The National Urban League 8 Point Plan: Educate, Employ and Empower
In 2011, the National Urban League launched the 12-Point Jobs Plan to Put America Back to Work. In 2012, we are issuing a public call for immediate national action around the education and job-training steps necessary to achieve these goals. As a result of our long history of job training and education programs, the National Urban League understands the importance of equipping workers with a sound education. With the introduction of our 2012 Employment and Education Plan, we seek to raise this most urgent conversation to the top of our national news headlines. The time to act is now!
Any serious discussion about the creation of jobs and economic opportunity must account for the basic shortcomings of our current national approach to education, from early education to adulthood, and beyond. These two concepts are closely rooted in their ultimate purpose, if not one and the same. Education, at its core, is economic readiness. Job training, by its very definition, is education in its most practical sense. The two cannot and must not be viewed separately. A broken national system of education will continue to yield a broken economy, built upon broken communities and broken lives.
This list of practical and actionable ideas is a recommended approach to solving America’s crisis in education - one designed to spark serious discussion, while also serving as a policy playbook ready for action today. We view the following collection of ideas as the first step towards positive change, and a long-term education solution for America.
Although our traditional role has often been seen by many as a ‘bridge’ between the services available and the daily needs of the underserved of our cities, we fully accept the growing challenge asked of a historic Civil Rights Organization such as ours, to take the lead in forcing our country to confront those basic sources of economic hardship that we can and must change within our lifetime.
The National Urban League 8-Point Plan includes:
- Fair and equitable school funding for all
- Robust early childhood education for each child
- Strengthen high schools and re-engage students to prevent dropouts
- Robust STEM focused curriculum and programs
- Qualified, effective and diverse teachers
- Strategic workforce development: targeting Americans most in need
- New job training models coupled with job placement
- Improving and integrating current data systems