Couldn't agree more. I am a poster child for this - by accident. I
currently work doing statistical analysis of oil field production, working side
by side with geo scientist. I didn't study statistics, nor the sciences
in my college education.... I just self taught myself what I needed to know.
And I have had to do this several times over in the last 30 years.Education needs to be a life long event... that isn't a destination, but
a continuous process. Fortunately, continuous learning has lots of options now
days, and you don't need to go sit in a classroom to make it happen.
As a classroom teacher for over 20 years I agree with what the article.
However, innovation in education must absolutely be grounded in liberty
principles. Instead of more liberty, parents and federal laws are first and
foremost seeking more control, dictating the number of hours students spend in
school, less involvement by parents, and more authority by a federal government
that doesn't have a clue (Look at the recent Common Core Curriculum) as to
what to do. If you want innovation, you better return schools to the real
source of its power, local control, something the federal government in a
million years is not going to do. After all, they speak for millions of parents
that have forgotten their role in the future of their children. Those who forget
just want someone to contain their children, not educate them.
“Let's educate a new generation of entrepreneurs that can create jobs
yet to be invented.” Only thing is, how we educate for conditions that we
don’t know about. UtahBlueDevil seems to understand. He can
attribute his success to his education which taught him “how to
learn” rather than pumping his mind with obsolete knowledge. Bandersen is wrong. The principles of liberty are not found in locally
controlled schools. Locally controlled schools are usually just extensions of
the goals and desires of local interests. Those interests include the
indoctrination of attitudes and morals of business and religion which are often
fixed and unchangeable.
Technology is disruptive, but those machines that displace jobs don't
design themselves (it takes and industrial engineer), install or maintain
themselves (industrial technologist), program themselves (software engineer),
sell and distribute the extra products the machines produce (internet designers,
managers, marketers, truckers, warehouse staff, etc).The real
problem is that many have educations that do not create value for others.
UtahBlueDevil's point that updating your education constantly with relevant
21st century skills is mandatory is right on the mark. If your job is displaced
and all you have is a degree in some soft science (political science,
international relations, social studies, family and child development, etc.),
your odds of filling a real market need and getting a job that pays well will be
low.Our elementary/secondary schools and our colleges and university
are not operated to give the majority of students a relevant education in key
21st century skills like math, science, statistics, design and engineering.
Entrepreneurism is necessary, but most successful 21st century entrepreneurs
will have these 21st century skills. And our schools only prepare about 10-20%
of students with this key foundational knowledge.
In Utah, our education woes are particularly bad. We have massive grade
inflation, low expectations for student performance and parental oversight, and
class sizes that are way too large. We hire too many young teachers and use a
revolving door policy to replace them constantly, all in an effort to keep wage
costs low.The nasty secret is that Utah schools are average at best
and even UNDER-PERFORM the national average in key subjects when scores are
adjusted for demographics. You can't have 20 something teachers straight
out of college teaching core subjects and expect them to be able to teach and
motivate students (and parents!) to perform at a high level.Until
Utah gets serious about education, we will continue to fail to prepare younger
generations for success in the global marketplace.And we will end up with more
"entrepreneurs" starting up multi-level marketing firms instead of
creating real value and real jobs.
Ultra Bob: Actually, I am right. Any person who thinks that the federal
government has the answer to any of our challenges, perhaps least of all
education, is sorely misinformed, to put it mildly. Look at the achievement
scores the last 50 years, where the government has sold the public on their
'expertise' to educate their children, to validate my point. The
federal government has failed in its purpose and mission. The dept. of
Education is not about education, it is about control. They have failed (dare
you to show me any statistics that indicate otherwise) in so many ways it would
be futile to summon the facts to someone that doesn't want them. My
children have excelled in the public schools, according to their expectations,
because they have been expected to do so, plus go further. That has only
happened because they have been required to be responsible , unlike those who
want the federal government to do everything for them, including
'school' them. A sad state of affairs indeed, particularly for those
who continue to support the great 'oz', our federal government.
What Florez should have titled this article is: "Jobs and Irrelevant
Education Becoming Unlinked"Then he could have gone on to talk
about 1) The failure for more than half of college students to get a 21st
century relevant education in spite of spending more in real dollars on
education almost every year. 2) The failure for individuals to keep their
education up-to-date, and upgrade skills as market needs change. Yes it is
difficult, but the dividends paid are large. 3) Related to #2, two to three
generations of workers who have learned how to avoid hard work, largely a result
of growing up in homes when careers were easy to manage and the job market
robust (e,g, 1993-2000). Many want to engage in recreation, sports, TV,
web-surfing, etc., and get frustrated that their "job" gets in the way.
It wasn't always this way, and still isn't in many parts of the
world.We need to get back to the fundamentals of getting real,
relevant educations (not just a piece of paper), and learn how to work hard
BandersenI see the failure of the public schools in the take over of
state governments by unscrupulous business interests. Fifty years ago I moved
my family to Utah, the good schools were part of the reason. Since then, the
state legislature has worked against public education. I don’t know of
the bad changes forced by the national government. As bad as it is,
the American government has not failed it mission. In a mere 200 years it has
given the world the best example of a civilized society ever. Control is what government does. It is why government is created. It
protects us by controlling the things that harm us. Our freedom is dependant on
their ability to do their job. People who would limit and prevent
the federal government from its job cannot be regarded as true Americans. As a
classroom teacher, I salute you. As a detractor of America, I am afraid of you.
I regard the true Americans as those who stand up for the Constitution and our
god given rights, of which the federal governments only role is to protect. It
goes without saying that the federal government has made a mockery of true
education and awkwardly stumbles around its massive budget to further confuse
and distort the concept of 'Education'. You got it right about what
America (because of the protection of individual god given rights) has done the
past 200 years to make this country great. However, Socialism did not make
America great; Free enterprise and God-given rights, protected under the
Constitution, made America great. Socialism's failure is readily apparent
in Europe. If you are LDS, then all you need to read are the words of some of
your prophets regarding the evils of socialism. It's really simple. You
either believe in working from the outside in through compulsion (Communism or
socialism), or from the inside out through free choice (Gospel of Jesus Christ).
No other country in the world has guaranteed a better opportunity for that
possibility. America and liberty will rise again, but it won't be through
the Department of Education.
The woes in Utah Education have very little to do with any "federal"
growth of education. These woes have come about because of one-party domination
of state politics with an agenda to starve public education to death in favor of
vouchers, charters and privatization. I guess one has to examine if these are
worthy endeavors and generally the past generation of students have been
sacrificed for these aims. Once the public education is beast is starved to
death by the Right, then I suppose they can rebuild the model in what form is
desired. Of course, the students of say the last 20-25 years, and especially,
the last ten or so years and in the immediate future until the task is fully
complete, will be the collateral damage of this aim...
What American schools have historically provided is a better general education,
avoiding a narrow focus on job training only. This is what makes us the leaders
of innovation in technology. The technology of the future is unknown, but the
subjects disparaged by carman, political science, international relations,
social studies, family and child development, actually prepare us for
flexibility and innovation to meet the needs of our changing society.People are our most important product.This is why I oppose the
narrow focus of the "Prosperity 2020" project, spearheaded by commercial
interests. Education has broader purposes. Yes, keep the tech schools, but
don't fail to prepare our future planners, leaders, communicators, and
innovators. Even the most hard-core scientists benefit from the creativity and
mental stimulation than come from the fine arts. We are a society seeking a
full, well-rounded life, not just production lines.Ultra Bob is
right, many jobs of the future don't even exist yet.