One of the best predictors of long-term prosperity and growth for our region is educational attainment. An education that ends in high school is no longer enough.
College brings higher pay: $1,053 a week for the median bachelor's degree holder last year, versus $638 for a high school graduate with no college, says the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last year's unemployment rate was 4.9% for college grads versus 9.4% for those with no college. (Wall Street Journal - 5/4/2012)
As a community, it is imperative that we raise the expectations of our young people and send them clear, consistent messages about educational achievement after high school graduation. But that won't be easy, especially in predominantly poor or blue-collar communities where college, or more broadly, post-secondary education, has not been the norm. How do we help parents who didn't go beyond high school graduation understand why it matters and how to support their children? What kind of school and community supports are necessary to help kids prepare for post-secondary education - beginning at birth and extending through the time they're on campus? And, what pieces of the "solution puzzle" are present in Greater Cleveland and what do we need to develop, import or invent?
These are just some of the questions we will use to stimulate a community dialogue about how to create a CULTURE OF COLLEGE in Northeast Ohio.
Sandra Pianalto, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland will give a key-note address on why increasing educational achievement is so critical to our regional economy and why doing so is everyone's responsibility. The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion involving key stakeholders in our region. Questions will be taken from the studio audience and from people watching a live web-stream of the event on ideastream.org and cleveland.com. Joe Frolik, Chief Editorial Writer at The Plain Dealer will serve as moderator.