Last month, New York City and our nation lost such a leader, Richard Murphy, whose legacy should serve as an example of true servant leadership for all social entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders. Here is only a partial list of his innovations and impacts.
Save the Children has not been involved in the gun control issue in the past -- our work has focused on providing education, health and emergency relief services to children and families living in poverty in the United States and around the world -- but in the aftermath of Newtown, we are taking action.
Photo Credit: JENNY BOLARIO/Youth Radio A mural on the wall of Harder Elementary School in the Hayward Promise Neighborhood. Youth Radio/New America...
Currently, we tend to (overly) assign individual causes to the symptoms of whole-school or single-child success in school. A growing chorus of educators and communities, however, recognize there is a complex constellation of forces impacting every child's capacity to learn and grow.
It is people like Geoffrey Canada, founder of the now-famous Harlem Children's Zone, who see problems and determine to try to fix them, that are shaping the landscape of social entrepreneurship in the 21st century.
Hard, social problems require deep, lifelong commitment from organizations and individuals. Technology presents such a tantalizing solution to these issues, but there seems to be a big implementation gap.
Increasingly privatized education -- with charters, consultants and competition -- offers more opportunities for investment and profit-making. Its proponents have a special and vested interest in the policies they promote.
If we don't prepare all of our children today to be the leaders of tomorrow, our entire economy will suffer. We cannot be indifferent to those held back most by the painful inequality in our country; if we are, it will be the downfall of this great nation.
One in five children now lives in poverty, up from 17% in 2000. This is an increase of 2.4 million children. These are not just statistics. They are real children, waking up hungry and suffering.
Without support and buy-in from the school community, i.e. teachers, parents, and students, these turnaround initiatives are nothing more than a well-intentioned rearrangement of furniture.
The work that Teach For America does to supply these transformational classroom leaders has made reform possible in places written off by many in the education field.
They command six-figure salaries. No, we're not talking rock stars, pro athletes or even pro coaches. We're talking school superintendents.
The current crowd of education reformers like to dismiss any of us who disagree with their agenda as "defenders of the status quo." Nothing could be further from the truth.
Salazar and Locke should definitely take a page from the playbook of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. As the guy who once ran Chicago's schools, Duncan knows we're a nation of dummies.
Let's face it, when you count your blessings this year the first thing that springs to mind is not going to be the New York state legislature. Still, there's lots in New York to give thanks for.
No child should feel unsafe on their walk to school. If we are to turn around struggling schools, we owe this issue a bit of attention. Our children's lives and futures depend on it.