A foundation does its work in a place. Mr. Hardin was a Mississippian and all of us at the Foundation are residents and citizens of the state. Mississippi therefore is the place that shapes and informs the purposes and work of the foundation.
As Eudora Welty observed, Mississippians are “touched off” by place, by our sense of connection and obligation to the geography, history, and community members of the places where we live our lives.
But what kind of place do we want Mississippi to be and for whom? What kinds and quality of teaching and learning do we want and need in our places? What works for whom? What doesn’t work for whom? How good are we? Are we good enough? How do we know? How does education in Mississippi affect our communities—and how do our communities shape and determine access to and excellence in teaching and learning? And, finally, what are the implications for education and our communities of our increasing linkage to a global society and economy that increasingly have an impact on our daily lives and the security of our future?