There are countless statistics showing that Alabama's schools inadequately prepare the state's 740,000 public school students for the future. Our students are less likely to read on grade level or graduate on time. Nationwide comparisons of student learning show that Alabama schools trail most of the country. Our schools do not effectively teach all children, leading to achievement gaps between different groups of students. And even the best performing groups of students in Alabama compare unfavorably with their peers from other states. To the further disadvantage of our neediest children, the best-prepared and most-experienced teachers are distributed unevenly throughout the state. Public school advocates must accept that there are no easy solutions or quick fixes for a complex education system serving an ever-changing student population. Character development must be an essential component of our educational objectives. Money is part of a solution not a panacea. The good news is two-fold: Alabama's children are beginning to post significant learning gains, and there are known methods to improve student learning and ultimately help every child succeed in life.