A Call for a Calling
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  • Luke Lea

    “But the best way to raise per-capita income is to raise educational attainment. . .”

    A cliche which may not even be true. If Germany is any example the best way might be to introduce more vocational training. In other words raise the appropriateness of the education our children receive, fitting it to their aptitudes and to the future needs of our economy.

  • Kevin

    Do Chamber of Commerce education iniatives actually lead to better education?

  • Eurydice

    Yesterday’s post here about the American chestnut is an example of what the cooperation of experts and ordinary citizens can do. And, as you say, no one had to give them a mandate.

    It’s terrific that chambers of commerce are joining in to improve education in the US. And I wonder if these businesspeople might not learn something themselves about the limits of what the educational system can do for them. Because, when it comes time for businesspeople to hire from the Creative Class, they don’t seem to be all that creative. I see so many companies using automated sorting with narrowly defined criteria to try to come up with the perfect employee – one who’s exactly like the one being replaced and who’ll need no training at all. It seems it’s not enough to be a bright young worker.

  • Most chambers of commerce focus on the trees and ignore the forest. As Peter Drucker pointed out almost 20 years ago now, serial self-employment is the hallmark of the unfolding Information Age. Yet the political activity of the business establishment does little or nothing to take on the government impediments to this transformation. WRM laid out the agenda in his remarkable Blue Social Model series, but so far he is one of the few public voices to get it right.

  • Mick The Reactionary

    @Chris Mead:

    “the best way to raise per-capita income is to raise educational attainment.”

    A perfectly testable assertion. As was pointed above, it is a well-worn and tired cliche.

    As always the case with education boosters there is no proof offered. We must assume it is an obvious fact of nature.

    Of course millions of un/under employed college graduates, both with and without experience might disagree with the assertion, but they do not count in educational propaganda.

    One could test the cliche a bit without using stats:

    1) Are people with read/write/arithmetic and/or some vocational skills are better off than people who are totally illiterate with no usable skills?
    Intuitively the answer is very likely to be yes.

    2. If all students must spend 10 years after high school in college getting PhDs, does society benefit?

    How many students are not capable of getting PhD, even a PhD from diploma mill?
    How many PhDs the economy needs and will absorb?

    Say there are 1000 jobs total in US for Astronomy PhDs, a very demanding degree in a very demanding profession, no more than 5%-10% of population have brain power to obtain such degree.

    By offering scholarships and grants we could recruit 1000 capable students per year.

    So 1000 bright and shiny new Astronomy PhDs for a job market where there are maybe 30 (100 * 3% turnover) jobs opening per year.

    How that benefits society and our bright and hardworking graduates?

    A standard answer an education fanatic will give, if they will bother to answer at all, is highly skilled and intelligent PhD astronomers could use their talents elsewhere. Which is true, an astronomy PhD could, with some significant additional training become a CPA or a nurse.
    They could get thru licensing hoops and become a elementary / middle /high school teacher. Or they could write software for a website together with assorted college graduates and college dropouts.

    But they could have done all those things after getting only 4 year degree in sciences.
    So their return on educational investment beyond 4 years is zero.

    Is that what education fanatics propose?

    Hard to say, they never feel any responsibility to answer the skeptics.

  • Joe

    I respect the Chamber, and support what they do in our community, but I’m not sure I want them driving the direction of education.

    I’m trying to educate my kids. A nice side effect will be the ability to get a job.

    Further, I’m trying to get my kids ready for what the world will look like 15-20 years from now. I make my best guess at the habits, skills, and understanding that will serve them well.

    It’s long term stuff, and not the kind of thinking business leaders are particularly good at (or educrats, for that matter).

    Business leaders describe the kind of workers they need today. Educrats scramble to produce them. Kids graduate in 15 years and everything has changed.

    This is a model for success?

  • Mick The Reactionary

    @Marty:

    “As Peter Drucker pointed out … serial self-employment is the hallmark of the unfolding Information Age.”

    What does it mean?

    Is self-employment is a hallmark while InfoAge is unfolding, but stops being hallmark when it stops unfolding?

    Or when InfoAge stops unfolding, does self-employment stops being employment and just becomes self?

    Like, Self is a hallmark of not-unfolding InfoAge?

    And what happens when InfoAge starts folding?
    Does self-employment becomes self-unemployment or simply unemployment?

    Like, serial unemployment is a hallmark of folding InfoAge?

    Actually the last one makes sense to me.

  • Corlyss

    I’m all for any conservative institution that undertakes, with its own money and its own resources, to counter the anti-Amrican, anti-entrepreneurship, pro-Gaia, mindless Sesame-Street social quackery that passes for early education.

    Consider it an intervention long over due.

  • Eurydice

    [email protected] – I think you’ve seen “Inception” one too many times.

  • @Mick — Nice hall of mirrors you’ve got there!

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