Friends and Neighbors,
the very first days of my administration, we made education our number one
priority. I have often said that education is my crime fighting strategy, my
economic development strategy, and my neighborhood revitalization strategy.
put, there is nothing more important for the strength of our city than ensuring
all youth receive the tools they need to succeed in school and in life.
had the opportunity this week to discuss the current state of education with
former Minneapolis Mayor and U.S. Representative Don Fraser and his Committee on
the Achievement Gap. This committee looks at individuals and organizations that
are making great progress to close the achievement gap, and it was an honor to
share the incredible work taking place throughout Saint Paul on education.
currently has one of the widest achievement gaps between white students and
students of color in the nation, threatening the future prosperity of Minnesota.
Without a highly educated workforce, the ability of our state to compete in the
global economy is jeopardized.
Paul's out-of-school-time learning, early childhood education and Promise
Neighborhood initiatives have positioned the City as a national leader, focused
and committed to working with the county, non-profits and the Saint Paul Public
Schools to close the achievement gap.
partnerships are critical to the success of our youth. When the stakes are this
high, the responsibility for educating our children must not rest solely with
the schools, but with our entire community - And failure is not an option.
September 2010, Saint Paul was one of 21 communities nation-wide to receive a
Promise Neighborhood grant from the Obama administration. The Saint Paul Promise
Neighborhood is a community-wide effort to ensure all children succeed in school
and in life through seamless coordination of cradle-to-career educational,
family, and community resources. The neighborhood will encompass a 250-block
area in the Summit-University and Frogtown neighborhoods. Eventually the
practices instituted in this area will be taken city-wide, allowing all youth to
benefit from this initiative.
encourage all Saint Paul residents to take an active role in educating our
youth. Whether volunteering during school, at an after school program or
participating in the community meetings on the Promise Neighborhoods, there are
endless opportunities for someone to impact the life of a child.