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College may no longer be necessary, high quality K-12 education is

News Herald – Juliann Talkington

Juliann

Even though psychologists have been talking about a lack of correlation between college degrees, course grades, and job performance for decades, most companies continue to rely on these credentials and marks to make hiring decisions.

In the past couple of years, however, a few companies have broken rank. Google, a Fortune 500 technology firm, and Ernst and Young U.K., part of one of the world’s largest accounting firms, have publicly announced they no longer require college degrees for employment.

Google’s chairman said the company is more interested in an applicant’s skills, ability to think in a logical way, work ethic, breadth of experience, public speaking abilities, and creativity. Ernst and Young said they are interested in talented individuals regardless of background.

This transformation is due, in large part, to free access of information through the Internet. Over five years ago Bill Gates, a founder of Microsoft, suggested that traditional university education, especially at fixed-place institutions will no longer be necessary, since most of the content will be available online for free.

The college experience is under additional pressure, because college costs are rising at a rate higher than inflation and a college degree no longer guarantees a solid middle-class income. In fact, the College Risk Report (collegeriskreport.com) suggests that the rate of return on most four-year college degrees is worse than 2-year degrees and in some instances worse than no degree at all.

There is a small group of students who receive full ride scholarships to attend college. For these students, the costs are so low that the four-year degree makes financial sense.

Some people assert that college is an excellent place to make contacts. This may be a valid claim for students who are outgoing and takes advantage of all the clubs, speakers, professors, and research opportunities available at a school, but is probably not the case for most students who meet few people outside their dorms and classes.

Without a traditional college education, strong K-12 schooling is imperative since this will be where kids learn basic skills, hone public speaking abilities, refine creative thinking, and develop logical problem solving capabilities. Work ethic can be developed at school, home or in extra-curricular activities like sports. Breadth of experience can occur at school or through outside clubs and activities.

This new employment paradigm suggests we need to worry more about high quality K-12 education and less about college.

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to roll out school choice plan in Indy

Fox 59 – Russ McQuaid

“Before she was picked by President Trump to head up the U.S. Department of Education, Betsy DeVos was the chairwoman of the American Federal for Children, a pro-school choice lobbying group. When she visits Indianapolis tonight, Secretary DeVos will address a sea of friendly and familiar faces at the AFC’s National Policy Summit at the Westin Hotel. It’s expected DeVos will roll out a Trump administration plan to provide tax credits to corporations and individuals who donate money to groups and schools that provide school choice scholarships to students and parents.”(more)

Being more active in school lessons can improve performance in tests

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“Children who take part in lessons which include physical activity show an increase in health-enhancing physical activity and academic performance, according to research carried out by Leeds Beckett University. A team led by Senior Lecturer Andy Daly-Smith evaluated the impact of Tagtiv8 maths lessons on physical activity and maths performance. Children from a primary school in Leeds were randomly allocated to groups; taking part in either a seated classroom lesson or a Tagitv8 active learning lesson.”(more)

The business case for encouraging students to pursue a STEM education

The Globe and Mail – Eric Craven

“Canada’s economic future depends on having as many workers as possible who can think critically, make decisions and solve problems. It’s how our economy – and our country – will remain competitive, whatever the rest of the world throws at us. And it’s why leaders of just about every type of business in Canada need to encourage today’s youth to embrace a science, technology, engineering or mathematics education, even if they aren’t planning to go into a STEM career. Clearly, a STEM degree is a prerequisite for many jobs, including computer programming, medicine, engineering (of all kinds) and environmental science. But such an education also opens the door to many other employment possibilities, with more than two-thirds of Canada’s top jobs – from health care to skilled trades – requiring some level of STEM knowledge.”(more)

In a shaky political climate, here’s why students are more important than ever

E-School News – Charles Sosnik

“Politics is a funny beast. Being a journalist, I watch the gyrations and positioning with interest. When I was coming up in the business, I used to cover town council and school board meetings. It’s amazing; even then you could go to any town council or school board meeting anywhere and find remarkable similarities. With all the changes in the world over the last 30 plus years, politics still look the same to me.”(more)

Why schools should ban Snapchat permanently

The Toronto Star – Sachin Maharaj

“Much to the dismay of its students, the Toronto District School Board recently blocked access to Snapchat, Instagram and Netflix on its networks. The stated reason for the ban was that these apps were not being used by students for educational purposes and were clogging up the TDSB’s aging network, which made administrative tasks difficult to complete. The board has said this is only a temporary measure, and it will restore access once it upgrades its network over the summer. But this would be a huge a mistake. If the TDSB cares about what’s in the best long-term interests of its students, it should make the ban permanent.”(more)