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Topic: Jobs and Skills and Zombies - NYTimes.com
Replies: 4   Last Post: Apr 1, 2014 10:54 AM

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Bob

Posts: 190
Registered: 12/3/04
RE: Jobs and Skills and Zombies - NYTimes.com
Posted: Apr 1, 2014 12:21 AM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply


I'm no Krugman fan, but he has a good point, and it's no red herring.

These standards do not address the needs of countless students who
"graduate" from high school and are unprepared for college or for work.
Squeezing them into the tests these standards were written to create will
not help them. I've never seen anyone get an entry level job that required a
knowledge of Algebra. My guess is you haven't either. We can all think of
other math courses to which the same thinking applies.

So what about this 55% or so of recent high school graduates who will never
earn a two or four year college degree. That's most of our students.

What do these standards offer them? Nothing really, and definitely no keys
to unlock some success in the real world of work, a world I sometimes think
we like to ignore.








-----Original Message-----
From: owner-nyscollmath@mathforum.org
[mailto:owner-nyscollmath@mathforum.org] On Behalf Of Gerry Rising
Sent: Monday, March 31, 2014 3:37 PM
To: Roberta M. Eisenberg
Cc: nyscollmath@mathforum.org
Subject: Re: Jobs and Skills and Zombies - NYTimes.com

On 3/31/14 12:16 PM, Roberta M. Eisenberg wrote:
>
> http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/31/opinion/krugman-jobs-and-skills-and-
> zombies.html?emc=edit_th_20140331&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=34947105&_r=
> 0
>
>
> The author is the Nobel prize winning Princeton professor of economics
> and nytimes OpEd writer, Paul Krugman.
>
> One of the the main things pushing the CCSS is what he calls a myth -
> the skills gap between what workers have and what employers want. In
> other words, making students "college and career ready" may be a false
> impetus for the CCSS.
>
> Bobbi

Bobbi, thank you for sharing that. It reminded me of an experience I had
some years agowhen I was math coordinator forthe city of Norwalk,
Connecticut.

The Norwalk High School guidance counselor called to tell me he wanted me to
modify the 12th grade general math course to make it address shortcomings
that were reported to him by the local nursing school. He had been told that
nurse applicants all failed an entrance examination for the local nursing
school and could only be accepted provisionally.
What he wanted to do in response to this was have theyoung women who had
completed three years of high school academic math take a general math
course during their senior year (together with the weakest students in the
school) so that they could address this shortcoming.

I told him to hold off until I talked with the nursing school supervisor.
The supervisor was very accommodating. "Indeed," she said, "virtually all of
our applicants fail this test. It'snot just your schools." I asked her what
she did to remedy this situation. "Oh, we give the students training in the
measurement and proportiontopics that they failedand they are brought up to
our expectations." "How long does that take?" I asked her. "Two one hour
sessions," she responded.

This business about people not having job skills that Krugman speaks of is
indeed a red herring. Although specific training is appropriate for many
professional positions, what business employers really want, if theyhave any
sense, is smart people who can quickly learn on-the-job skillsthat differer
from setting to setting. The best way for candidates to demonstrate that is
prior success in their academic studies.

Gerry



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