Is Our Education System Conducive to Breaking the Cycle of Poverty?

Is Our Education System Conducive to Breaking the Cycle of Poverty?


Every student deserves the opportunity to be in a learning environment where they can thrive. They all deserve access to a high quality education that prepares them for future success.  However, our education system struggles to produce a skilled workforce, leaving students ill-prepared to compete in today’s 21st century economy.

As a mom, I expect that my children will be ready for the next step in life —college, career or military — if they earn a standard high school diploma. I expect no less.

Yet, too many young people are not reaching their full potential and too many are disproportionately impacted by the shortcomings of our education system. This comes with a steep price:

Education is the path out of poverty and  is key to eliminating disparities that continue to plague our nation. We should be outraged about high school seniors graduating unprepared for the demands of the 21st workforce. This stifles economic growth, widens income disparities, and affects upward mobility. It is time for an education system conducive to breaking the cycle of poverty and inequality.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush unveiled a thoughtful K-12 education plan that improves education and strengthens our nation’s workforce. The plan empowers families to choose the best learning environment that meets their child’s needs. Even students in the poorest and most difficult schools would have the opportunity to access quality education in a school of their choice.

When education decisions are reorganized around the child’s best interest, our students rise.

Out of all presidential contenders, Bush’s education plan was the most detailed  offering creative solutions. This plan is a step in the right direction. It brings students closer toward economic prosperity to become the leaders this country needs in business and in all other pursuits.

Wendy Rivera is a public school parent, advocate and Florida attorney.  You can follow her on Twitter @WendyRivera_Esq

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Wendy Rivera
Wendy is the Principal Attorney at Rivera-Aguilar Law Firm, P.A. and also serves as Policy Counsel for Latinos in Technology Innovation and Social Media (LATISM). LATISM is a 501(c) 4 nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing the social, civic, and economic status of the Latino community. Prior to assuming her role with LATISM, Wendy served as Assistant General Counsel for a National Regulatory Firm. She later served as Director of Hispanic Affairs and Counsel for Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC), a national civil rights organization recognized as the leading advocate for civil rights in the mass media, telecommunications, and broadband industries. ​​ Wendy launched MMTC’s new Immigration Reform Initiative to help generate support for immigration reform from the large media, telecom, and broadband companies and provide a voice to expand opportunities for aspiring Hispanic immigrants to enter the media and telecommunications industries. Prior to joining MMTC, Wendy worked as an Attorney for the law firm of Hill & Ponton, P.A., where she practiced Administrative Law. She is the President of the Multicultural Education Alliance (MEA), a nonprofit organization that promotes open and collaborative dialogue between parents, administrators, educators, students, lawmakers, and the community to improve educational opportunities and student achievement. Wendy has given her time, leadership, and support to benefit many worthy causes. She served as a Rapporteur for the Diversity and Inclusion, Telecommunications and Internet Policy Task Force, Ambassador for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando, and Orange County Advisory Board. Wendy earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Central Florida and Juris Doctorate from Stetson University College of Law. She is admitted to practice in Florida and lives in Orlando with her husband and children.