Opinion: Life Readiness for All
Heather Bouchey is the Deputy Secretary of Education
Jess DeCarolis is the Division Director for Personalization and Flexible Pathways
More than ever, today’s students must prepare for a variety of opportunities after high school, including further education and training, as well as entry into the workforce. Our rapidly transforming and technology-driven society demands that students know more than academic content. They must learn to do the creative and non-routine work that machines can’t do. They must demonstrate knowledge of how to learn and solve problems, continually build upon their developing knowledge and skills, and adapt to an ever-changing and hard-to-predict future. Students must also develop effective communication skills, and learn how to work both collaboratively and competitively, depending on the context, in order to find success.
In essence, students can no longer afford to prepare for college or the workplace. Every student must prepare for both work and life-long learning, including earning industry-recognized credentials or postsecondary education. Instead of asking, “Where are you going to college?” we should ask every child, “How will you continue your education and training?” We might consider the modern charge of public education as preparation for “life readiness.”
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