My generation had it easy. We got to “find” a job. But, more than ever, our kids will have to “invent” a job. (Fortunately, in today’s world, that’s easier and cheaper than ever before.) Sure, the lucky ones will find their first job, but, given the pace of change today, even they will have to reinvent, re-engineer and reimagine that job much more often than their parents if they want to advance in it. If that’s true, I asked Wagner, what do young people need to know today?
“Every young person will continue to need basic knowledge, of course,” he said. “But they will need skills and motivation even more. Of these three education goals, motivation is the most critical.
Young people who are intrinsically motivated — curious, persistent, and willing to take risks — will learn new knowledge and skills continuously. They will be able to find new opportunities or create their own — a disposition that will be increasingly important as many traditional careers disappear.”
So what should be the focus of education reform today?
“We teach and test things most students have no interest in and will never need, and facts that they can Google and will forget as soon as the test is over,” said Wagner. “Because of this, the longer kids are in school, the less motivated they become. Gallup’s recent survey showed student engagement going from 80 percent in fifth grade to 40 percent in high school. . . .
We need to focus more on teaching the skill and will to learn and to make a difference and bring the three most powerful ingredients of intrinsic motivation into the classroom: play, passion and purpose.”
What does that mean for teachers and principals?
“Teachers,” he said, “need to coach students to performance excellence, and principals must be instructional leaders who create the culture of collaboration required to innovate. . . . All students should have digital portfolios to show evidence of mastery of skills like critical thinking and communication, which they build up right through K-12 and postsecondary. Selective use of high-quality tests, like the College and Work Readiness Assessment, is important. . . .We need lab schools where students earn a high school diploma by completing a series of skill-based ‘merit badges’ in things like entrepreneurship."
Summing Up
We definitely need to emphasize innovation in our efforts to educate our young people to be able to compete effectively in the marketplace.
Bureaucracy is a stifling way to dumb down individual performance, and it's as prevalent in many private sector companies as it is in the public arena. It's dumbing down, pure and simple.
And the low to middle skill administrative jobs are rapidly shrinking and being eliminated by advances in technology.
In the future, collaboration and innovation will replace the ability to memorize content and then simply engage in performing repetitive and boring administrative tasks in the workplace.
As a result, our approach to education must change to accommodate this exciting new and competitive way of adding value in everything we do.

And finally, consider this. If our economy grew by just 1% more than it will during the next ten years, our federal deficit would shrink by $3 trillion. That's TRILLION with a capital "T."

And innovation, individual initiatives and the role played by our American institutions will be the keys to whether we'll grow by 2 or 3 percentage points annually, 3 or 4 percentage points, or some other one percentage point differential.

That 'extra' 1% would make a tremendous difference to each and all of us, and it's there for the taking.

And although it takes playing hard, smart and together, the individual members of the winning team always enjoy having played the game well. We're wired that way.
That's my take.
Thanks. Bob.