R U Career Ready?

Peering down into the skillz gulch

Once upon a time our public schools prepared kids on both sides of the excellence divide for a mythical place called “the future.” Students from non-excellent-ville went on to labor in factories, while their more excellent peers went on to college and then became bosses. But then the factories closed or moved overseas and, save for a handful of hedge-fund managers, the wages of just about everyone became less excellent. Which raises a fiercely urgent question: how should our failed and failing public schools prepare students for the non-existent jobs of the 21st century? Continue reading →

Building Tomorrow’s Walmart Workers—Today

Our nation’s fate hangs in the balance—and once again the blame can be laid squarely at the feet of our union-stifled public schools. Reader: I give you the skills gap. Perhaps the most fiercely urgent chasm we’ve encountered to date, the skills gap refers to the vast unfilled space between current and future job openings and the skills of the people looking for jobs.

Or that’s what we’re supposed to think it means. The real skills gap is between what workers have—a fierce desire not to live in their cars—and what their employers wantto pay them as little as possible. Which brings us to today’s fiercely urgent question: if the skills gap demands that we dismantle our public schools pronto, what kind of schools are best suited to producing the cheap, compliant workers that tomorrow’s employers so urgently need today? The answer: excellent schools. Continue reading →