Market Will Drive Education Reform, Not Washington

Last week the Wall Street Journal gathered CEOs and a handful of Republican and Democratic leaders, including President Obama and Governor Chris Christie, to discuss how the private and government sectors can collaborate to address sticky problems.  Among the recommendations coming from the CEOs:  Reinvent and invest in K-12 and higher education to stay competitive and ensure the future of capitalism.

While the CEOs were talking in New York, members of the Women in Government Relations (WGR) Education Task Force were also exploring the state of America’s education system, specifically at the post-secondary level at a panel in Washington, DC.  Like the WSJ event, the discussion also featured representatives from both parties, across the public and private sectors.  Among the topics of discussion:

Polite debate ensued around the right way to value and measure college completion, a high priority for panel moderator Zakiya Smith of the Lumina Foundation (client), which is calling for an increase in the proportion of Americans with high quality college degree certificates or other credentials to 60% by 2025.

The need to better prepare students for successful employment opportunities is not a particularly new concern, but the urgency of the message is growing, along with the volume of the business community’s voice in the conversation. Leslie Goodman, the Legislative Director for House Higher Education Subcommittee Chair Virginia Foxx (NC-5), underscored the importance of policy makers taking a long-term view, recognizing innovative practices and new economic realities.

Although opinions differed among the CEOs and the WGR panelists, one message was clear:  the way we finance, deliver and measure education must catch up with the evolving needs and expectations of the global economy.  It is unlikely that the rusty policy machinery that created the legislative approach to covering the uninsured – and now is arguably more broken in part as a result of that legislation – will be capable of driving solutions to our dated education system. The marketplace is much more likely to be the engine of change.

Market Will Drive Education Reform, Not Washington

Last week the Wall Street Journal gathered CEOs and a handful of Republican and Democratic leaders, including President Obama and Governor Chris Christie, to discuss how the private and government sectors can collaborate to address sticky problems.  Among the recommendations coming from the CEOs:  Reinvent and invest in K-12 and higher education to stay competitive and ensure the future of capitalism.
While the CEOs were talking in New York, members of the Women in Government Relations (WGR) Education Task Force were also exploring the state of America’s education system, specifically at the post-secondary level at a panel in Washington, DC.  Like the WSJ event, the discussion also featured representatives from both parties, across the public and private sectors.  Among the topics …

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