The modern global economy is built on ideas. As a lifelong educator and as president of the University of Central Oklahoma, I've witnessed the creativity that young minds are capable of contributing. I know the potential Oklahoma's youth possess. I believe Oklahoma and its education leaders can do more to set them up for success.
Because I believe we can better prepare young people to compete in the global marketplace, I'm also the chairman of Creative Oklahoma, an organization dedicated to the creative development of our citizens. On June 25, Oklahoma took an important step toward this goal by becoming the 19th state to join the P21 Initiative, a nationally coordinated effort to narrow the gap between what most students learn in grades K through 12 and the knowledge and skills typically required by modern communities and workplaces.
In joining this initiative, Oklahoma is engaging its Department of Education, its business leaders and its universities in a dialogue about how best to prepare students for their careers. Oklahoma is declaring that human talent is our most precious and sustainable resource. We aim to inspire young Oklahomans to bring their innate gifts and talents passionately into boardrooms, parish halls and city halls.
Creative ideas will drive the economic and social change so critical to our survival, and Oklahoma is positioned to be at the forefront of these changes.
Don Betz, Edmond
For information on the P21 Initiative, go to www.p21.org.