a record of achievement who work to expand educational opportunity, starting by teaching for two years in a low-income community. They provide intensive training, support and career development that helps these leaders increase their impact and deepen their understanding of what it takes to close the achievement gap.
The Memphis community is working to redefine education by moving toward system-wide change.
Nearly 50 years after Dr. King gave his life here in the fight for equality, only 4 percent of kids in our city graduate high school ready for college. Only 26 percent of residents in the Memphis Metropolitan Area hold a bachelor’s degree. We are not living up to the legacy left to us by Civil Rights leaders when a quality education is still a privilege in our region and not a right.
As we consider the educational landscape in Memphis today, we are convinced that our city must be the place that fulfills Dr. King’s dreams of a day when we are “an oasis of freedom and justice”; a place that refuses to question whether some kids can achieve and others can’t, but instead demands that all do at the highest of levels. We must work to create an unstoppable movement focused on realizing Dr. King’s dream of equal opportunity for every citizen. For far too long, our community’s children of color and those in poverty have been robbed of this dream. We must work to foster the leadership of our kids—equipping them with the academic and life skills necessary to pick up and win the fight for equality in their own community. We know that only when our kids are the owners of this work will we realize our vision of an excellent education for all students.
The Memphis community is working to redefine education by moving toward system-wide change. Teach For America is proud to work alongside our city’s leaders and educators in efforts to realize Dr. King’s dream of equity.
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