Newswire – March 13, 2018



Some people are talking about reimagining high school and beyond to address deficiencies in learning, narrow the skills gap, and meet the needs of a new generation of work and the realities of a 21st century life filled with technology. At CER, we are working on taking it one step further – let’s not reimagine, let’s

REVOLUTIONIZE IT. We offer some ideas from our colleagues, and our own, that should be on the minds of policymakers particularly in Washington as they look toward solving these issues this year.



REINVENT HIGH SCHOOL? It’s been the buzz for a while now. The XQ Super School Project picked it up and ran with it with grants of $10 million to schools to replicate (still a work in progress). Jobs for the Future has been talking about it since before 2012. And the NAEP data we see every few years is a clear indication that something is not right about these 12th graders (so much so that some cities like DC have to cheat to get people out the door!) but alas these big ideas take time. Now, an article by 2 scholars in a think tank’s blog goes a step further with a clear-cut plan to truly turn it upside down. Their prescription? Change how we measure, ensure that students master the material (not just sit through a class) and yes, realign all they are expected to learn with higher ed and work.


“…it’s important to change how we measure success. If we want high schools to ultimately turn out responsible and productive citizens and we agree that not every graduate in America today fits that criteria, then let’s not use graduation rate as our ultimate measure of success. …The solution—personalized learning, the educational buzz word that has every school across the nation attempting to better serve each student’s unique needs and goals.” MORE


REINVENT HIGHER EDUCATION. At SXSW edX CEO Anant Agarwal offered this prescription to Ed Sec Betsy DeVos’ question about how best to “rethink” higher ed:


“Let’s make education modular; let’s unbundle education so that we can share and combine and stack pieces and do things in a very innovative and forward looking way.


“If I’m working and I need to up-skill, where do I learn data science today? I don’t have time to go and get a two-year masters. We need these modular credentials. We need the employers to accept these. And, he argued, we need to change the way federal financial aid flows to recognize these new credentials and scores more being created by employers, universities and others trying to respond to the growing skills gap and intransience of higher ed to adapt:


“Today a student can use $20,000 of funding to fund a fly-by-night, terrible degree program, but they cannot use a thousand dollars for a micro masters in artificial intelligence, or cyber security from Columbia, or MIT, or Harvard.,” like those now available on the non-profit EdX’s platform. Let students decide how they wish to spend the aid, he suggested, “and watch how fast things will change.”



THE NEW DEGREE. GSV’s A2APPLE Weekly Brief reports that companies are co-creating their own higher ed programs to address the deficiencies in traditional higher ed. “… re-skilling and adapting the workforce to modern technology is becoming one of the biggest focus areas for corporations. As an illustration — open IT positions in the global workforce are currently growing at 15% per year. Not surprisingly therefore, Coursera’s recently launched B2B offering has already gained over 900 global company customers, up 25x compared to 2016!” The aforementioned EdX has new Micro-degrees and ASU and others are creating new masters programs in computer science and data sciences.



REINVENT WORKFORCE & APPRENTICESHIPS. We’ve been marching around the Hill saying it for nearly a year – the critical missing link isn’t whether we do vocational education well, or how we fund workforce development programs, but whether Americans have access in real time to the education, workforce and apprenticeship opportunities that can ensure continued learning and a career path that makes sense. Enter the Education, Workforce and Apprentice Tax Credit Proposal of 2017 that has been Introduced in 2018 by Cong. Lloyd Smucker as the USA Workforce Tax Credit Act (H.R. 5152). U.S. businesses and individuals who wish to support scholarships for students who want to pursue better learning opportunities at every level would get a tax credit for their contribution. This would spur relevant and responsive programs to be developed at every level and more workers would have access to the education they and their families need in real time. Check it out. We’re fans! (Then again, it was our idea!)



WE STILL LOVE THE LIBERAL ARTS. As Burning Glass Technologies argues in their blog on this subject that employers want the critical thinking, comms and soft skills that liberal arts provide, but they also need the specific skills that are suited to the job market. It’s not either or, it’s both, AND! And yes, Senator Rubio, we do need more philosophers!






IN OTHER NEWS… The future of knowledge, education, issues like you find in today’s Newswire and more will be covered inside and out at the 2018 ASU+GSV Summit this April 16-18 in San Diego, CA. Speakers include former President George Bush, Ed Secretary Duncan, Orange County Superintendent Barbara Jenkins and many others. Join us at the hottest confab of the year!


TELL US YOUR STORY! Families all over the country have education stories to tell. Send us yours!