The Risk of Overselling Workforce Readiness

Dr. Gary Houchens, a member of the Kentucky State Board of Education and associate professor of educational administration, leadership, and research at Western Kentucky University, in a recent article, talks about the swing from overselling college readiness in K-12 education to what we see today – the overselling of workforce readiness.

I wanted to share first three concerns about this trend, but I encourage you to read his whole article.

1) Students’ K-12 experiences should give them flexibility to learn about a variety of career pathways based on their own self-perceived aptitudes and interests, but we should avoid pushing students toward specific careers goals that would deny them the opportunity for a broad, rich, multi-disciplinary education. Unlike many other countries that track students into vocational or pre-college programs based on test scores or the judgment of educators, in the United States we have prioritized giving students choices in their education and career pathways. Most people now pass through several careers in their lifetime. Furthermore, adolescents can’t accurately predict what their future goals are going to be. Therefore we should avoid pressing students into specific learning paths that might deny them access to the broadest and deepest curriculum possible. Yes, that should include technical training for students who want that option, but it should always be the student’s choice and should not come at the cost of overly narrowing the student’s learning experiences.

2) Such a rich, multi-disciplinary (yes – liberal arts) education is the best preparation for life, which certainly should include academic preparation for post-secondary education and careers. Unintentionally hollowing out the high school curriculum with an overemphasis on career preparation may actually undermine students’ long-term career preparation.

3) The purpose of education isn’t merely to prepare students for careers. It is also to make them knowledgeable citizens well-equipped to participate in our democratic, republican form of government, and above all to train them for a life of virtue. On over-emphasis on any one of these purposes of education places the other purposes at risk.

8 thoughts on “The Risk of Overselling Workforce Readiness

  1. This guy probably won’t be around very long. He is singing out song and that is not permitted among education leaders today. You either speak the progressive language or you are gone. Basically this guy is supporting the tenant of education that once made this country great. He is speaking out against the Communist education system they are forcing on our education leaders today. School to work is not education. It is training for a job selected for each student by the system. It is Communist education. It is education leaders like this guy we should have running the US Dept. of Education. Since it looks like our leaders will never shut down the department at least we could get some folks that understand what education should be in decision making roles. Instead we got Betsy DeVos. I watched a video yesterday that I believe EVERYONE including our elected should see. It is from 1983 and shows how far we have drifted away from our Constitutional foundations. The very things they say we shouldn’t do in this 1983 discussion are exactly what they did do. Governor Lamar Alexander is front and center.

    1. I already figured that DC wouldn’t shut it down. Luckily, our Founders figured there would come a time when DC would be the problem and we’d need to amend the Constitution without going through Congress so they put in the state convention process.

      I know the states are at fault too for Common Core, but I don’t see any other way, other than a second Civil War, and, considering how high the death toll was last time, it would be probably be 10 million or more deaths this time around.

      The best Article V movement I see going is the Convention of States one which is pushing to get fiscal restraints for DC, limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and for imposing term limits on federal officials. It already has 12 states that have fully applied and we’re working on North Carolina right now with SJR 36. It’s already gotten through the Senate but we’re running into some trouble in the House (we ended up falling short a couple of votes in the House 2nd reading and so may have to go back through a House committee and back to the floor again for the third reading, but I think, with God’s help, we can do it.)

      1. Conservatives are being duped by the left with the Article V Convention. People like Soros and others are behind the scenes pulling the strings. No citizen will be in control once the wheels start turning and they will totally replace our Constitution. So many are being led to slaughter by the left. Even if it were legit (which it is not) what makes anyone think they will follow anything that comes out of it. They don’t follow the Constitution now. The problem is the American voter that keeps putting the same criminals back in office year after year. Term Limits will only allow Americans to become less engaged than they are now. The only thing that needs to change is the American voter.

        1. If Soros is for Article V, why are so many of his groups against it now? I can see that he was for repealing Citizens United via Article V, but now he’s even attacking that one. I believe his Article V attempts to repeal Citizens United were a ploy to get people to falsely associate groups like the Convention of States Project with him, a ploy that, sadly, has had success.

    2. Though the only things I can say for sure are:

      1.) Engler (a Big Common Core guy) praised DeVos
      2.) DeVos and Engler are both from Michigan
      3.) DeVos fought the repeal of Common Core in Michigan
      4.) Engler and DeVos are both for “school choice”
      5.) DeVos has some ties to Jeb Bush “education” groups

      Thus, I believe DeVos to be a rat. I don’t think she’s a Democrat rat (hence why the labor unions, etc, hate her) but a RINO Corporatist rat.

      1. You are correct she is a rat. Her association with Jeb Bush runs deep and wide. She was on the Board of FEE and she worked closely with Bush to implement programs in FL. Personally, I believe she is window dressing for Jeb Bush who I believe is running the show.

        1. I think the US Chamber and UNESCO are, but have found at least 13 federal departments involved. too. I believe they want a dumbed down brainwashed population that can only do the jobs the government adn compnies say they can and they’re trying to destroy jobs with the EPA, H1Bs, and illegals to get as many people desperate for jobs so they can turn the clock back on workplace freedom and also so more people will be dependent on the government.

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