Empowering Our Nation’s Youth: A Call to Collaborative Action for Educational Excellence

We are celebrating the achievement of more than 3.8 million graduating public school students and the advancement of more than 44 million students to the next grade. We are mindful that these milestones aren’t earned by chance or happen without hard work and support from families, communities, educators, and school staff. Continued improvement, just like knowledge, requires collective engagement. 

It’s astounding to consider the evolution of our world. Since the graduating class of 2024 first entered Kindergarten, what once seemed futuristic is now commonplace: from the transformation of telephones to mobile devices to the urgent realities of the pandemic and climate change. Even in the past year, advancements in artificial intelligence have changed our lives. In this changing landscape, the significance of education has never been more pronounced. 

As society has progressed, so too has our understanding of education. We now recognize that success lies not solely in mastering content but in cultivating critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and resilience. Graduates are entering a world where change and uncertainty are the new normal, and adaptability and innovation take on even greater importance. 

To meet these challenges, entire communities must work together, with educators, community institutions, and citizens working hand in hand. Communities must shake off the vestiges of an age when learning was measured by the time a student was seated in a classroom and teachers’ lessons focused on isolated subjects and tasks. True education encompasses understanding, application, and making connections across domains and skills. It isn’t enough to pass a math test; one must understand how to use it in real-world settings and roles such as medical technicians, mechanics, or teachers. 

These successes will only come when communities work together with their schools to provide enriching educational experiences that prepare students to succeed in the modern world. Collaborations must be expanded between businesses and schools, schools and colleges, and mental health and other teams. We also need to support opportunities for teachers, school leaders, and staff of out-of-school institutions to learn and grow so their students can, too. As the world keeps changing, this is essential so educators and students can keep up and drive future innovations. 

As we celebrate the achievements of more than 48 million public school students this graduation and grade promotion season, we urge you to join us in forging a future where every student thrives. Here are some ways you can be #HerefortheKids:

  • Volunteer your time to mentor or tutor students or support classroom teachers.
  • Serve on a school or district committee.
  • Attend a PTA or school board meeting.
  • Advocate for student internships or apprenticeships within your workplace.
  • Engage in school activities such as refereeing, library assistance, or afterschool programs.
  • Champion educators, initiatives, partnerships, and programs driving positive change for our kids.
  • Support investments in strengthening the education, youth development, and healthcare workforces. 
  • Advocate for fair funding for public schools by engaging with your local and state elected officials.

Supporters Include:

  • AASA, The School Superintendents Association
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • Consortium for School Networking
  • National Association of Elementary School Principals
  • National Education Association
  • National School Boards Association
  • PDK International
  • Donovan Group
  • Addyson Whaley
  • American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
  • American School Counselor Association
  • Learning Forward
  • National Association of Secondary School Principals
  • National PTA
  • National School Public Relations Association
  • Association for Manufacturing Excellence