Statement by Ted Mitchell, CEO of NewSchools Venture Fund and President of the California State Board of Education, on the signing of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act
SAN FRANCISCO, April 21— Ted Mitchell, CEO of NewSchools Venture Fund and president of the California State Board of Education, praised President Obama’s signing of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act at a highly innovative public charter school Tuesday.
Mitchell said the Serve America Act will not only expand service, but will bring badly needed innovation to low-performing schools. He noted that the United States is slipping in international education comparisons, and that half of students in the nation’s largest cities don’t complete high school.
“The Serve America Act is visionary, both for what it will do to expand service, and for what it will do to foster social innovation,” Mitchell said. He said such vision is especially needed in education.
“For our economy and for our families, the cost of school failure is unacceptable,” Mitchell said. “The Serve America Act will bring fresh ideas to education, creating new opportunities for children and speeding our economic recovery.”
In a time of enormous economic challenge and unprecedented international competition, American students rank 25th in math and 21st in science among 30 industrialized countries, and have fallen to 10th in college attendance. Innovation in education can reverse that trend, Mitchell said.
Mitchell praised Obama’s choice of a highly innovative public charter school as the setting for the announcement. The SEED School of Washington, DC has broken new ground in public education as an open-enrollment boarding school. Despite SEED’s location in one of America’s hardest-hit neighborhoods, 90 percent of its graduates proceed immediately to college, compared to just over half of all high school graduates nationally.
“Through his choice to sign this bill at a highly innovative public charter school, President Obama underscored the power of good ideas in education to change children’s lives,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell speaks and writes frequently on social entrepreneurship and innovation in education.
NewSchools Venture Fund is a nonprofit venture philanthropy firm that works to foster innovation in public education.
The Serve America Act increases opportunities for service for all Americans, supports innovation and strengthens the nonprofit sector.
Mitchell praised the bill’s co-authors, Senators Edward Kennedy and Orrin Hatch, as well as key leaders in the House who worked hard for its passage, in particular House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He also praised the work of the many passionate advocates of service and social entrepreneurship who supported the bill, including the America Forward coalition.
About NewSchools Venture Fund
NewSchools Venture Fund (www.newschools.org) is a national nonprofit venture philanthropy firm that has been working since 1998 to transform public education for underserved children by supporting education entrepreneurs who create nonprofit and for-profit organizations that have the power to catalyze system-wide change. NewSchools invests in organizations that start public schools, recruit and train teachers and principals, and create essential tools for public schools. Its investments are designed to make a significant systemic impact in some of the nation’s most challenged urban communities, including New York City, Chicago, Washington D.C., New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Oakland, California.
For more about the Edward Kennedy Serve America Act:
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For More About SEED: