Education and workforce development, ten years later
Snowstorms! A good time to sit by the fireplace (mine is a “Yule Log” CD we play on our DVD player) and get some reading done. Here are a few suggestions.
CommonWealth magazine was released recently and if you still harboring any doubts about how MCAS can improve urban schools, you ought to read Michael Jonas’s excellent conversation with Brockton High School principal Susan Szachowski. The back and forth between Jonas and Szachowski is a very honest discussion about change, urban schools, and how to use data to improve academic performance. Jonas, my MassINC colleague, is one of the best education journalists out there and this fine piece is first-rate journalism.
Another institution that’s making a difference is the Benjamin Franklin Institute. This small college is getting some big results and its story is chronicled in the current issue of CW. With small classes, a hands-on approach, more focused students, and applied learning the college is producing graduates ready for so-called middle skill jobs. But as the school looks to add more students, will it continue to be so successful? You will need to read Gabrielle Gurley’s story to find out.
January 2011 marks the 10th anniversary of the publication of MassINC’s landmark report about adult literacy and the workforce, New Skills for a New Economy. To mark the occasion and to offer some thoughts about what should come next for workforce development, my friend and colleague Jerry Rubin and I offer our opinion. Tell us what you think.
Let me close with a “shout-out” to James Ruberto, the mayor of Pittsfield, MA. Mayor Ruberto announced that he will not be seeking re-election. The mayor served as co-chair of the Gateway Cities Mayors Coalition and I got to work with him over the last several years on several issues. Pittsfield is where I grew up and he has changed the city for the better. He will be missed, but we do wish him well.