The New Commission on Skills of the American Workforce — on which NAM President John Engler serves — has released its much-anticipated report on the state of education, skills training and American competitiveness. The report is but full of keen diagnoses of the systemic ills afflicting U.S. education. It also provides many proposed cures to restore American education to health, ensuring its ability to compete in a global marketplace that rewards high-quality training. (You can access the report’s executive summary in pdf. format here [2 MB]) And, without a doubt, addressing this country’s educational shortcomings will require tough choices.
Of the news accounts we’ve read, Stateline.org had the sharpest summary of the most notable recommendation:
Some students would go to community college after 10th grade, local schools would be run by private contractors, and teachers’ salaries would shoot up as high as $110,000 but their pensions would be slashed under a new set of recommendations likely to shake up the U.S. education system.
A report released Thursday (Dec. 14) by the bipartisan Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce calls for a dramatic overhaul of the K-12 education system in the face of fierce global competition, and the most radical of the proposals are sure to draw fire.
“It’s controversial,” said commission member and former Michigan Gov. John Engler at a news conference. “Some of the recommendations are going to get a pushback.”
The 26-member commission, which includes two former U.S. education secretaries, two former governors, chancellors of major school systems, and experts from the nonprofit and business worlds, was set up last year by the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE), a nonprofit group that pushes for higher education standards to improve the economy.
We were especially intrigued by the suggestion that high school students be allowed to graduate after 10th grade if they were pursuing a technical course of training and employment. NAM’s Engler often observes that community colleges tend to reach forward institutionally, trying to become more like four-year universities. He contends they should look toward the high schools, where a vast number of students could benefit from opportunities other than the traditional academic, university path.
We’ll revisit some of the report’s conclusions over the next few weeks. For now, here are links to the generally excellent coverage of the commission’s work. The media seem to understand the high stakes, not just for the U.S. economy, but also for its citizenry.
Latest posts by NAM (see all)
- Manufacturers Win Several Website Design Awards - June 15, 2011
- China Makes Commitments on Trade, Intellectual Property - December 16, 2010
- ITC Details Widespread Theft of Intellectual Property in China - December 14, 2010