Add Value In Workplace
According to Craig R. Barrett, Former CEO and Chairman, Intel Corporation to compete in the twenty-first century, individuals and countries will have to add value in the workplace to command a high standard of living and be competitive in the global marketplace.
Education Is Key
Education is the key to adding value. The United States recognizes that its K-12 education is not doing the job. You need good teachers with content expertise, high expectations, and feedback systems to help struggling students and teachers. These three requirements are difficult to implement in a massive public education system designed more for working adults than for learning students.
Top Universities Recruited
We need to follow the lead of other countries and recruit teachers from the top of universities’ graduating classes. We might start by converting all schools of education to programs like “Uteach in Texas”, a program designed to turn content experts into teachers, letting potential teachers study subject matter they will be teaching rather than the mind numbing theory of how to teach.
Quality Of Teachers
Good tools help make education more interesting and exciting, but ultimately quality of education comes down to quality of the teacher.
Focus On Learning Same Material
The United States needs to open its eyes in regard to expectation levels in our K-12 system. Achieve, a non-profit education reform organization, has been working on a state-driven, internationally bench marked “common core” curriculum to replace today’s myriad state tests. This will be an effort to get all kids in the United States to focus on learning the same material by grade level, by subject matter, in alignment with other successful education systems in the world. Driving these changes at the local level can provide the political will to implement change and get states to lead the way.
K-12 State Monopoly
Catalyzing change in education is especially difficult because of entrenched bureaucracies and the K-12 state monopoly. There is opportunity to use competition to effect change via charter schools. In states like Arizona, Colorado, and Indiana, charter schools are given great leeway in how they operate. Schools should embrace more tension in the system through paying for performance, employing data systems that track how much a child learns from a teacher, measuring teacher quality, giving local administrators the ability to manage staff and finances, and comparing results to the best education systems in the world.
Room For Innovation
There is also room for innovation, such as distance learning, one-on-one computing in the classroom, and software tools. Good tools help make education more interesting and exciting, but ultimately quality of education comes down to quality of the teacher. Without good teachers and high expectations, we will continue to languish behind other OECD countries.
“Words of wisdom from the Prairie Dog”
Prairie Dogs Prepare For Global Market Place