Actual Heroes: Tiffany Anderson vs. child poverty

Every now and then, I like to highlight humans who have created real, positive change. Tiffany Anderson is one of those humans.

Anderson, Tiffany

Hero: Tiffany Anderson, Jennings School District Superintendant

Problem: Poor school performance in a low-income community

Solution: Fight poverty

Ms. Anderson raised her district’s state accreditation score from 57% to 81% in just three years by attacking the conditions holding poor students back from good school performance. NPR reports:

The school district of 3,000 students has taken unprecedented steps, like opening a food pantry to give away food, a shelter for homeless students and a health clinic.

Food, shelter, medical care. Simple. There are those, of course, who will argue that such projects are overreach for a school district to provide. But here’s the simple truth. Our kids can’t grow without these basics. An unbelievable proportion of American children lack them. But they do deserve them, and we as a community have a responsibility to provide them.

The more I learn about and experience in the fight against poverty and for high-quality education, the more I feel sure there are no shortcuts. We cannot cut corners and expect good results. But the beautiful flip side is that when you dedicate the time and resources, the results are transformative.

The Jennings School District boasts a 100% college and career-placement rate. That means every student leaves prepared to move on to higher education or a job. That is AMAZING! What a wonderful gift to the next generation, which will benefit from the earlier success of their parents and, I dare predict, require less aid than their parents did.

Good on Tiffany Anderson for making the tough choices necessary for long-term success. You are a true leader and an Actual Hero.