Thursday, July 07, 2011

The Change Needed in Education

At one time, graduation from high school enabled a person to get a good job that had advancement potential. For example, when I started working in eighties, I met engineers who did not have a degree from college.  They started working out of high school and learned their profession while working.
Nowadays, graduating from high school provides no guarantees of a good job.  In fact, graduating from college no longer provides guarantees of a good job either which is a significant problem.  To me, the solution is to make sure 90% of those graduating from high school should be able to get a good job.  Going to college should be an option, not a requirement, to get a good job.
What needs to change?   K-12 education should be focused on getting students to enter the workforce after graduating.  Here are some of my ideas:
  • Complete foundation skills earlier.   Foundation math, reading and writing skills should be accelerated to completion by eighth grade.  This will enable high school to focus on teaching skills needed for employment.
  • Teach employable skills.   High school curricula should include developing critical thinking skills, decision making skills and data analysis skills.    To me, many college graduates haven't developed these skills.  Also, high school curricula should include teach employable craft skills.
  • Work as part of the education. Students can learn to work early in a good job and get paid for doing it.  This would help develop a good work ethic and show how skills learned in school are useful.
I think the k-12 education system needs to focus on a new end product, a person capable of working and making a positive contribution to society.   By teaching towards this desired outcome, I believe education can make changes for the better.
For more on Crossing Generations, check back every Thursday for a new segment.

This is not financial or education advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

 Copyright © 2011 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

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