The Herman Trend Alert|
August 10, 1999
Business Investment in Education
143 days until January 1, 2000
Business leaders express alarm that too many students are graduating from our schools without desired levels of knowledge, creativity, and problem-solving skills for today. . . and tomorrow. This complicated issue includes concerns about curriculum, teacher competency (including breadth and depth of knowledge to stay ahead of students), and the rapidly-changing requirements for high-performance employment in an era of major technological growth.
What will happen? We see activity on several fronts as employers and workers become increasingly sensitive to their capacity to build knowledge, competency, marketability, and performance. Significant progress will be made in the schools, as well as in post-secondary education and training.
- Schools will get more help from corporations who are on the leading edge of knowledge development in their fields. Some support will come as information sharing. Some will come in the form of grants, including research grants (learning grants) for high school teachers. Expert help will be supplied to schools in the form of corporate employees working side-by-side with teachers, instructing and mentoring. Corporate money will flow into the schools as cash and valuable in-kind donations.
An example of the corporate outreach to expect can be found on the internet at http://www.chevron.com/community/index.html. The Chevron Best Classroom Practices program has captured innovative ways to teach math, science and technology from a dozen great teachers. The company makes lesson plans and a variety of other resources available, so that any teacher can take advantage of them.
- Employers will enrich their own training and development efforts. Employees will begin learning from the moment they're hired. In some cases, such as Memphis Light, Gas & Water, prospective employees will get training before they even start their jobs. Intensified on-the-job and classroom training will be supplemented by tuition reimbursement programs.
- Workers will take responsibility for their own learning. They will choose employers, in part, based on learning opportunities. They'll take classes on their own, learn from surfing internet sites, and engage in distance learning experiences.
Personal and professional growth will become even more central in the business environment.
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