Bristol native Angus Davis, one of the country’s hottest tech entrepreneurs, is also a passionate advocate for school reform
A nice profile of RI tech entrepreneur and ed warrior Angus Davis:
Being one of the country's hottest tech entrepreneurs, however, is only part of his makeup. Despite the slightly mischievous streak during his formative years, Mr. Davis is dead serious about school reform. A four-year member of the R.I. Board of Regents before losing his seat in a recent purge by new Gov. Lincoln Chafee, Mr. Davis chaired the search committee that brought Deborah Gist to Rhode Island as its new commissioner of education.
"We should strive to bring strong leaders to our state across the board. The prior commissioner was a nice fellow, but he was there for 17 years and we needed to improve," said Mr. Davis.
The problem with our public schools, he said, are twofold.
"One is an international problem. We think of communities in Rhode Island like Bristol or Barrington or East Greenwich as being tops in school systems. But if you take our most advantaged kids and stack them up against other countries, we're at a real disadvantage," he said. "Other countries are out-educating us and that will ultimately threaten our way of life in America, which is driven by our competitive advantage of our economy."
Secondly, he said, the current public schools system is not designed to allow underprivileged, impoverished students to prosper, which Mr. Davis sees at nothing less than a civil rights issue. "Fundamentally, it's so unfair," he said. "Today, low-income children of color have a huge disadvantage in their public school achievement compared to their wealthier peers. If we could close that achievement gap it would be an incredible lift for our nation."
Goal: closing the achievement gap
Bristol native Angus Davis, one of the country's hottest tech entrepreneurs, is also a passionate advocate for school reform
· Tech entrepreneur Angus Davis says the public schools in Rhode Island are broken, but they can be fixed if educators demand strong, innovative leadership and stop trying to protect the status quo.