Worth reading

Always too much good stuff that I can’t find time or space to write about. Here are links to three reports/articles I found worth reading.

The Harvard Graduate School of Education released an important study called Pathways to Prosperity which puts back on the table the question of whether the sole focus of k-12 education should be college for all. Their point, that many have made before, is that there will be plenty of good-paying jobs in the economy of the future that do not require a four year degree. But rather more technical skills. That it is quite likely that students can best develop those technical skills in school settings other than a college prep classroom. Something like a reinvented vocational/technical ed. Worth reading and worth debating. The pendulum may have swung too far.

Yahoo Finance ran an article entitled Census estimates show big gains for US minorities. Interesting in and of itself. This is the new reality of US population growth:  predominantly from minorities, particularly Hispanics, many of then foreign born. But what I found most interesting is that Hispanics were the main reason for most states picking up Congressional seats. That’s right Hispanics, not folks like us voting with their feet for low tax states as we were told by many when the Census data was released. Wonder if those folks are willing to advocate that we need to be like those southern and western states and be more open to minorities, many immigrants, many illegal. Doesn’t fit with their story, does it?

Finally, and maybe most important of the three, a fascinating and scary article from Business Week on the growth of microworkers. This is companies getting projects done by workers online where they only pay for the products they like. Pretty amazing folks do the work in competition with others from across the planet knowing in advance that only a few of them – the ones with the best ideas/products – will get paid. If this is where some substantial proportion of future work is headed we are in for a revolution in the way labor markets work. As individuals and communities we are totally unprepared for this future.

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