the Skills Crisis And Workforce
Challenges of the New World Economy
5, Number 1, June 2012
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Development and Education News
Careers Conference, University
of Wisconsin-Madison Center on
Education and Work, January
The Concourse Hotel, Madison.
DEVELOPMENT and EDUCATION NEWS
models, which lock us into one way of thinking or looking at educational
reform through the lens of only one model to the exclusion of
all others, are no longer viable. Events are moving too fast.
The future is too unpredictable. We have to expand our thinking,
consider all possibilities, and take the best from all models
is a major conclusion of the the Education
and Human Capital Requirements Roundtable, convened by
the McGraw-Hill Research Foundation and the US Council Foundation,
released in a white paper in May 2012. They further conclude we
need to have a "deeply cogent, synthetic, openminded, and
continuous conversation--accompanied by policymaker input, expert
opinion, and popular awareness-building--about how we can all
act together to transform our educational systems to respond effectively
to global 21st Century needs and aspirations".
Approaches to Lifelong Learning for the 21st. Century is
available for free download.
the employability issues Farell raises in the article are: Graduating
students seem to have little idea what kinds of jobs are expanding
and where the career opportunities lie; Employers are struggling to
grasp the qualification of applicants; and Training standards and
education benchmarks vary greatly throughout the country.
technological job search tools are not filling the need so it has
been suggested that we need a national database
showing which jobs are in demand, locally and nationally, married
to national standards for certifying
the skills of college graduates as potential employees.
these ideas are not new--in fact they have been around for decades
(remember the National Skill Standards initiative, and other similar
standardization efforts?). What DOES seem to be new in this recommendation
is the suggested marriage between
the supply side and the demand side of the employment equation.
meantime, it seems that our technological advances have flooded employers
with tens of thousands of online applications none of which address
the employer's main question--What type
of worker will the applicant be? That's
why, at least for the foreseeable future, personal recommendations
and word of mouth are still among the best tools for getting a job.
has adopted legislation that will allow WIA training funds to be used
for prior learning assessments (PLA). This is a recognition of PLA
as a key workforce development strategy, and the legislation forces
law-makers to develop policies that will help residents translate
on-the-job experience into college credit. This is espeically good
news for returning veterans. Similar PLA discussions are underway
2020, one in four children enrolled in the K-12 public school system
will be Latino. Raising the achievement level of these children is
described as a "Demographic Imperative"
Week (June 2012). Educational
outcomes for Latino students lag far behind those of most other ethnic
and racial groups and addressing this issue is a key factor in the
future economy. For example:
17.6% of Hispanic 16-24 year-olds dropped out of high school in
25-64 year-olds, 64% have finished high school, and in the class
of 2009, that number is 63%
25-64 year-olds, roughly 37% have completed some college course
work or an associate degree
according to NAEP results and participation rates in AP exams, Latinos
have made more progress toward closing the achievement gap with
their white peers than African-American students have.
or no participation in pre-kindergarten programs, poor English-speaking
skills in the first school grades, and low expectations for high
academic performance among older children have been cited as key
issues in this important issue.
Among Recent Law Graduates Is as Bad as It's Ever Been".
This headline to a June 2012 article in The
Chronicle of Higher Education is perhaps an indicator of the
depth of the problems in the US economy. Katherine Mangan reports
on data released by the National Association for Law Placement:
of 2011 law graduates whose employment status is known had jobs
9 months after leaving law school. However, hidden within this
data are those graduates who are working part-time or in jobs
that do not require a law degree.
65.4% of employed graduates were working in positions that required
them to pass a bar examination. This proportion is more than 9
percentage points below what it was in 2008.
Losing Our Minds" (Palgrave
Macmillan) by Richard H. Hersh and Richard P. Keeling focuses on the
quality of learning and education--or lack thereof--in many colleges
and universities. In February 2012, Hersh and Keeling participated
in a Q&A session that was reported in Inside
Higher Ed. Among their provocative observations--
no question that high costs are a problem. But low value is a bigger
we can only improve value by increasing the quality and quantity
of learning in college."
their minds--respond to high expectations."
retention, and completion rates are not--or, at least, should not
be-considered ends in themselves."
culture of higher education does not elevate teaching and its intended
purpose, learning, to high priority."
must both lead and be at the center of [cultural] change."
the current discussion about a three-year bachelor's degree, the authors
are not persuaded.
also say that "true higher learning--that is developmental and
transformative--happens inside and outside the classroom, takes time,
cannot be rushed, and would probably be undermined by a compacted
three-year college experience.. . . More is not necessarily
better; better is more."
a June 2012, paper in The
Chronicle of Higher Education, Anthony
Carnevale, director, Georgetown University Center
on Education and the Workforce warns:
long as we are distracted by the blue-collar jobs receding in our
rear-view mirror and by short-term budget spats right before us,
we are likely to miss the fact that the road we're on leads straight
off a cliff.
Real Education Crisis is Just Over That Cliff ,
Carnevale points out that "this country is disinvesting
in higher education at an alarming rate--as it has been doing for
decades--and we are hurtling into the future unprepared for the
economy that awaits us."
comments are supported by data that show that by 2025, we will need
20 million more 2- and 4-year-college graduates, and that if we
fail to meet this goal, "we will lose some half a trillion
dollars every year in the form of new businesses that never open
and technological advances that other countries will make instead
- A bipartisan
group of four US Senators: Warner, Coon, Moran, and Arubio recently
sponsored Startup Act 2.0
as a follow-up to the Jobs Act of last year.Watch
legislation is in response to existing and arbitrary caps that it
is claimed are forcing almost 20,000 American-educated degree holders
to leave the U.S. every year, and in turn, join or set up competitor
businesses in competitor countries.
of the Startup Act 2.0
legislation include entrepreneurs and business owners across the
country who maintain that we currently train the world’s most
talented immigrants to innovate and start businesses at our great
universities, then send them off to start companies in China, India,
and South Korea.
Act creates a new STEM visa so that U.S.-educated students who graduate
with a masters or PhD in science, technology, engineering or math
can receive a green card to stay in country. Second, the Act creates
an entrepreneur’s visa for legal immigrants to stay in the
United States so long as they start a business that employs American
workers. And third, the Act eliminates the per-country cap for employment-based
immigrant visas which currently prevents American CEOs from having
the flexibility to recruit the most talented workers.
legislation is now under review by the US House.
February 2012, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) approved
a comprehensive waiver application to the federal No Child Left Behind
Act (NCLB) that proposes using multiple measures to evaluate the nearly
4,000 public schools in Illinois. The overarching goal of the waiver
is to cut in half achievement gaps and the percent of students not
making progress by 2018. As part of the plan, beginning in 2013, grade
11 students will take a third WorkKeys assessment that can help students
earn a Career Readiness Certificate confirming employability skills.
from Illinois comes news that the State Board of Education is seeking
information about the use of the CRC with Special Education students.
If you have experience or relevant information, please contact
the NOCC office.
numbers have been updated on the Consortium
web site but much of the data comes from the ACT database that
shows only the number of NCRCs issued in a state. Where we can, we
use the actual state numbers as shown on a state web site but not
every state offers this resource. Please check the numbers for your
state, and the contact information for your state contact person,
and forward any updates to the NOCC
is the current Top 10 list
of states and the number of certificates issued so far:
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NOCC, June 2012