The misalignment between schools and adult society is a grave problem,
demanding transformational change. Nationally, 15% of high school
students drop out, while 60% of Community College and 40% of 4-year
college students don’t finish within six years. As retired educators, we
have been life-long witnesses of the dysfunction, and its victims.
To help all students, schools need to provide more diverse, specialized
training for the demands of hugely different adult careers. We propose a
Career-Education Alignment Commission (CEAC, ‘seek’) to ascertain
the changes needed to serve well those who are now poorly served.
Students will need to explore their interests through project-based
learning, from 2nd grade on, to discover by age 15 a career path they
can have a passion for. And students will need daily coaching, before
they fall behind, for mastery of the academic skills needed for the
diverse specialties. And the school day needs to be expanded to include
both activities. The CEAC commission would identify needed changes, and
the funding and training to make them a success.