Gail Gessert proves there’s more than one way to use a degree
in education.

Like most who go to college to become teachers, she began in the classroom. But after earning a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University, then a master’s, then a doctorate in educational psychology in 1987 from the UA College of Education, her career veered in several directions including advertising and media, healthcare, and, lately, trying to have an impact on what students learn.

On the side, for good measure, she breeds and sells Arabian horses from her ranch in Benson, Arizona, about an hour east of Tucson. Gessert said she had one basic idea of what she intended with her doctorate from the college, although she had no idea how.

“At that time, I’m not quite sure I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it,” she recalled. “I was extraordinarily interested in how people learn, process information, and come to conclusions.” Already having worked as a teacher in the Benson School District, she took her doctorate into healthcare, initially doing minor brain-damage evaluations to assist patients in their recovery from brain injuries.

She jumped — or as she put it, “segued” — from that into advertising and media when she realized that her insight into how people learn and comprehend could translate into helping ad executives understand how an advertisement can influence a consumer.

While she continues to dabble in advertising through one of her three active businesses, Gessert Media, she’s circled back to education to take on the task of trying to work with school districts on what to teach a generation of students whose world has changed dramatically in the technology age.

In a nutshell, her business, EDUindex, has developed software that can create a database to determine what skills are necessary for the jobs in a given region. Those data are then used to assist in development of curriculum to match the needed skills. The company is still in its infancy even though the software has been in development since 2009.

“It’s an easy concept, but a little bit harder to program,” she said. “It’s a very complex software program that takes a grand correlation coefficient about all the skills in an area and what we’re teaching in school to see if they match.”

As an example, during development of the software, Gessert’s group established a database of jobs in New York City — 50 million records made up the database — and found that auto mechanic was one of the more prominent jobs in the city.

Unfortunately, because of the cost, an auto mechanics class is not taught in a lot of high schools anymore. “We’ve gotten rid of home economics, which is directly associated with the fashion world,” she said. “We’ve gotten rid of shop and auto mechanics. We
can’t afford a garage in a school. We can’t afford a kitchen.” But she points out that teaching can be done in so many ways with
technology that bringing some of those skills-based classes back to the schools wouldn’t require the costly facilities needed in the past.

“When I look at all of the jobs and the skills that are needed in America right now, we’re falling so short,” she said. “We need to prepare our youth to be globally competitive.”

See the publication here. Article on page 19.

Donald Trump’s education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos joined him for a “Thank You” rally in her home state of Michigan, where she told the crowd making education great again means “finally putting an end to the federal Common Core.”

Trump’s pick is the former chair of the Michigan Republican Party and one of the party’s most influential donors. DeVos is a proponent of charter schools and school vouchers.

“In deference to the U.S. Senate confirmation, I’m not giving interviews, but just between us let me share this,” DeVos said to the crowd, speaking from prepared remarks. “It’s time to make education great again in this country.” reports DeVos initially had planned to skip Trump’s stop in Grand Rapids. The report states:

DeVos family spokesman John Truscott said earlier this week that preparing for those hearings would keep her too busy to attend Friday’s event.

But only a day later, Truscott said her attendance at the event was more uncertain.

“It’s kind of up in the air,” Truscott said on Wednesday, Dec. 7. “It’s possible. But nothing is set in stone.”

But on the afternoon of the event, Truscott confirmed that both Betsy and Dick DeVos would be attending alongside Dick’s parents, Richard and Helen DeVos.

During her address, DeVos charged the media with spreading “false news” about her.

“All I ask for is an open mind and the opportunity to share my heart,” she said to those in attendance. “I’ve been involved in education issues for 28 years, as an activist, a citizen-volunteer and an advocate for children.”

DeVos told the crowd it was time to put “kids first every single day.” She added, “This means expanding choices and options to give every child the opportunity for a quality education regardless of their zip code or their family circumstances. This means letting states set their own high standards and finally putting an end to the federalized Common Core.”

DeVos said, “It won’t be Washington, D.C. that unlocks that potential” in each child, and continued:

It won’t be a giant bureaucracy or a federal department. Nope. The answer isn’t bigger government. The answer is local control. It’s listening to parents and it’s giving more choices. And if I’m fortunate enough to be confirmed as your secretary of education, our kids, your kids will have someone fighting for them every single day.

Prior to introducing DeVos, Trump said the choice of education secretary was one of his “most important decisions,” and that DeVos was one of the “top education reformers in our nation, someone…who has devoted decades to helping disadvantaged students.”

“We’re going to reform our broken education system to put students and families first,” he said.

Trump added his administration’s “reform plan includes eliminating Common Core, bringing education local, and providing school choice.”

He continued that all children should be “able to attend the public, private, charter, magnet, or religious school that is right for them.”

DeVos was not a supporter of Trump until he began raising the issue of school choice on the campaign trail. A member of the board of directors of Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education, DeVos brought her support to Sen. Marco Rubio once Bush exited the primary race. At the Republican National Convention in July, she was an at-large delegate for Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Ultimately, according to the Washington Post, DeVos and her family donated a total of $1.8 million to the Republican Party and the Trump campaign.

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EDUindex Ranks Top Ten Phoenix High Schools

EDUindex releases top ten Phoenix Area High Schools Rankings that reflect curriculum relevancy.

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Phoenix, AZ (PRWEB) October 01, 2014

The Top Ten Phoenix High Schools EDUindex list, reflecting curriculum relevancy, is published. Based upon comprehensive data analysis, EDUindex compares school curriculum to actual up-to-date marketplace needed skills. The top ten in the Phoenix area are ranked as follows:

1.    Copper Canyon High School                 
2.    Raymond S Kellis High School                 
3.    Cactus Shadows High School                 
4.    Precision Academy                 
5.    Midtown High School                 
6.    Cavit - Poston Butte High School                 
7.    Cavit - Coolidge High School                 
8.    Leading Edge Academy                 
9.    Betty Fairfax High School                 
10. Cesar Chavez High School    

EDUindex, Inc. is an education company that publishes the EDUindex, a number that represents how a school’s curriculum reflects requisite skills in the marketplace. The company offers accompanying EDUindex Gap Reports showing the detail behind the numerical EDUindex. The company helps schools identify classes that could better offer students an advantage in preparing them for their future.

“We are pleased to provide the Phoenix Schools with helpful information, and congratulate those that have landed in the Top Ten List of the EDUindex Ranking. These schools will be among the first High Schools whose detailed EDUindex Gap Reports are available to further assist them in providing the most relevant education in America,” says Gail Gessert, Ph.D., Founder of EDUindex, Inc.


Wisconsin Schools Show Interest in Alternative Curriculum Assessment Technique

May 23, 2014

by Matt Crumb and Haley Sinklair

In a world where marketplace and occupational demands are constantly changing, some are questioning whether school curriculum is staying relevant for students who hope to one day become valuable in the job market.
A new initiative called EDUindex Inc. is emerging as a tool for Wisconsin schools to gauge how well their curriculum matches local and state workforce needs. The visionary for EDUindex is Dr. Gail Gessert who holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology. Dr. Gessert's ultimate goal is to move K-12 education in a meaningful direction so that it encourages appropriate skill development for employment after high school or college.

EDUIndex GAP report.gifInstead of measuring how well a student, teacher, or administration is doing using standardized testing, EDUindex uses statistics about employer demand and school course offerings in a defined area, such as a zip code or city, and determines if they match up. For example, if the city of Milwaukee has a need for engineers, architects, and lawyers, but the curriculum of the local school districts lack relevant course offerings to those professions; the EDUindex score could be lower.

The correlation is expressed as a numerical value between 0 and 1.0 with 1.0 being perfectly relevant to the region's employment market. The index can be calculated across geographical areas such as school districts, zip codes, metropolitan regions, or entire states.
After assigning a numerical value to the curriculum, EDUindex prepares a "GAP" report that is accessible to schools and parents. GAP reports offer perspective to classes already provided, as well as identifying classes that may be needed based on market demand.
A total of 71 schools in the Green Bay, Madison, and Milwaukee area have already participated in the analysis. In January, the company published the Top Ten Milwaukee EDUindex list with Oak Creek High School, Brookfield Central High School, and Kettle Moraine High School holding the highest scores.

EDUindex will soon begin to suggest curriculum solutions for schools to aid in better aligning what gets taught in the classroom to what Wisconsin employers are looking for.

Time will tell if workforce alignment metrics will become prominent in Wisconsin's school districts. As many businesses express concern over lack of an appropriately skilled workforce, alternative measures of educational success may provide a valuable perspective for future debate.

Special Report Highlights Wisconsin Educational Needs

This report from the Special Committee on Improving Educational Opportunities in High School, to focuses opportunities offered to high-schoolers entering a challenging economy. Senator Paul Farrow (R-Pewaukee) launched the group and served as Vice Chair with Chair Senator Luther Olsen.

Download Report PDF.

Historic fail? Greatest Americans missing from proposed curriculum.


The College Board's Advanced Placement curriculum on U.S. history must include America's greatest icons, like Ben Franklin and Martin Luther king, say critics.

New history curriculum standards proposed for top high school students leave out such American icons as Benjamin Franklin and Martin Luther King, Jr., paint colonists as bigots and gloss over the Greatest Generation's fight to save the world from Nazi Germany, according to conservative education activists who want the framework delayed — and perhaps scrapped altogether.

An open letter circulated by conservative education activists is calling on The College Board to delay implementing new Advanced Placement U.S. History guidelines, saying a “rising tide of opposition” believes the curriculum will take the nation’s classrooms in a bad direction.

The Aug. 4 letter, which is addressed to David Coleman, president/CEO of the New York-based nonprofit, claims the new 98-page curriculum is a “dramatic departure” from the five-page outline previously used by teachers and students and offers a consistently negative view of Americans as oppressors and exploiters.

“The framework ignores the rise of democratic institutions such as the House of Burgesses and New England town meetings,” the letter reads. “It also omits the colonists’ growing commitment to religious freedom and the emergence of a pluralistic society that lacked an entrenched aristocracy.”

What’s missing from the curriculum, according to a former public school teacher and author of two Advanced Placement prep guides, is mention of John Winthrop and his “city upon a hill” sermon as one of the key early instances of American exceptionalism and references to Roger Williams and the birth of religious toleration.

"What you’re going to find is our nation’s founders portrayed as bigots who developed a belief in white superiority that was, in turn, derived from a strong belief in British racial and cultural superiority."

- Larry Krieger, retired teacher and test preparation expert

“And you’re not going to find Thomas Jefferson and the House of Burgesses and the cradle of democracy either,” said Larry Krieger, who retired in 2005 after more than three decades in the classroom. “And finally, you’re not going to find Benjamin Franklin and the birth of American entrepreneurialism.”

Instead, students exposed to the curriculum — roughly 500,000 annually nationwide, many of whom will take the class as sophomores and juniors — will find a narrative laden with tyranny and subjugation.

“What you’re going to find is our nation’s founders portrayed as bigots who developed a belief in white superiority that was, in turn, derived from a strong belief in British racial and cultural superiority,” Krieger told

Krieger, who specialized in the Advanced Placement U.S. history course during his years as a teacher, most recently in New Jersey, participated in a conference call Monday with other activists seeking to delay implementation of the new curriculum for at least one year.

Jane Robbins, an attorney with the American Principles Project in Washington, also took part in the call. She said ongoing discussions are happening with educational officials in at least seven states to delay the curriculum or block it altogether.

“There are conversations going on with members of several of the state boards,” Robbins said, including Texas, Colorado and North Carolina.

Texas State Board of Education Member Ken Mercer, R-San Antonio, reportedly asked the board last month to delay the curriculum while state officials determine whether it violates a 2013 law banning the reaching of Common Core standards, a national initiative adopted by 45 states detailing what students from kindergarten through 12th grade should learn upon graduation of each grade level.

Conversations with critics like Krieger and Mercer are ongoing, as The College Board tries to "find solutions" regarding the controversial curriculum, a spokesperson for the organization told

"College Board leaders continue to meet with individuals who have concerns about the redesign to listen, solicit feedback and find solutions," a spokesperson wrote in an email Thursday.

Robbins, meanwhile, said her biggest issue with the curriculum is how it portrays Americans as a thoroughly pugnacious bunch.

“It presents American history as one long story of groups in conflict,” she told “It does not focus on individuals at all. The idea seems to be that the only force in history worth considering is the group identity — and all of these groups are in constant conflict according to this particular narrative.”

Robbins continued: “There’s no understanding of what makes this country great.”

Christy Armbruster, of Elko, Nev., detailed to the Elko Daily Free Press why she thinks the framework should be opposed, saying it curtailed its summary of World War II far too short.

“There is no mention of Hitler, the Holocaust, D-Day or other historic battles,” Armbruster wrote the newspaper. “Neither is there any mention of the heroism and sacrifice made by so many American soldiers, including my grandfather!”



This Isn't Your Dad's Vocational School

Auto shop is gone. The latest approach to career-oriented education looks a lot like academics.

Latina style: Dalton High’s homecoming queen, Andrea Garcia, and Principal Steve Bartoo.(Courtesy of Dalton High School/Doug Smith)

Sophie Quinton
December 16, 2013

What used to be Dalton High School's wood shop is now free of dust. Instead, it's filled with welding stations, a 3-D printer, and a computer-controlled plasma cutter. Students work with the engineering students across the hall on robotics projects, building their knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Seventy-four percent of Dalton High's students are enrolled in career, technical, and agricultural courses. But this isn't your father's vocational ed. Here, training for particular careers is considered part of a well-rounded college-preparatory education. "It's not an either/or with us," said Principal Steve Bartoo.

Dalton, Ga., a city of just over 33,000 in the Appalachian foothills, calls itself the Carpet Capital of the World. (Northwest Georgia produces 90 percent of the carpet made in the United States.) It's also home to a fast-growing Latino community. Latinos comprise 48 percent of Dalton's population—although only 9 percent statewide—and 70 percent of the students at Dalton High.

The community is still struggling to emerge from the recession; about 70 percent of the school's 1,640 students qualify for federally subsidized lunches. But despite changing demographics, falling incomes, and declining state funding, Dalton High's students are graduating at higher rates than ever. By combining a rigorous approach to career and technical education, known as CTE, with high academic expectations, the school has lifted its graduation rate from 56 percent to 92 percent over the past decade. Almost 70 percent of the class of 2011 enrolled in college within two years of finishing high school.

Starting this year, all ninth-graders in Georgia will be required to follow a career- or academic-focused "pathway"—in agribusiness, say, or finance—to graduate from high school. In Dalton, educators know that industry-focused courses can help teens thrive—but only when such courses aren't considered a separate track. The lines between electives, college-preparatory work, and career exploration are blurring. Schools that take this seriously can use career courses to elevate every student's education, rather than to warehouse the students lagging behind.


Vocational education has been controversial since early-20th-century reformers proposed a divided system of public education—college-preparatory work for some, technical training for others. Critics worried that such a system would track poor, minority, and immigrant children into working-class jobs, restricting their access to higher education and limiting their social mobility.

We're starting to see a resolution to the century-old debate over tracking, said Anthony Carnevale, director of Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce. He described "the melding of the two curriculum types, so that in theory, CTE programs don't stop you from going to Harvard."

The 21st century's information economy demands a new style of career training that helps prepare students for further education rather than diverts them from it, and teaches creative thinking and problem-solving rather than how to perform rote tasks. Think about CTE not only as training relevant to a career but as a way to help students acquire academic skills and think critically in a different way.

Two forces are moving CTE in an intellectually demanding direction. The first is political. Since the 1980s, policymakers have pushed schools to raise test scores and improve academic preparation. In 2006, Congress required schools to offer at least one sequence of career-oriented courses encompassing secondary and postsecondary education to be eligible for any of the $1.14 billion available in federal aid.

The second force is economic. The skilled trades have become more, well, skilled, and employers are demanding advanced credentials. By 2020, Carnevale and his colleagues predict, 65 percent of jobs will require postsecondary training. In many fast-growing fields, such as health care, entry-level workers must return to school to move up. If you're a certified nursing assistant at a hospital, you can't just work your way up to become a registered nurse.

Low-skilled, low-paid jobs in retail and food services are also expected to grow over the next decade. But it has become almost impossible for people with a high school education or less to find the sort of jobs that can support a family, let alone move them into the middle class or beyond.

With college costs rising, credentials that deliver a good return on investment are in demand. Holders of a technical associate's degree can command better salaries their first year out of school—in Texas, $11,000 higher—than graduates with a bachelor's degree in liberal arts, according to Mark Schneider, vice president at the American Institutes for Research, a Washington think tank. Those holding college degrees with a technical bent, whether from a two- or four-year school, fare best. The highest paid in every state: graduates in engineering.

Today, about 85 percent of public high school students complete at least one CTE class, and the demographics of participants mirror almost exactly the general high school population, according to the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium. Of the 16 "career clusters" the consortium has defined, the most popular include health science, information technology, and business and administration.

Even at elite colleges, the concept of career preparation—rather than immersion in pure academic study—is gaining ground. At the private liberal-arts colleges ranked highest by U.S. News & World Report, the number of graduates in vocational majors—think education or nursing, rather than English or biology—increased from less than 11 percent in 1987 to 29 percent in 2012, Victor E. Ferrall Jr., a former president of Beloit College, wrote last year in the Pacific Standard.


Years ago, when Debbie Freeman was an eighth-grade teacher in Dalton, Latino students were treated differently than their white peers. Many of the Latino children were not native English speakers, and, for that reason, fell behind academically. Almost reflexively, Latinos were placed in remedial classes when they entered high school. They weren't expected to catch up.

When Freeman became Dalton High's principal in 2006, she helped the school adjust to a student body that was majority Latino. "It doesn't matter, the ethnicity," Freeman says now. What matters is poverty at home, "the kinds of opportunities the kids do and do not have."

The city hired the Southern Regional Education Board to help overhaul the curriculum. Dalton High eliminated all low-level courses and added more Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes. The school helped students get tutoring and increased the number of field trips, exposing the teens to more learning experiences.

Existing CTE programs were aligned to certifications by industry, which made them tougher and gave students a foundation for postsecondary study, and new programs were added that reflected the needs of nearby labor markets. Auto shop was eliminated. Home economics became "culinary arts." Classes were introduced in graphic arts and video production, and the school started offering a science, technology, engineering, and math curriculum designed by Project Lead the Way, a national nonprofit. All CTE courses emphasize entrepreneurship and marketing, to show students they can turn whatever they're learning into a small business.

Raising the bar for students pushed teachers to do more. Teachers started to meet in small groups to share best practices. Many made more time to mentor students. While Dalton High continues to enroll recent immigrants with only a grade-school education, the combination of higher expectations and extra support has still narrowed the achievement gap.

All on a shrinking budget. While state grants help to pay for new CTE programs, state education funding has dropped an average of 15 percent per student since 2002, according to the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute. Dalton's local per-student spending has slipped by 11 percent—its tax revenue by 21 percent.

Dalton-area manufacturers have stepped in as advisers to local schools and community colleges, to help match the schools' curricula with employers' needs. "In general, in our company, almost every job has to have a higher skill level than it used to," said Brian Cooksey, director of operations training and development at Shaw Industries. The carpet and flooring maker is looking for workers who can fix and reprogram machines that control automated factory floors. That means finding electricians who also understand computer programming and industrial systems.


Education in Georgia is in rough shape. Last year, the high school graduation rate was just 70 percent. Social mobility, scholars say, is one of the lowest for any state in the country. Fifty-seven percent of public-school students are poor, and improving their prospects for education and employment is deemed critical to the state's economic future.

Georgia's "career pathways" initiative is something of a turnaround strategy for all of the state's public schools. State Superintendent John Barge says the goal is to ensure that students leave high school prepared for what comes next, whether that's a job, a two-year college, or a four-year degree. "I'm convinced that in K-through-12 education, we could do a much better job helping to prepare children for their next step," he said in an interview.

Career education in Georgia's public schools now begins in kindergarten. This year, all high school students must pursue a chosen pathway, with its sequence of three courses in a particular discipline. A student who chooses the "agribusiness system" pathway, for example, might take classes in basic agricultural science, then in agricultural management, followed by agricultural marketing. A student in the "world languages" pathway might take three additional classes in French.

Georgia's Legislature approved the plan in 2011, and the state education department has worked with colleges and industry leaders to define 17 career clusters—and multiple pathways for each—that matter most to Georgia's economy. School districts choose which pathways to offer or suggest their own, with the expectation that they'll consider local needs. Not every school offers every pathway, particularly in rural districts. To ensure access to a range of courses, the state is developing online classes, and some districts are working with nearby technical colleges to let high schoolers take courses on campus.

For a pathways approach to serve students well, educators and policymakers must think of career exploration and vocational training not as a substitute for college preparation but as a supplement. And they must keep in mind that a student's path after high school doesn't always unfold as planned.

Yet a strong high school can't compensate for a weak economy, particularly in Dalton, where the unemployment rate remains around 10 percent. Not long ago, Principal Bartoo saw a recent Dalton High graduate at a football game. The student was well qualified for college but was working full time as a creeler, maintaining the yarn supply for a local factory's carpet-making machine. "This is a kid who would probably do very well at a higher-skilled type of job, but they're not there," Bartoo said.

That's why Dalton High is pushing students to think like entrepreneurs. Its graduates are the future of the local economy. Rather than waiting for existing employers to start hiring, they'll need the skills to build the jobs of the future for themselves.

This article appears in the December 7, 2013, edition of National Journal Magazine as Not Your Dad’s Voc Ed.



Petitioning The FL State Senate Florida State Board of Education:

Please help us make computer science satisfy existing high school graduation requirements for math or science.

Joanne Barrett
Petition by
Joanne Barrett
Sarasota, FL

Computer science develops students’ computational and critical thinking skills and teaches them how to create—not just use—new technologies. This fundamental knowledge is needed to prepare students for the 21st century, regardless of their ultimate field of study or occupation. Computer science courses should count toward math or science entrance requirements for higher education.

Read more and sign the petition.



Alan's Monday Morning Memo's mission is to help readers to thrive.

This week's focus point: Over 800,000 students came to the U.S. from abroad to study in 2012-2013 (AP). That's a record high. About a quarter were from China. The late Peter Drucker once wrote that if we counted "knowledge export," including such students (who usually pay full tuition, plus other residential expenses), and management advice delivered globally, the balance of trade would look completely different.

The potential for future strife, in my view, involves maximizing acquisition and application of knowledge. We will see both institutionally (nations, businesses, enterprises) and individually a chasm grow between those who can readily use knowledge and those who cannot. That strife will be both internecine and international.

We need to stop teaching people irrelevant content which can be acquired in seconds when needed, and start teaching them how to learn, so that knowledge acquisition is natural and lifelong.

Some Wis. students taking specialized curricula are more likely to go to college

Students in Milwaukee Public Schools who enrolled in specialized curricula, such as Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate, were more likely to enroll in college than their peers who did not, according to a report released Thursday. Officials say results of the study, by the Public Policy Forum, also show that typical achievement gaps tied to students' socioeconomic status also appear to narrow among students enrolled in such specialized programs.  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (tiered subscription model) (7/25/2013)


Pipe dream: Skip college, become a plumber, NYC Mayor Bloomberg says

Published May 19, 2013

The heck with Harvard, says New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  Most high school grads should learn a trade  . . .  like plumbing.

Bloomberg -- he of the no-oversized sodas -- is now reportedly dispensing career advice via his weekly radio show.

 “The people who are going to have the biggest problem are college graduates who aren’t rocket scientists, if you will, not at the top of their class,” Bloomberg said Friday, according to the New York Daily News.

“Compare a plumber to going to Harvard College — being a plumber, actually for the average person, probably would be a better deal,” he reportedly said. “You don’t spend ... four years spending $40,000, $50,000 in tuition without earning income.”

“Success in college and careers requires good writing and critical thinking skills as well as good math and science skills."

- Mayor Bloomberg, in his last State of the City address

Bloomberg made the remark in response to a question on his weekly radio show appearance, according to a spokesman contacted by, although a transcript of the remarks was not immediately available.

The mayor added that another benefit to learning a trade, like plumbing, is that it’s hard to outsource, or computerize.

 “It’s hard to farm that out,” he reportedly said, “and it’s hard to automate that.”

The mayor seemed to bookend those remarks the following day with an address to the graduating class of Ohio’s Kenyon College.

“I know that today’s job market is not easy,” he reportedly told those assembled for his address speech, “, if I interview a recent college grad who tells me he or she spent the summer curing cancer, bringing peace to the Middle East, and writing the Great American Novel – I’m impressed.

“But I’m more likely to hire the person who spent his or her summer working days, nights, and weekends for an auto-body shop or a construction company in order to pay tuition or help with family bills.”

In his final State of the City address, delivered in February, Bloomberg remarked:  “Success in college and careers requires good writing and critical thinking skills as well as good math and science skills. Unfortunately, the State has never tested for them. I’ve supported basing standards on those skills for many years and I’m glad to say that the State has now done that, by adopting what’s known as the Common Core standards. Starting this spring, State exams for grades 3-8 will test for these critical skills.”

In April, The New York Times reported that Bloomberg announced that 78 new schools would open in New York City during the coming academic year, seven of which would be vocational or technical schools. 

Read more:

Officials: Most NYC High School Grads Need Remedial Help Before Entering CUNY Community Colleges

Basic Skills Like Reading, Writing And Math Need To Be Re-Learned

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s an education bombshell.

Nearly 80 percent of New York City graduates need to relearn basic skills before they can enter the City University’s community college system.

The number of kids behind the 8-ball is the highest in years, CBS 2′s Marcia Kramer reported Thursday.

When they graduated from city high schools, students in a special remedial program at the Borough of Manhattan Community College couldn’t make the grade. They had to re-learn basic skills — reading, writing and math — first before they could begin college courses. They are part of a disturbing statistic.

Officials told CBS 2′s Kramer that nearly 80 percent of those who graduate from city high schools arrived at City University’s community college system without having mastered the skills to do college-level work.

In sheer numbers it means that nearly 11,000 kids who got diplomas from city high schools needed remedial courses to re-learn the basics.


Scott Walker seeks $100 million for job training, data tracking

Madison - To respond to global competition and an aging workforce, Gov. Scott Walker wants to invest nearly $100 million to build a faster system to track jobs data, tie technical school and university funding to filling high-demand professions and require nearly 76,000 people to train for work to collect food stamps.


Republican National Convention

Jeb Bush remarks on education at the 2012 RNC.

Fast forward to 1:53 for to see Mr. Bush's comments.

PBS Newshour

Condoleezza Rice: Education Could Be 'Greatest National Security Challenge

Education Reform Gets Cool

Naomi Schaefer Riley writes in the New York Post about how education reform is no longer the domain of nerdy conservatives or outraged libertarians. Teachers’ unions have begun “looking like dinosaurs,” to everyone. After all, “hip urbanites don’t need to read Cato Institute white papers to find out how bad unions have made things.”

Hollywood is even getting into the education reform. Riley writes:

Maggie Gyllenhaal, the ultimate hipster actress, stars in “Won’t Back Down,” an education-reform drama that hits theaters next month. When did school choice became cool?

The film is the tale of two parents (one a teacher) who decide to save their own kids and many others by taking over a failing school in a poor Pittsburgh neighborhood.

This follows “Waiting for ‘Superman,’” the 2010 documentary that depicted the fortunes of those desperately competing for a place at a charter school — from the same progressive filmmaker who gave us “An Inconvenient Truth.

In fact, a whole lot of 20- and 30-somethings across the political spectrum now believe something’s seriously flawed in our public-education system.


In conjunction with the film, Wal-Mart and Walden Media are putting on a concert benefiting teachers airing on CBS next Friday with artists like Garth Brooks, Dierks Bentley, Fun, and Carrie Underwood. Every day, Walden is awarding a different teacher with a $500 Wal-Mart gift card to help cover the out-of-pocket expenses every teacher eventually ends up incurring. (Have a favorite teacher? Nominate here.) Tweet a shout out to your favorite teacher, using the hashtag #TeachersRock, and your tweet will appear on a huge billboard in Times Square.

That’s not your mother’s school reform.

It makes me a little nervous to tweet the name of my favorite teachers, however. Twitter-acceptable abbreviations and misspellings won’t fly with my favorite 5th grade English teacher, Mrs. Frazier, or my 6th grade English teacher, Mrs. Elliott.

To be safe, I think I might just nominate a math teacher.