Eagle Rock Joins the Opportunity Nation Campaign to Help Restore Economic Mobility in America

Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center announced today that it is joining the Opportunity Nation campaign, a broad-based, cross-partisan coalition of 250 public, private, non-profit, civic and faith-based organizations all working together to expand economic opportunity and close the opportunity gap in America.

“We are excited to join the Opportunity Nation coalition to further their aim in addressing opportunity for the 7,000 students who drop out of high school each school day. Eagle Rock’s Professional Development Center has been engaged in school reform initiatives nationally for the past 20 years,” said Michael Soguero, Director of Professional Development.

“Opportunity Nation starts from the belief that the zip code you’re born into shouldn’t pre-determine your destiny, and that when social mobility grinds to a halt, we are in grave danger of losing the best of America,” said Mark Edwards, executive director of Opportunity Nation. “As an organization working everyday to enhance opportunity, we couldn’t be more excited to welcome Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center to our coalition.”

A centerpiece of the campaign is a new measure designed to show exactly what opportunity in America looks like today. The Opportunity Index (www.opportunityindex.org) provides the first-ever snapshot of access to opportunity at the state and county levels. Using sixteen indicators that collectively illustrate a community’s strength, the Opportunity Index ranks every state and assigns almost every county in America a first of its kind Opportunity Score ranging from “A” for excellent to “F” for failing.

Armed with this knowledge, engaged citizens and leaders at the local, state, and federal levels can identify concrete solutions to improve economic mobility at the ground level. The Opportunity Index will be issued annually, giving leaders a way to measure the effectiveness of their efforts.

Dan Condon, Associate Director of Professional Development shared, “We’re honored to join the efforts of Opportunity Nation and other partners of the coalition who we have been collaborating for years such as Public Allies. The Opportunity Index specific to education will better inform Eagle Rock’s Professional Development Center which regions we will engage with nationally.”

The Index reveals some interesting new facts:

· The indicator with the strongest correlation with the final Opportunity Score for a state is youth academic and economic inclusion. Specifically, states with a higher percentage of “Teenagers (16-19) Not in School and Not Working” have low opportunity scores;

· Twelve of the 15 lowest scoring states are in the south;

· Five of the 10 highest scoring states are in the northeast region;

· Income is surprisingly not the strongest indicator of opportunity. Nevada has higher than average median household income, but ranks last in the nation in opportunity due to low scores in education and community dimensions.

This September, Opportunity Nation will host its second national Summit to shine a spotlight on one of the earliest and most critical rungs on the ladder of opportunity: ensuring that the rising generation is equipped with the skills needed to compete in the current and future economies. The campaign will release a bold set of bipartisan, pragmatic ideas that illuminate pathways to success beyond just a four-year degree, including those that link education to work.

The September Summit will also serve as a platform for businesses to share actions they have taken over the past year to deepen their commitments to the 21st century American workforce, and for leading elected officials from across the political spectrum to share their plans to create communities of opportunity across the country.

To learn more about Opportunity Nation, the September Summit, and the steps they are taking to develop a shared plan to close the skills gap and restore opportunity in America, please visit www.opportunitynation.org.

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Eagle Rock, a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative of the American Honda Education Corporation, a nonprofit subsidiary of the American Honda Motor Company, is both a school for high school age students and a professional development center for adults, particularly educators. The school is a year-round, residential, and full-scholarship school that enrolls young people ages 15-17 from around the United States in an innovative learning program with national recognition. The Professional Development Center works with educators from around the country who wish to study how to re-engage, retain and graduate students. The center provides consulting services at school sites and host educators who study and learn from Eagle Rock practices. For more information please visit www.eaglerockschool.org and check us out on Twitter @eaglerockschool and on Facebook at facebook.com/EagleRockSchool.

Opportunity Nation is a broad coalition of more than 200 businesses, non-profits, corporate partners, faith-based organizations, educational institutions, and civic organizations focused on closing the opportunity gap in America. The campaign has created a shared agenda of bipartisan policy proposals and private sector innovations to increase opportunity, economic mobility, and access to the American Dream. For more information please visit www.OpportunityNation.org and check us out on Twitter @OppNation and on Facebook at facebook.com/OpportunityNation.

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