Public education will only improve when people buy in, Step Up for Students President Doug Tuthill said Thursday at the Florida Chamber of Commerce Summit on Prosperity & Economic Opportunity.
“I’m going to start with the good news: public education today is in the best shape that it’s ever been in,” Tuthill said, citing the teaching quality and a National Assessment of Education Progress “report card,” which showed some progress.
“The bad news is the beneficiaries of progress tend to be people of privilege. It tends to be people with resources who come to school with a lot of social capital, and they’re able to benefit from our public education system.
“Unfortunately, this system isn’t capable of really addressing this issue of generational poverty the way that it needs to be — and that’s our challenge. It’s not a people problem; it’s a systemic problem.”
Tuthill said the root of that problem is the undermining of a sense of “ownership” for a majority of people — be they teachers, parents or students — in public education.