ERIC Number: ED336620
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Sep
Got To Learn To Earn: Preparing Americans for Work. Occasional Paper 1991-3.
Levitan, Sar A.; Gallo, Frank
Unlike those of several of it major economic competitors, the U.S. system of preparation for work stresses educational attainment rather than qualitative standards or occupationally specific assessments of knowledge or skills. The resultant emphasis on longer education produces a more qualified work force, but the quest for longer schooling has not come cheaply. Spending figures suggest that inefficiency rather than insufficiency is a prime culprit of U.S. educational deficiencies. The evidence indicates that factors other than education also enhance economic growth. The causes of poor student performance continue to be intensely debated. Poverty and discrimination have been found to hinder educational and job opportunities significantly. Increased attention to basic skills rather than further specialization would increase overall economic flexibility and the career adaptability of individual workers. Labor shortages in specific occupations are more difficult to forecast than are broader skill deficiencies. Current explanations used by various education commissions downplay the pervasive influence of poverty and family deterioration. Employers are not devoting large amounts of money to worker training. The adoption of national achievement standards at each level of schooling is recommended. (52 endnotes) (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Literacy, Basic Skills, Disadvantaged Environment, Economic Development, Education Work Relationship, Educational Benefits, Educational Finance, Federal Government, Government School Relationship, Higher Education, Illiteracy, Labor Force Development, National Standards, Occupational Mobility, Poverty, Productivity, Secondary Education, Vocational Education
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Ford Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: George Washington Univ., Washington, DC. Center for Social Policy Studies.