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The Misalignment of Schools and Society
  • William Berkson,
  • William Schillig
William Berkson
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William Schillig
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Abstract

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.