That's because things aren't working as intended and haven't for a long time now. Besides, the ideas that solving our problems by spending more government money and following the mandates or rules and regulations promulgated by government officials have already been given more than a fair trial.
Suffice it to say that the collectivist approach hasn't worked. In fact, we've been heading down that path since the 1930s, and it has failed, not only in America but in Europe and elsewhere as well. We need to 'rebalance' our 'balanced' approach to individual freedoms combined with a caring but self governing society of equals.
It's time to consider some new old ways of self reliance and self education. Let's give personal freedoms and personal responsibilities a chance to show what they can do for each and all of us, including our kids and our grandkids.
In our American work place, the days of old line bureaucratic institutions providing job security for life are gone, if they ever really existed. Gone too are the days of a guaranteed government tax supported job for public employees, and gone as well are the days where jobs accompanied by good pay were assured to those with only a high school diploma.
So let's look now at the future role of individual initiative and innovation as it will apply to the future quality of our educational institutions. The time has come.
Need a Job? Invent It is an insightful commentary dealing with the book "Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will change the World:'
"WHEN Tony Wagner, the Harvard education specialist, describes his job today, he says he’s “a translator between two hostile tribes” — the education world and the business world, the people who teach our kids and the people who give them jobs. Wagner’s argument in his book “Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World” is that our K-12 and college tracks are not consistently “adding the value and teaching the skills that matter most in the marketplace.”
This is dangerous at a time when there is increasingly no such thing as a high-wage, middle-skilled job — the thing that sustained the middle class in the last generation. Now there is only a high-wage, high-skilled job. Every middle-class job today is being pulled up, out or down faster than ever. That is, it either requires more skill or can be done by more people around the world or is being buried — made obsolete — faster than ever. Which is why the goal of education today, argues Wagner, should not be to make every child “college ready” but “innovation ready” — ready to add value to whatever they do. . . . “because knowledge is available on every Internet-connected device, what you know matters far less than what you can do with what you know. The capacity to innovate — the ability to solve problems creatively or bring new possibilities to life — and skills like critical thinking, communication and collaboration are far more important than academic knowledge. As one executive told me, ‘We can teach new hires the content, and we will have to because it continues to change, but we can’t teach them how to think — to ask the right questions — and to take initiative.’ ”
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."
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.