According to the media, the great recession is over. But for real people, it can be hard to feel it. For many Americans, paychecks don’t go as far as they used to, and a lot of people can’t remember their last raise.

The truth is our economy is changing in fundamental ways. To get ahead, people need to learn new skills and be willing to adapt to a landscape that’s being disrupted by technology at an accelerating pace. And most importantly, our kids need the strong foundation of a good education that prepares them to compete in a global job market. That means all kids, too. Not just the ones lucky enough to be born into families with money.

Despite the challenges of our transforming economy, I still believe with the right investments and the right policies, our brightest days are on the horizon. Education is key to making sure every family in America has a fair shot at the American dream.

Through the public charter schools I’ve started and my service on the State Board of Education, I’ve seen the transformative power an education has to lift people out of their station in life. And it’s only strengthened my resolve to fight on behalf of all learners. Because among those new immigrants or underserved youth could be a doctor who cures cancer or a scientist who revolutionizes the way we use technology.