Moral Imperative

The Need

Saint Paul currently faces a significant achievement gap between students of color and white students and between students from low-income families and those who are not. Standardized tests show that students of color and low-income students consistently perform lower than their peers. We know that proficiency is a predictor of future personal wealth and well-being. It is a moral imperative for Saint Paul to ensure all students succeed.

Our Response

We believe that all students have the potential to attain proficiency in math and literacy. Despite the challenges that our students face, such as poverty and language barriers, there is no excuse for failure. It is clear from the evaluation of high-performing schools in Saint Paul like Dayton’s Bluff Achievement Plus Elementary and Higher Ground Academy that students can beat the odds. With adequate support from families, teachers, schools and the community, all students can achieve their full potential. Our three program areas are dedicated to addressing this moral imperative: Tutoring Partnership, Grant Making and Community Schools.

The Economic Case

Education provides benefits not only to individual students, but also to society as a whole. An investment in education is an investment in the future of our job market and our economy. In the past, Minnesota has been recognized for its high-quality education system and its dedication to adequate funding. In fact, Minnesota ranks second in state comparisons for student achievement on standardized tests. However, a closer look at student test scores reveals a significant achievement gap between students of color and Caucasian students and low-income students and those who are not. By allowing those students to slip through the cracks and fall below proficiency, our economy and standard of living will drastically decrease.

Reading and math proficiency are needed for students to compete in a rapidly evolving economy. These skills are also required for the continued functioning of a dynamic and complex democracy. A report from the Morning Foundation illustrates the economic impact of education on our society.

Return on Investment:

  • ROI: $2,250/student for tutoring X 3 yrs = $87,500 ROI over lifetime
  • Benefits to individual: $300K / HS diploma $1M / college degree
  • Benefits to society: $350K / HS diploma $1.6 M /college degree

- An Economic Perspective on the Financial Impact on Society of Educational Attainment, Tom Holman, The Morning Foundation