Friday Five: Career Ed Rising

Everybody is talking about CTE. In urban and suburban districts in two cities in the last week, we’ve been talking about career and technical education. How to do it? What jobs to focus on? How to make it equitable? Here are five relevant clips from the week:

1.Reich on CTE. “I think it’s important to develop pathways to the middle class that are not simply dependent on traditional higher education,” said former Labor Secretary Robert Reich. “It’s absurd that we carry around this conceit that every child has got to go to a four-year liberal arts institution in order to make it in society. That’s wrong. It’s morally wrong, and it’s economically wrong.”

“Every young person should have access to a superb education, technical education, vocational education, that allows him or her to have mastery over a domain of knowledge that in turn gives that young person the ability to learn on the job forever after that point,” added Reich.

2. Fast + Cheap Pathways to Good Jobs. Ryan Craig’s new book, A New U, Faster + Cheaper Alternatives to College, argues that what most people need is a good first job and a quick, free (or debt free) way to get there. He outlines the growth of “last-mile” training as an alternative to traditional higher ed. Listen to our interview and read more here (and a book report here).

We applied Craig’s logic–a hard sprint to a good first job–to secondary education in a post on Career Ready High Schools.

3. Better Management Training. A global network of B-schools offers a 1 year alternative to an MBA that includes a consulting gig with a multinational. My Forbes feature highlighted ten ways CEMS is creating relevant preparation for business leaders. In addition to shared degree structure, the schools all have a common focus on globalism, contribution and sustainability–values that make the education relevant.

4. Own it. Michael Arthur, the author of An Intelligent Career, makes the case that in this high velocity world, the key is for every worker take ownership of their own career. “The career ownership perspective insists that every worker take ownership of their own career, rather than allowing any organization to do that.” His Forbes post illustrates the collision of traditional management training with the realities of

5. Embracing SEL. NewSchools Venture Fund urges schools to adopt broader aims–learning goals that are “meaningful, measurable, and malleable.” Their new Insight Brief. Embracing and Measuring an Expanded Definition of Student Success outlines the “important mindsets, habits and skills to be ready to build a good life when they enter young adulthood.” The report focuses on three categories of indicators: academic results, social-emotional competencies, and school culture/climate factors.

5 Discoveries

Pod: if scaled impact is part of your life’s work, check out Reid Hoffman’s Masters of Scale podcast.

Book: Arne Duncan has a new book, How Schools Work, where the long-serving Secretary of Education drops a few bombs like, “Education runs on lies.” He urges communities to rally in support of quality education.

Resources: Microsoft released nine Learning Tools updates–it’s great to see assistive tech go mainstream.

More resources: Facebook launched educational resources focused on helping young people think critically and behave thoughtfully online. The Digital Literacy Library is aimed at educators of children aged 11 to 18, and address topics like privacy, reputation, identity exploration, security, safety, wellbeing and more.

Pic: We were in Beaverton Oregon this week welcoming administrators back to school in a beautiful new Mountainside High School facility (featured image).

Check out last week’s Friday 5: Robots, Rebels, and Radical Markets

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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