One Guilford this Wednesday The next News & Record-sponsored One Guilford event is this Wednesday, March 12, 4-6pm at UNCG.

Sunday’s N&R editorial:

Nothing matters more to Guilford County’s future than education. Nothing else depends so much on the concept of One Guilford.

The News & Record initiated the One Guilford series last year to create conversation about important issues that affect all of us from one end of the county to another. Too often, we observed, old boundaries and divisions impede progress and keep us from combining resources to solve common problems.

The first One Guilford program, hosted by High Point University in May, focused on leadership. The second, at Guilford College in October, examined four issues related to economic development and education.

The education portion of that program drew the most interest and audience participation, so we’ve chosen that for a closer look at Wednesday’s One Guilford event hosted by UNCG.

The specific issue we’ll examine is how well we’re preparing our young people for success after high school. We want to identify good things that are happening but also deficiencies. Why do some employers and college/university administrators report that many of the high school graduates they see just aren’t ready? Most importantly, we want to explore ways to do better.

Guilford County Schools is the agency directly responsible for K-12 education, but it can’t address this task adequately on its own. It needs the support of local governments, community organizations, businesses and our institutions of higher learning.

Everyone has a stake in education. If our young people aren’t equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to become productive members of the work force or handle the academic demands of college or university studies, Guilford County will lose ground economically and everyone’s quality of life will suffer.

High Point businessman Jerry Camp sees too many high school students “not having a clue what they’re going to do when they walk across that stage at graduation.” Camp, board chairman for High Point’s Chamber of Commerce, has worked extensively on the work-force preparedness issue. He’ll talk about that at Wednesday’s program.

We’ve assembled an outstanding panel. Participants include representatives of colleges and universities, the business community and school system. Significantly, four very bright young people will join them on stage to talk about their current or recent experiences as students.

We expect them to engage in a lively and informative discussion that may inspire new ideas for meeting the challenges before us. While many efforts already are under way or in the planning stages, other opportunities might have been overlooked.

One key to success is increasing the resources available to solve a problem. If there are people, organizations or institutions that remain uncommitted to the cause of improving education, Guilford County isn’t doing everything it can to build a better future. And it can’t afford to come up short.

Everyone can participate in this discussion. Audience members will have a chance to offer questions during the program and to engage the panelists in informal conversations immediately after. We’d like to see school personnel, students and their parents, community leaders, businessmen and everyone else with an interest in this critical One Guilford subject. Our future demands strong education.

When: 4-6 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Elliott Center Auditorium, UNCG
Cost: Free and open to the public. Free parking in the Walker Avenue Deck (follow Stirling Street off Spring Garden Street).

Welcome by Dr. Patricia Sullivan, UNCG chancellor
Co-moderators: Dr. Andrew Brod, UNCG; Allen Johnson, News & Record
Dr. Joseph Graves, N.C. A&T
Dr. Rosemary Wander, UNCG
Jerry Camp, High Point Chamber of Commerce
Dr. Kathryn Baker Smith, GTCC
Alan Duncan, Guilford County Board of Education
Dr. Margaret Arbuckle, Guilford Education Alliance
Dr. Noah Rogers, Smith High School principal
Malishai Woodbury, Dudley High School
Jasmine Renee Mitchell, Smith High School ’06, UNC-CH Morehead Scholar
Megan M. Metzger, UNCG ’05
Samantha McCulley, Andrews High School ’07, GTCC student
Ralph Yarnall-Rodland, GTCC student

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E.C. )


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