The Center for American Progress and the Institute for America’s Future have created a national task force to ensure excellence in public education – co-chaired by Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, Philip Murphy, senior director of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc= and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, historian and former Washington, D.C. School Board member Roger Wilkins. The task force will engage business, public policy and community leaders in a national series of major public hearings and will consider several areas:
The Status Quo: The task force will examine the current scope of the education system.
The Challenges: The task force will document challenges facing public schools.
The Teachers and Schools: The task force will identify strategies for ensuring that teachers have the tools and incentives to excel and for structuring K-12 schools so they prepare every student for advanced learning and for life in light of 21st century demands.
The Proposals: The task force will examine a wide array of proposed solutions, from reorganizing schools, classrooms and curricula to rearranging the school day and the school year.
The Plan Pre K-14 and Beyond: The task force will offer a plan for ensuring that every child has access to preschool through at least two years of education after high school graduation.
“We are trying to prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s economy with yesterday’s ideas,” said Napolitano. “Our school system was designed in the early 20th Century and hasn’t seen significant changes in more than a generation.”
The Task Force noted that the Chamber of Commerce has predicted that approximately 5 million jobs will be left unfilled at the end of this decade because our schools do not provide students the preparation they need to work in these positions.
“America’s next biggest economic threat looms in our schools. We need to ensure that our children have the skills that they need to fill the jobs of the future,” Murphy said. “The Task Force will think outside the box in order to create a new vision for public education in the United States so we can maintain our position as the leading world economy.”