Release Date: Oct 20, 2010Contact: 888-249-NEWS
U.S. Chamber and Indiana Chamber Call on the State’s Businesses to Help Advance Education Reform
Indianapolis Part of 12-City Tour to Promote and Discuss Groundbreaking Film Waiting for “Superman”
INDIANAPOLIS, IN—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s National Chamber Foundation today stopped in Indianapolis as part of a 12-city tour to bring together business and opinion leaders to view and discuss the groundbreaking movie on K-12 public education reform, Waiting for “Superman.”
Waiting for “Superman,” a film by Davis Guggenheim, the Academy Award-winning director of An Inconvenient Truth, from Paramount Vantage and Participant Media in association with Walden Media, opened in Atlanta October 8 and is opening in theatres across the country throughout the month. It tells the story of five children as they make their way through America’s failing public education system.
“This movie paints a dismal picture of the state of our public education system and the children who endure its effects,” said Liz Reilly, executive director of special initiatives for the U.S. Chamber. “The question is what do we do to make sure that people take the emotion evoked from the film and turn it in to action? It’s up to all of us, education and business leaders alike, to push for reform that achieves greater accountability, better teachers, and higher standards or our children will continue to wait.”
These U.S. Chamber-led events will bring together business, opinion, and education leaders to discuss the actionable steps that can be taken to advance public K-12 education reform. Events will take place in Albany, Atlanta, Austin, Denver, Durham, Oklahoma City, Salt Lake City, San Diego, St. Louis, Tallahassee, and Trenton.
The Chamber is using the film as a catalyst to discuss the crisis in the nation’s schools, the forces standing in the way of needed change, and the steps toward reform in each of the 12 communities. The Chamber is also providing local leaders with a toolkit to drive effective education reform initiatives in their communities in three key areas: great teachers and leaders, more innovation, and better data—suggesting important questions to ask of local education leaders and key actions to take that lead to improved academic achievement for all students.
The Alliance for Excellent Education estimates that if Indianapolis reduced the number of dropouts by half for just one class year, the economic benefits to the city would be considerable. These additional high school graduates would likely earn as much as $42 million in an average year, allowing them to spend an additional $30 million and invest an additional $11 million during that year alone. This additional spending could be enough to create 350 new jobs and increase the gross regional product by as much as $55 million by the time these graduates reached the midpoint of their careers. Significantly reducing dropouts each year would multiply these positive outcomes.
“There is little we can do that will have a greater impact on our state’s economic prosperity than to improve the educational outcomes of our youngest generations,” said Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar. “As this film demonstrates, the recognition of this challenge is gaining broad support. We are thrilled to see increasing attention to these issues and are hopeful that our policy leaders will take these challenges seriously.”
The National Chamber Foundation’s promotion of Waiting for “Superman” is partly supported by a $1.5 million grant from the Daniels Fund, a Colorado-based foundation established by Bill Daniels, a cable television pioneer known for his generous support of innovative causes.
The National Chamber Foundation (NCF), a non-profit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is dedicated to identifying and fostering public debate on emerging critical issues. We provide business and government leaders with insight and resources to address tomorrow's challenges.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.
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