Using community business leaders to shape education advocacy

Changing and improving the way that education in handled in our state is one of the biggest impact issues that we can work with in order to see tangible and growing improvements within our community that are going to be far reaching and long lasting. The responsibility of running and improving schools is technically the states responsibility but since it is such an important and large issue, a lot of other organizations are also getting involved and are helping make the push for improvements. One of the biggest groups in Colorado that is doing what they can in order to help push this goal is a group called Colorado Succeeds. This education advocacy group is focused on bringing together education leaders and business leaders in order to come up with improvements in the school systems in Colorado and help improve the community all around. Some of the biggest issues that Colorado Succeeds focuses on are education and the economy, college and career readiness, and the achievement gap.

business leadersWhen it comes to education and the economy, the relationship between business leaders and education advocacy leaders is the strongest. Colorado businesses do better when the education is better educated though the strange thing in Colorado is that it is very near the top of the list of states that have the highest rate of residents with post secondary degrees and yet they are near the bottom of the list of states where students graduate from a post secondary education program. This means that native Coloradoans are not finishing their education but instead people with a postsecondary education are moving to Colorado. It is great that Colorado is a desirable place for educated workers but the state needs to be doing better when it comes to our own kids.

The second issue is college readiness. A recent study has found that in Colorado, less than fifty percent of students meet the necessary levels in math, reading and science to be accepted to a university. If you look at ACT scores, they show that only twenty five percent of the students who take the test reach college ready grades in all core subjects.

The last issue that education advocacy groups like Colorado Succeeds tries to focus on is trying to close the achievement gap. This is an issue in every state and as with the rest of the country, there can be huge difference between the kind of education that a child might get in one school compared to another. Colorado does particularly poorly when you compare the test scores of middle or upper class white kids compared to the scores from kids who are below the poverty line and go to school in mostly black and Hispanic schools.

These are all huge issues that Colorado has to deal with and improve upon if they want to continue to build a strong state. Colorado Succeeds is doing everything they can with business leaders and education advocators to try and solve these issues as much as possible and get Colorado back on track as a leader in education.