Superintendent Takes on Washington, D. C.

Superintendent Takes on Washington, D. C. with No Excuses
Rod Schroder

December 9, 2014 – Amarillo ISD Superintendent Rod Schroder was in Washington, D. C. for the White House College Opportunity Summit last week alongside Amarillo College President Russell Lowery-Hart and Amarillo Area Foundation President and CEO Clay Stribling.

The focus of the conference was methodologies and community partnerships which improve college access and graduation rates, particularly among low-income students.

“We were very proud to be there. We started this work years ago, because we saw a need and we thought it was important,” Superintendent Rod Schroder said. “By 2020, 65 percent of the jobs in the nation are going to require some post-secondary credential, whether it’s two-year, four-year or some certificate. There’s a gap. We recognized that gap years ago, and we’re trying to fill it.”

According to the Lumina Foundation, a sponsor of the White House College Opportunity Summit, 22.01 percent of Potter County and 41.21 percent of Randall County adults, age 25-64, have at least an associate degree.

“Everyone in this community needs to send a message to all students that they’ve got to have a plan after high school,” Schroder explained. “We talk about this in our high schools, but we also want the community to partner with us so all students, whether at church, the theater or  mall, have someone asking ‘What’s your plan?’ and getting them thinking about college or some post-secondary credential. It’s going to be important for their economic development and well-being.”

These local leaders were selected to attend the summit based on their participation in No Limits No Excuses. Currently, 17 AISD schools are No Excuses University schools, a movement guiding educators and students toward college and career achievement. Amarillo is considered the epicenter for the No Excuses University movement, with two pre-schools, a church and Amarillo College participating in the program.

United States President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and others spoke during the summit about higher education and job fulfillment in the future.

“We talked about the barriers to college, and what other people are doing to break them down,” Schroder said. “We were very pleased with our progress, but I think it intensifies our desire to reach more people.”

Lumina Foundation Report (Pages 181-183):

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