Academies' potential to change public education

Published: February 8, 2013

I listened to Mayor Mick Cornett's State of the City presentation and was reminded of all that we've accomplished in Oklahoma City. However, one of the most significant challenges in the continued evolution of the city is the improvement of our public schools. We've demonstrated a financial commitment through MAPS for Kids, but our commitment to public education must extend beyond dollars.

Oklahoma City Public Schools is establishing high school career academies that provide great opportunities for just such involvement. These academies focus on a specific professional area, such as engineering, information technology, hospitality and tourism, health sciences and finance. I have the pleasure of serving on the advisory board for the John Marshall High School Academy of Finance. Advisory board members combine our respective professional backgrounds and experiences to provide insight to instructors on course composition and content, to support student activities and to help raise funds to support academy programs and activities.

In an effort to enhance student learning, as well as academic and career readiness, the school district is committed to developing academies in each high school. The academies are based on a set of proven standards developed by the National Academy Foundation. Career-based academies have the potential to change public education as we know it by providing skilled graduates who are more prepared to enter the working world.

I'm grateful to be involved in the academy initiative, which benefits our community and students. I hope others seize this opportunity and join me.

Mark A. Wood, Oklahoma City

Wood is the local managing partner for Ernst & Young.

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