Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Economy and Education

What are schools doing to address changes in America's economy? Today we can observe historically high inequality, combined with high unemployment and stagnant wage growth for the vast majority of workers. Between the outsourcing and mechanization of industry, the high paying, unionized, blue collar jobs of yore are practically non-existent. We can consider our society, apart from the sliver of economic elites, as having only two categories of "opportunity" for future generations. One, the "creative class," includes artists, software programmers, scientists and engineers: the highly cerebral, highly educated folks who will create the new things and ideas of the future. The other class is the service class, a minimum wage earning, minimum benefit receiving, low skilled mass of folks whose career trajectory is limited and uninspiring.

Some of the numbers that inform this analysis can be found in the following two reports produced by the Economic Policy Institute just recently:

We are all watching the economy, if we have any sense to. More than two years following our dip into a recession and our perilous and frustrating climb out of it, let's start the conversation here about how the economy affects (or should affect) education, and vice versa. We all sense that a good education is the path to the future, but we don't know what that education looks like. Meanwhile, the reality is that a struggling economy only places that ideal education system further out of reach.

No comments:

Post a Comment