Tuesday, November 20, 2007

No Funds Left Behind

Today there is a story in the Chicago Tribune showing how funds provided by the government via the No Child Left Behind Law are taken away once a school improves its test scores.

This is the thinking that got us into Iraq without a plan to win the peace. In most neighborhoods with poorly performing schools, poverty is the main problem, or English as a Second Language. Just because a school improved test scores does the government think poverty has gone away. It would be great if NCLB were also focused at reducing high school drop outs, or preparing youth for 21st century careers. Then maybe the funding would be more flexible and would continue for decades, not just a few years.

If you've read my blog previously you'll see that I feel a volunteer-based tutor/mentor program should be viewed by business as a workforce development strategy. Volunteer involvement provides learning and networking experience for current workers, and it can help build a pipeline to careers for future workers.

We host a variety of information on this subject on the T/MC web site, and host a conference every six months to draw people together, and to build visibility for tutor/mentor programs throughout the Chicago region.

I've asked people who attended the conference last week to write about it. Read Keith's blog and you will see a few more photos and a few more reasons to get involved with the Tutor/Mentor Connection.

If we can get business to think strategically about tutor/mentor programs, we can innovate new sources of long-term revenue, and reduce our dependency on short sighted (and limited) public funding.

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