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What Happens When School Is Too Easy?

Excel in Ed – Jacqueline Pace Swigler

“What happens when high school standards aren’t quite high enough…Right now, it seems there are too many kids walking out of school—just like I did—with a high school diploma but unprepared for the challenges and opportunities they will face. And this crushing reality can have serious consequences for students. For many students, the immediate consequence is remediation…For other students, the consequence is joblessness…There has been a disconnect between school and the real world, resulting in serious negative consequences for young adults. Too many states have had low expectations for K-12 student learning, misleading parents and teachers into believing kids are performing better than they actually are…What does all this mean for the children in your state? How can you know if your state is preparing students to graduate ready for real-world challenges?”(more)

Nigerian Graduates Need 21st Century Skills to Be Employed – Pearson

Vanguard – Dayo Adesulu

“With approximately 11 million people between the ages of 15 and 34 out of work in Nigeria, it is becoming more important than ever to tackle the country’s youth unemployment challenge with practical and effective solutions…employers the world over complain that despite high youth unemployment rates, finding school leavers and graduates with the skills demanded by modern workplaces is increasingly difficult. Nigeria, like many other countries, has an oversupply of tertiary graduates that fail to possess the 21st Century skills and competencies employers so often require – teamwork, innovation, communication skills and initiative, to name just a few…Embedding these skills in curricula will help create a workforce that has the attributes necessary to meet the demands of a global and increasingly connected labour market.”(more)

Addressing the Skills Gap Through After-School and Summer Programs

Education Week – Alli Lidie

“In the United States, there is a large and ever-widening gap between the skills unemployed individuals possess and those that companies need to fill vacancies…Despite high rates of unemployment, an alarming 82 percent of local manufacturers struggle to find qualified employees. These middle-skill positions, many with a STEM-focus, require workers with some post-secondary education but not a four-year college degree and have a median income of almost $77,000. These should be appealing options for youth to consider. So, what can be done to get them interested? In order to be prepared for these manufacturing positions and others, the next generation of workers needs a number of targeted supports. They need to be exposed to experiences and opportunities that spark their interest and love of learning, motivating them to pursue a 21st century career. They need chances to work with adults and peers to develop the essential skills of communication, teamwork, grit, global competence, and perseverance that will allow them to succeed in their chosen field. Lastly, they need supportive adults to encourage them along the way.”(more)

Rethinking Unemployment: Why We Need to Invest in Children

The Huffington Post – Traci Donnelly

“…to really find lasting solutions for chronic unemployment, we can’t focus only on the unemployed. We have to start in childhood, with measures that help children build on their strengths and thrive despite difficult circumstances. Some of these approaches have already garnered broad support, like universal pre-kindergarten, which closes the gap for children in poverty and helps them enter kindergarten at the level of their peers…Surprisingly, one of our best opportunities to help children find a path to a happy, healthy adulthood is still not widely used, despite a relatively low cost and years of research that shows how well it works. This is an approach based on resilience, the inner strengths, skills and attitudes that help children handle challenges. Resilience has been shown to be crucial for academic as well as lifelong success. Highly resilient students feel more confident and in control, and have better attendance and better grades…Often, children in poverty don’t get the support and nurturing they need to find their inner resources. But the best thing about resilience is that it is easily taught.”(more)

Children’s mental health is getting worse, says charity

The Yorkshire Post – Staff Writer

“NINE OUT of 10 frontline professionals say children’s mental health has become worse or remained persistently bleak over the past year, a charity claims today…the charity says it is concerned pressures faced by parents, among them job loss and debt, are having a detrimental impact on families…”(more)

The acronym that can fix America’s youth unemployment problem

The Washington Post – WILL.I.AM AND BEA PEREZ

“Until we take science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) seriously in our schools, American students will continue to lag the world…in a nation where nearly one in five youth are unemployed, many employers complain that they can’t fill their technical positions that require the skills that STEM education provides.” (more)