ERIC Number: ED486155
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Education and Skills for the 21st Century: An Agenda for Action
Jobs for the Future
According to the American Diploma Project, more than two-thirds of new jobs require some postsecondary education, and the fastest-growing, best paying jobs require the highest levels of education. Moreover, as ADP research indicates, success in college depends upon the same reading, writing, and math skills that lead after high school to earning a family supporting income. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, which brings together the business community, education leaders, and policymakers, calls for all high school graduates to have not just strong academic skills but also sophisticated "higher-order" skills, such as the abilities to solve problems and use complex information. The education pipeline is divided into several disconnected, inefficient segments: early education (birth until kindergarten), kindergarten through grade 12, postsecondary education, and adult and lifelong skills training. Because these segments are, at best, poorly aligned with one another, they do little to help individuals make the often difficult transitions within and between them. High school students frequently have no idea what to expect in college, on the job, or in an apprenticeship. Restructuring the nation's education pipeline into a flexible system that meets the needs of people of all age levels with diverse backgrounds and varying levels of knowledge and skills can seem like an almost insurmountable challenge. But it can be done, as we can see in successful programs and in the beginnings of systemic changes to support and drive improved quality and connections. The challenge is to make success the norm, not the exception. This publication offers suggestions for taking advantage of today's best innovations and new models to rebuild and extend the education pipeline for tomorrow's needs, as well as answers for individuals, the economy, and the nation. It suggests that the two most important approaches to change are by acceleration of achievement and learning, and by parning opportunities.
Publication Type: Guides - General; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Early Childhood Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Kindergarten; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Authoring Institution: Jobs for the Future, Boston, MA.