Kaye’s Quarterly 2015 Spring Newsletter

North Carolina Education Endowment

Have you contributed to the North Carolina Education Endowment yet? This special fund, championed by Lt. Governor Forest in 2014, was established to supplement teacher pay raises that directly relate to student achievement. Show your appreciation for North Carolina teachers today by purchasing an “I Support Teachers” specialty license plate or by donating a portion of your state tax refund to the Endowment. For information on how to order an “I Support Teachers” license plate, visit www.isupportteachers.com. Join Lieutenant Governor Forest in rewarding our best teachers for their professionalism and high performance by participating in this initiative today.


“This innovative framework for supplementing teacher pay is essential to showing teachers, students, and parents that we cannot settle for an average public education system in North Carolina…”
- Lt. Governor Dan Forest

Editorial Comment . . . Career Readiness for College Graduates

With college graduations underway, it is important to ask ourselves what skill sets our college graduates need in order to successfully transition into the workforce. Studies continue to tell us that the nation’s new workforce entrants are woefully ill-prepared for the demands of the workplace.


The mission of higher education for many years seemed to be preparing college graduates to access rewarding jobs beyond college. With the changing landscape of the economy worldwide and the technological advances, the needs of employers have changed. So many different labels of identifying 21st-century skill sets become misleading. Thinking critically, analytically, and creatively is not much different than previous generations were portraying as important skill sets to have to become situated under the umbrella of “career ready” skills. Just as philosophers and educators from ancient Socrates to 20th-century John Dewey have called these skill sets important ones to develop, what changes the conversation today is that work requiring routine skills is now being absorbed by computers. That shows the evolution of the workforce. Employees must adapt and integrate a variety of work skills in order to stay relevant in the assigned job within a company. I have read that what gives the 21st-century skills more credence is an emphasis on what students can do with knowledge rather than what knowledge they have acquired through college credits. New technologies are continuing to make it easier to measure a student’s “individual” mastery of 21st century skills. However, defining these skills can be problematic and measuring mastery of these skills on a “larger scale” will be the true test of accountability.

If you are an employer, share with me what attributes you are looking for when hiring college graduates. If you are a recent college graduate transitioning to the workforce, let me know what skill sets you perceive you have that you feel will be needed in the workforce.

Common Core: We can do better in North Carolina!

Keep asking the questions about Common Core and how it will affect teaching and learning in our public schools. An 11-member Academic Standards Review Commission (ASRC) was created last July, 2014, by legislators in North Carolina to “review and replace” the Common Core (Senate Bill 812). They are to make recommendations to the State Board of Education. Te next meeting of the Academic Standards Review Commission (ASRC) is scheduled for June 15th from 1:00 to 5:00 PM. Stay engaged and informed! Share your opinions with me as well at Kaye@KayeMcGarry.com – your input and comments are important to me.

GOD BLESS!
Kaye McGarry

 
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