Breaking the Monopoly of Mediocrity Tour Stops in Indianapolis to Rally Thought Leaders in Education, Government, and Business, and Address Local Education Issues
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WASHINGTON, D.C.— The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW) released today guiding principles from a task force of business and chamber leaders for improving the federal financial aid system. The report titled, Redesigning Federal Financial Aid, shows that the system is overly complex and does not adequately emphasize completion or student outcomes.
A newsworthy number came out of McKinsey & Company’s recently released report Education to Employment: Designing a System That Works: according to estimates by the International Labour Organization, 75 million young people are unemployed worldwide. When taking into account the number of young people underemployed, 75 million triples to an even more astounding 225 million.
Usually this time of year, we dedicate this space to our annual plea to Santa Claus with all the things we had hoped to find under our tree. Despite being good boys and girls for several years now, our list is still mostly untouched and unfulfilled. Since Santa is apparently a selfish bloke, we’re taking our wish list to a slightly less miserly entity—Congress.
A sound economy, thriving business sector, and commitment to equal opportunity are three factors that have played a vital role in developing and maintaining the United States’ position as a world leader. We must remain committed to these factors to ensure our continued global success, and to do that, we must cultivate our greatest resource—the people who live and work here.
In the November 2011 State of Young America poll conducted by Young Invincibles and Dēmos, half of Americans aged 18 to 34 surveyed said they expected to be worse off than their parents. Even more disconcerting, more than three-quarters of those surveyed believed that the American middle class was disappearing. The bleak moods behind these findings are unsettling at best—alarming at worst—and are underscored by the latest Center for Labor Market Studies research indicating that teen and young adult employment rates have dropped to a new post-World War II low.
It has been twenty years since the first charter school opened in Minnesota. Over the last two decades, many states across the nation have acknowledged the urgent need to disrupt the public education system in a way that improves student achievement through innovation. On November 6, 2012, voters in Washington and Georgia voted in favor of expanding charter schools in their states.
Economists Robert E. Martin of Centre College and R. Carter Hill of Louisiana State University, sought to quantify the impact of two largely accepted principles that drive costs at universities. The first—called “Baumol’s cost disease”—argues that increased costs are driven by the macro economy, since colleges are service-heavy entities and service industries are more sensitive to wage increases.
We recently survived another campaign season in which we saw rigorous battles for President, Congress, Senate, and state legislative races across the country. Record money was spent, the ads were negative, and tensions between both parties remain at epic levels. The time for rhetoric is over, especially when it comes to establishing important public policy to solve the skills gap and crafting a workforce development strategy that keeps the United States competitive in the global marketplace.
We’re at a critical time in higher education. More of our students must earn higher degrees than ever before. The United States boasts some of the finest institutions in the world and, further, by some measures, stands as an international leader. By other measures, however, there is cause for concern. Currently, only a little more than 50 percent of all students who start a four-year degree program earn their degree within six years. In Texas, it is even less.