August 16, 2023

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“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” 
– Kofi Annan

The most important workforce event of the year, the first day of school, is occurring across the country in the coming weeks. Whether students are attending a public, charter, or private school, whether they are attending a school within a large city, a suburban neighborhood, or a rural schoolhouse, they are all on a journey to become an informed and productive citizen of our country.

A first grader this year will graduate in 2035. With the rapid changes in technology, the economy, and society, we cannot predict the kind of environment that will exist in 2035 or the advanced skills they will need. We can predict that they will need to read, write, and do basic math. We hope they understand the basic ideas of citizenship, world history, and that they have gained a marketable skill or two during their journey.

We can all agree that the starting line isn’t even. Some will come with resources and from homes well-equipped to help them on their journey. Some will not. We can all do our best to get everyone to the finish line. Our economy, democracy, and communities depend on it.

Best of luck to the class of 2035. Let’s commit to lift them up and move them forward.

Kenny McDonald
President and CEO
Columbus Partnership