the Skills Crisis And Workforce
Challenges of the New World Economy
2, Number 1
submit articles and news items to Barbara
Bolin for inclusion in future newsletters and on the CRCC web
from the CRC Consortium
Southeastern WorkKeys conference
is scheduled for January 23-25 in Chattanooga, TN. The event
will be held at the Marriott at the Convention Center. See you there!
next Midwest WorkKeys™ conference will be hosted by the Oklahoma
Department of Commerce in partnership with the Oklahoma Chamber of
Commerce. The only details available so far are that the conference
will be at the end of October 2008 in Oklahoma
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT NEWS
December 11 issue of Education Week included "Policy
Focus Turning to Principal Quality" by Lynn Olson. This provocative
article highlights a renewal of interest in a voluntary national certification
for school principals. This has occurred because of concerns that
Congress will define a "highly qualified principal" as part
of the renewal of the No Child Left Behind legislation. Previously,
Congress defined a "highly qualified teacher" as part of
NCLB. Research has yet to specify the precise mix of leadership knowledge,
skills, and behaviors that are apparently linked to student-achievement
gains. The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)
has published guidelines for evaluating effective principals that
describe the qualities of outstanding principals. They also advocate
for the use of both quantitative and qualitative data--not just test
scores-- to evaluate the effectiveness of principals.
there is concern about the possibility of the federal government
getting involved in telling school systems how to make better principals,
the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) is supporting
the concept of more voluntary efforts, such as national board certification
for principals. In the past, funding this initiative has been a
barrier to implementation but the AASA is more confident now that
funding can be found. The federal government is paying for some
experimentation with performance-based pay for principals through
the nearly $100 million Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF). Although pay
incentives alone will not improve principal quality, TIF grants
have already jump-started the certification initiative, and it is
hoped that additional funding can be found through foundations and
November, the American Institutes for Research (AIR) published a study
that reported on the comparitive performance of 8th. graders in individual
American states with students in top-performing foreign nations, such
as Japan and South Korea, and lower-scoring nations like Bulgaria
and Jordan. While the mathematics and science news was not all gloomy,
it did indicate that students who have scored well on recent US exams
(in Massachusetts, Minnesota, and North Dakota, for example) do not
match students in top-performing foreign countries. This comes at
a time when employers are increasingly concerned about students' ability
to compete in the global economy. Gary Phillips, a Chief Scientist
at the AIR describes the challenges facing the US and the world in
science, health, and other areas as "daunting". He continues,
"The solution to them requires that we have a literate citizen-public."
He suggests that policymakers need to focus on improving the math
and science skills of students, particularly in the early grades.
This will encourage more students to pursue math- and science-related
in November, the New York Times ran an article, English, Algebra,
Phys Ed . . .and Biotech by G. Pascal Zachary that highlights
the work of a former researcher who now teaches at a high school in
San Francisco. Formerly with Genetech, George Cachianes started a
biotechnology course at Lincoln High as a way of marrying basic biotechnology
principles with modern lab practices and insights into how business
harvests biotech innovations for profit. As a scientist, Mr. Cachianes
realized what we have have known for centuries but have increasingly
ignored in our classrooms--students learn best by doing, experimenting,
and relating classroom learning to the real world. He divides his
classes into teams of 5 students, and each team "adopts"
an actual biotech company. The students write annual reports, correspond
with company officials and learn about products in development. They
also learn the latest lab techniques--such as cutting DNA, recombining
it, purifying proteins, and sequencing their own cheek DNA. This approach
is gaining attention as a way of cultivating home-grown scientists,
engineers, and lab technicians.
National Science Foundation reports that secondary science and mathematics
education is on the rise, with more students in higher level classes.
Enrollment in advanced biology and physics courses doubled from 1997
to 2004, nearly doubled for advanced math, and rose 50% for advanced
UTeach program at the University of Texas, a collaboration between
the College of Natural Sciences and the College of Education, has
gained national recognition in recent years as a model for revamping
the preparation of math and science teachers. Predicated on a combination
of an academically challenging course schedule resulting in a firm
grounding in content, and early and frequent experiences in the classroom,
the UTeach program currently has 480 students. The students are math
and science majors who are offered financial support to stick with
the program. One of the interesting aspects of the program is the
involvement of university professors in pedagogical studies and discussions.
I wonder if a study has been conducted to see if this involvement
has improved the teaching skills of the professors.
the competition for skilled labor becomes more pronounced, 58% of
workers polled recently say they are more likely to negotiate a better
compensation package today than they w ere 12 months ago. This percentage
is double what it was last year.
November issue of The Career News contains two items that
refer to the advantages of reading business and trade literature.
George Blomgren in Reading Is Fundamental to Successful Interviews
points out that when you are talking to an interviewer who is well-read,
"your ability to refer to contemporary business literature (periodicals
or books) can create a very positive impression." He suggests
that trying to anticipate relevant ways of working books and their
ideas into questions and answers may be helpful to an interviewee.
in Business and Trade Magazines Increase Marketability, a
staff writer recommends reading business and trade magazines as
a way of staying "sharp, well-informed, articulate, and in-demand."
Keeping up with the news and trends of your profession can give
you a competitive edge, and The Career News is offering
subscriptions FREE. See the FREE
ONLINE RESOURCES section for more details.
FROM THE CRC CONSORTIUM
is exciting news from Arkansas! Full statewide deployment of the CRC
will come to fruition early in 2008. So Arkansas will move into the
left column of the CRC matrix. More news and details soon.
- I am
pleased to report renewed interest in deployment of the CRC in Utah.
send me your news and updated CRC numbers for inclusion on the web
site and in my presentations.
case you haven't visited the CRCC web site recently (www.crcconsortium.org),
here is what the Consortium currently looks like.
Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) Research Center has announced
a free on-line resource that allows the public, policy-makers, educators
and others to compare graduation rates across the country. This mapping
tool provides comparable, reliable data on graduation rates for every
school district in the country. Special reports may be downloaded,
with details on where students drop out of the educational pipeline.
Check out this useful tool at http://www.edweek.org/apps/maps/
is offering free online subscriptions to trade magazines. Go to http://www.thecareernews.com/TradePub
and sign up!
Cradle to Career: Connecting
American Education from Birth to Adulthood, available from Education
Week. More information at http://www.edweek.org
Principal Compensation, a
report from the Center for American Progress.
for Evaluating Effective Principals, from
the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
could learn a lot from a box of crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty
and some are dull, some have weird names, and all are different colors--but
they all have to live in the same box!
Wishes for 2008
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NOCC, January 2008