Friday, December 5, 2008

After the recession.... then what?

When we come out of the recession,” Mr. Callan added, “we’re really going to be in jeopardy, because the educational gap between our work force and the rest of the world will make it very hard to be competitive. Already, we’re one of the few countries where 25- to 34-year-olds are less educated than older workers.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/03/education/03college.html?_r=1&ref=education

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9 comments:

Anonymous said...

The good news is I'll still be working and my kids will still be going to school. Looking forward to better times.

Anonymous said...

Brooks doesn't have a clue what he's talking about.

Brooks' world is Flatland, where Hammond is status quo (union) and Klein is progressive (merit pay?) I would expand my searches further than Chicago, New York, and Stanford.

Obama's intentions remain clouded in mystery. Good for him. He needs team players that can keep their mouths shut. So he must know something stinks.

I dislike both camps - Obama needs chefs, not butchers. Bergerson should be a cat trainer - she's always been off by a quarter tone anyway. Education reform is run by euphoniumists.

Klein would be a terrible choice -you would have people like Alvarado running urban schools - why have Title I at all? With unemployment near 7% I don't think even 'They' could build prisons fast enough to hold all the people.

Hammond is still not within the spectrum of respectable establishment. Hoover institute is hardly a moderate organization and it would be a leap over from Bill Ayers camp.

If Obama wanted to end this little fiasco he'd find an educator connected with the constitution. I'd hire an academic like Dr. Maria Montano-Harmon to do the job. That would shut up the scammers in a hurry. You need someone who can read through the BS.

dan dempsey said...

You said "someone who can read through the BS"

That would be fabulous ... after spending time following Seattle and watching education decision makers at the state and national level ///
I will settle for someone who does not spew the BS ...

Think about it Seattle Central Admin, Bergeson and her OSPI, GWB & NCLB ..spew, spew, spew

Is a visit to reality in the city, state and nations future 'cause these folks have been somewhere else for quite a while.

Sudhakar said...

"After the recession.." is a loaded phrase.

We need to survive it first. Here is an excerpt from my latest blog posting on what is different this time:

"1. Highest total debt/GDP ratio in history. During the great depression, the total debt/GDP hit 260%. Now it stands at 350%. A healthy ratio is 150% or lower. Which means we have 200% of GDP's worth of debt to pay off (that is about $29 trillions, with a "T". Boils down to about $100,000 per capita, or $400,000 per family of 4).

2. Hollowed out industrial base: Almost every consumer item besides food, drugs and shelter is made somewhere else. Even in rare occasions something is made here, it is designed and engineered somewhere else. During the last depression, the US industrial base was one of the tops in the world.

3. Not enough brainpower left to build the 21st century economy: Jobs of the future need more college graduates, and yet we are going to graduate fewer students out of college. College is out of reach for many middle class families, and is only getting more unaffordable. More striking is the number of engineers coming out of our universities, which has steadily dwindled in the last three decades. The social scientists have defined what "math" and "science" our kids should learn (or not) in our K-12 system. So, many come out of high school unprepared for a technical career.

4. Global competition: The US was pretty much isolated with few other global competitors during the last depression. Trade was a fraction of what it is today, given the lack of jet, container, and surface transportation infrastructure. But since the internet took hold, competition in services became reality, adding salt to the wound, since competition in manufacturing has been lost already."

The article you referred to shows just another hole we have dug ourselves into. There is no historical precedent to the situation we are in. And we have not cultivated the smarts into a vast majority of our kids to figure our way out of it. Now we are cutting off the supply lines that enable them to do so.

This rabbit hole is getting deeper and more mysterious by the day.

Anonymous said...

I like Sudhaker's analysis - if we could see an end to this recession, then there would be a reasonable explanation for what we are presently seeing.

Since there is none, one can only presume that other powers are attempting to influence present events. The real crisis will unfold when there is a dollar drop and no jobs forthcoming. Eventually, the Feds will have to stop writing checks in order to buy back their own worthless bonds. So Bush and Company added another two years to the Swan Song, he's leaving another generation to pick up the tab for Red Republicans.

How do you like Rice's pronouncement that the invasion of Iraq was based on faulty intelligence. Who's eating their hat now?

Anonymous said...

My new hobby is wooden lampshades (stumps are for free), much safer than the stock market and I think its too risky going to college - that is, when I can't add two fractions together to save my life.

No Duh.

dan dempsey said...

Sudhakar,

Thanks for the analysis. In looking at the TIMSS data for 2007 just released. The USA despite some improvment still has very few top performing Math students.

Advanced US compared with Advanced leaders is like a 1 to 4 ratio.

I think the US got slightly better at grade 4 and 8 because most schools because of NCLB spent lots more time on math .... unfortunately in most places the curriculum is still inadequate.

Our economic competive situation will be hard to improve when our work force has few competent math stars.

TIMSS science remained poor because NCLB did not improve time spent on science.

The curriculum in both math and science needs substantial improvement.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't trust the stats on the last TIMSS anyway - there's too much politics involved and a slightly, positive spin.

You've got a good feel for the numbers, but my reading of the report for the first time left me nonconvinced that I understood it well. I'll have to spend more time with it before I say anything.

Anonymous said...

I like the flight to Treasuries this week at zero to negative yield. Are we seeing a bubble in treasuries yet? Are we getting any stupider? I feel like our government has gotten into the business of herding goats, instead of running a country. What ethics?