I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen an editorial or heard a politician or business leader touting quality education as the indispensible prerequisite of our poor state’s advance. It wouldn’t do much for my retirement portfolio, perhaps, but it just might cover my Starbucks expenses for a year or so.
Yesterday morning it was the Clarion-Ledger’s editorial turn (as reprinted in the Hattiesburg American) to fly the education flag, in this case featuring the policy recommendations of “Blueprint Mississippi,” a report of the Mississippi Economic Council.
Among other things, Mississippi needs, says Blueprint, an early childhood education system, better pay for teachers, and more rigorous preparation of educators. IHL commissioner Hank Bounds, who chaired the Blueprint effort, contributes the pivotal punch line – “If you want to improve the economy in this state, then the first thing you have to do is improve education.” No points for novelty, perhaps, but right on the money.
Now let’s see if the new crop of policy makers in Jackson heeds the education message any better than their predecessors have.