Saturday, November 07, 2009
Over the past few day's I've reviewed the handouts I received at the Nov. 4 Drop Out Prevention Summit in Illinois. Here are some articles about the "drop out crisis" that I've posted on this blog. You can see that this is not a new crisis to me.
Most of the material I've looked at calls for a "school centered" strategy. However, the paper titled, Ensuring Workforce Skills of the Future: The Birth to Work Pipeline, talks about the disconnect between education strategies and workforce development priorities.
One report Titled "Closing the Graduation Gap: Cities in Crisis" focuses on the 50 largest cities in America where the size of the school age population, and the size of the geography, makes the solutions more complex than what faces smaller communities. Here's a link to a article I wrote in January 2008 about "locating the drop out crisis".
In Chicago and these other cities we need business leadership strategies that focus on other channels than public schools for connecting kids with adults who help build aspirations, and motivations, that help keep them in school, and point them at 21st century jobs and careers.
These channels can be non-school tutor/mentor programs, or they can be the Internet, or both. However, without devoting a part of the funding pie to making these programs available, as "distribution centers" for business and career mentoring ideas, there won't be enough programs reaching kids in high poverty areas, and the programs won't have enough experienced, motivated leaders, able to facilitate the involvement of business volunteers, and the integration of eLearning, mentoring and tutoring at each location.
Using the Chicago Program Links and Tutor/Mentor Program Locator, business leaders can build giving strategies that support one or more programs on an ongoing basis, and assure that each program has multiple sources of volunteers, and of operating dollars.
If your business, faith group, social or alumni group would like to create a strategy to support tutor/mentor programs, contact the T/MC at 312-492-9614, or attend the Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference on Nov. 19 and 20.