I Got the Message: An Educational Manifesto

Over the past couple of weeks we have posted and received a wide variety of responses to our post about “When Are You Going to Get the Message.” Some have contended that the educational system was never designed to prepare students to function in the workplace. In response this post will propose a manifesto for improvement of the educational system in this country. We are not going to propose some quick fix but rather some common sense suggestions.

So I have heard the reports that managers can not find talent with the right skills to increase their hiring so here is what we need to do, starting tomorrow not at some indeterminate time in the future.

Manifesto #1: The educational system needs to halt the emphasis on the only way for schools to remain competitive is to raise the level of research. The Parsons Plan showed the fact that if teachers/professors are there to teach they will have an equal affect on the student population. Need more proof – Google the Parsons Plan and find out how really effective a different educational model can be.

Manifesto #2: Remove the politics from the situation. The reliance on the old boy club by he various accreditation boards are not directed toward improvement of the skills o the future workforce but rather to maintain the status quo. Make the standing of educational institutions base don how ell they are preparing the workforce.

Manifesto #3: Change the curriculum to lower the reliance on test results but rather focus on guiding students on how to effectively use their cognitive skills. We will never remain the land of innovation when we allow our future workers to believe that everything should be just handed to them.

Manifesto #4: If we want to have a workforce with an increased level of skills we need to expose them to a greater view of the skills they need, increase their exposure through apprenticeship type activities. We believe this should be for all areas not just building trades or the like.

Manifesto # 5: A number of corporations have learned that amazing things happen when we let the minds run free. Allow our students to do the same thing with the classroom. There is not a single educator who can predict who is going to be the next Steve Jobs. Give them the chance to show what they can do within the frame work of the subject fields. When I taught science and gave them the opportunity to work on science projects with minimum guidelines we received some lofty responses, some of those went on to win regional firs. We are not talking bout the Volcano types, we are talking about sincere high level science inquiries.

It is as a collaborative we can improve the educational efforts which will prepare our students for the future.But only when we strive to meet skill needs not test needs.

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