Karen Brown: Our children need Race to the top

Published: Friday, January 8, 2010 at 3:37 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 8, 2010 at 3:37 p.m.

Since 1897, the PTA has been a strong advocate for quality education for all children. From the outset, PTA has championed the importance of equal opportunity for all children, regardless of socioeconomic background. PTA continues to advocate for all children to have the opportunity to grow and achieve through education.

The federal Race to the Top competition provides the state of Florida with an opportunity to help our students achieve at the highest levels. The financial resources that it will bring, carries with it immense possibilities for improvement in our local schools and a brighter outlook for every one of our students. Florida stands to receive millions of dollars if we are successful in our effort to win this competition.

Our focus in this entire effort remains on the opportunities and advantages that it will bring to the children of Florida through our public schools. Children need successful schools that are being given the resources and support they need to excel, regardless of their geographic location. The recent budget cuts in education have had a severe impact on our schools. The funds provided by Race to the Top can provide the additional resources that are sorely needed by our struggling schools to bring in the programs and support that will enable them to improve and become high quality learning centers.

Our children need the best and the brightest teachers to help them through their learning hurdles and keep them focused and excited about school. Race to the Top provides the framework and resources to further enhance the teaching profession in our state by expanding the opportunities for professional development.

As we move into a global economy, children need high quality academic standards that are relevant to the world, along with effective assessments that ensure our schools are getting the job done. Race to the Top gives us the tools to produce world-class academic standards and assessments that are measuring the right things. Together, the two form the backbone of our education system and can mean the difference between a lifetime of success and a lifetime of challenge.

PTA’s legacy of influencing policy to protect the education, health, and overall well-being of children has made an indelible impact in the lives of millions of children and families. Our children need our voices more than ever during these challenging times. Our public schools need our help and support to fulfill their mission of preparing our children for the future. We now have an opportunity to provide our schools with the tools to fundamentally redefine and reinvigorate how our children learn.

We need to have our parents and communities rally around their schools, and spread the word across Florida that Race to the Top can provide our schools with additional dollars that can have a lasting impact on our children’s learning environment and their future in a global world. Remember when working/advocating for children, we operate with “No Boundaries-No Limits” to drive Florida as a competitive educational state by giving our children a quality education to prepare them for higher education and career opportunities anywhere their vocation may take them.

Karin Brown,


Florida Parent Teacher Association (FPTA)




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