Reverend Jesse Jackson's introductory letter in the first PUSH/Excel document captured the tone precisely. Rev Jackson saw a moral vacuum in society and in the home, not only for blacks but for whites as well. His solution was to move away from material temptations and instead move toward self-discipline. Commitment, discipline, and the assertion of moral authority were the dominant themes. The PUSH/Excel program was much more than a casual idea conceived by Jackson in an instant. Salvation lay in personal commitment, commitment by the student, the parent, the teacher, and the community. The visible symbol of such commitment was the pledge—a public pledge by each person to strive for excellence. The ideal program would have strong leadership and community support, commitment from school personnel, parent participation, church involvement, teachers with high expectations, access to the media, and money.