10/15/2010 02:40 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

One Nation Working Together: A Focus on Education

Thousands of Americans gathered in Washington, D.C. recently for the One Nation Working Together march to show their support and commitment to the idea that all people -- regardless of race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, or ability -- should have the opportunity to fulfill their potential and contribute to an economy that works for everyone. The event featured an impressive lineup of speakers and organizations, which supported the notion that if we can put aside our differences in favor of meaningful change, we can ensure a more unified, sustainable, and prosperous future.

Now more than ever, we need this spirit of commitment and solidarity to truly reform one of our country's most vital institutions: our education system. The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) fully supports and endorses the education policy principles that One Nation Working Together promotes and will continue to help make them a reality. We are working hard to improve opportunities for all of our students and we are leading the way in helping Americans re-imagine how, when, and where young people learn.

One way we work to reform our education system is through our service on the advisory board of the New Day for Learning task force. Together with educators and experts from around the country, we have outlined the realities that education faces today as well as the economic impact of leaving our students in a system that has ceased to serve them effectively. The New Day task force has put forth its 21st-century vision for learning that expands the definition of student success, uses research-based knowledge to define how students learn best, integrates various learning approaches and places, fosters collaboration across all sectors, and provides opportunities for leadership and professional development. An education system that includes these essential elements will ensure that Latino students, and indeed all American children, are adequately prepared to lead our nation in the future.

At the root of everything we do is the idea that all children deserve the best education available, no matter who they are or where they live. To this end, NCLR is working on various other fronts in education as well, including the Common Core State Standards Initiative and the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. One Nation Working Together embodies our belief in high-quality education for all and promotes the kind of collaboration necessary to make it a reality. With everyone playing a unique and essential role, we can work together to make learning relevant and effective for all children.

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