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The BLACK ENTERPRISE/Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation symposium brought together leaders from the world of business and education. Here are recommendations on what corporate executives, entrepreneurs, civic leaders and community members can do to have a positive impact on our schools.
- Learn about area schools. Members of the business community must acknowledge that students represent the nation’s future workforce, committing time and resources to learn as much as possible about area schools and supporting programs.
- Communicate the type of workforce businesses and corporations need in 21st Century. Business and corporate leaders must share with school administrators and educators the skills that they require for current and future workers.
- Develop strategic partnership between school systems and business. Define and formalize the relationship between the two institutions to create more effective schools and more engaging experience for students.
- Create on-the-job training program for students. Major corporations and local businesses can do much to supplement student development through internships and apprenticeships. Entrepreneurs and executives must connect students to demands of the global economy.
- Use technology for classroom instruction, student engagement and teacher assessment. Companies should donate technology and loan technical talent soÂ administrators, teachers and students can become more tech literate.
- Teach school administrators business skills. Develop programs in which superintendents, principals and teachers work within corporations or enroll in corporate training programs as a means of improving school leadership and efficiency.
- Invest in school programs. Corporations and businesses must make an significant, consistent investment in education directly or through foundations. They must encourage their philanthropic connections to support education enhancement programs as well.
- Join school board and other educational bodies. Entrepreneurs and corporate executive musts become more involved in school boards and other organizations that either have oversight of city and countywide school systems or influence in the development of administrative and instructional leadership as well as curriculum development.
- Use athletes as role models for students and vehicles for community engagement. Athletes and corporate professionals — especially males — need to participate in residence programs in which they teach students about workplace demands, build self-esteem and share other aspects of the world outside of the classroom.
- Address the leadership gap. Through greater advocacy and measurement, businesses, community members and parents must make school administrators and board members accountable for improving school and student performance.
- Become a stakeholder. Get involved with your local school by supplying advice and financial resources.
- Help give parents tools and data to support children’s education. Develop employee incentive program at work to make sure parents are become and stay involved in their area schools.
- Support a hike in teachers’ compensation. Develop resources and initiatives that will make teachers more effective through improved compensation and perks. Work with school districts to participate in incentive programs.