When you envision creating a future for your children, and your children’s children, what do you see?

Are they able to find fulfilling work? Do they have the choice to build a life in their home state, or to travel and live where they choose; or do economic realities hinder them from living where they hope to? Do they have more opportunity to learn, build, grow, and prosper than you did or do they have less?

As Idahoans, as people, as families, we inherently want what is best for the generations to come. We probably all want to create a state where people can do more than just survive, but actually, thrive.

This starts with education.

An education that is connected to the ever-evolving needs of the world is critical to providing opportunities to succeed in the workplace.

A standardized test may never occur outside of school, but the ability to think critically, work with others, persevere, and communicate effectively will be used throughout one’s life.

Memorizing facts may be critical for tests in school, but outside of school, most information can be accessed through a computer. It is the ability to retain, organize, and synthesize critical information that can help position one for greater success.

Understanding day-to-day life skills and knowing how to formulate projects, execute, and deliver value can enable one to grow in their career. Is financial literacy taught in math class? Is resume writing taught in English?

When a student can effectively learn or teach themselves, they can apply this to do anything and adapt to any circumstance. Are our students learning to learn?

As Idahoans, as parents, as voters, employers, and educators, we can all influence how we improve our education system to rise and meet the needs of industry, and ultimately the needs of our future generations.