Is Your State Chamber of Commerce Out of Touch?
Many superintendents have observed that their state chamber of commerce representatives repeatedly take positions on issues that do not necessarily reflect the local chamber of commerce in their communities. There might be something to this.
Recently, I attended a community business and education forum in which the following statistic was quoted.
"Seventy percent of the jobs available in the future will NOT require a four year degree."In addition, a graph was distributed showing the results of a round table discussion of community leaders who were asked, "What can education do to advance the interests of business? The most frequent response by almost 2 to 1? Give them graduates with "skills." From reading all their comments it is obvious that they meant soft skills and technical skills, not what most view as academic skills.
Meanwhile the state education policy, driven by business roundtables at the state levels, is driving almost all students to college preparatory tracks. Which has never been a "track" proven to emphasize technical or soft skills.
This might indicate that local business needs are at odds with the state chamber of commerce's view of needs. Meanwhile, the nation's governors are driving attempts to make high school more academically rigorous because they know that students that take more rigorous courses do better on international and national tests.
Students are getting mixed messages.