Earlier this month, my colleagues and I wrapped up a five-day, 1,100-mile back-to-school bus tour of the Southwest. It was exciting, occasionally exhausting, and often exhilarating. But most of all, it was enlightening.
From New Mexico to Texas, from Arizona to California, we saw firsthand how courageous educators, committed parents, and caring communities can work together to tackle tough educational challenges.
Along the way, we saw states that failed to provide sufficient early-learning opportunities, school districts that lacked access to high-speed broadband Internet service, and families that struggled to pay for college. In one border town, some elementary school students had never held a pencil or book until they started school.