“President Obama offered few details on the high school challenge in last night’s State of the Union address, but I see great potential,” said Wise.
WASHINGTON, DC – Last night, President Barack Obama announced a new challenge that will “redesign America’s high schools so they better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy.” In response, Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, made the following statement:
“President Obama offered few details on the high school challenge in last night’s State of the Union address, but I see great potential. If the nation is serious about the high school dropout crisis, more must be done to engage students and make learning relevant. The president’s proposal appears to do both.
“Last night’s State of the Union address provided further reinforcement of the importance of high schools—and high school students—to the nation’s workforce. This challenge to redesign high schools can help to blur the lines between high school and college and education and the workforce, both of which are critical connections needed to ensure that all students graduate with the skills needed in today’s job market.
“Such an initiative could also help inform turnaround policy by encouraging successful schools and programs while also inspiring additional approaches based on their successes. Successful models, such as P-Tech in Brooklyn, which the president referenced last night, as well as Linked Learning and career academies supported by the National Academy Foundation, already implement innovative partnerships between individual schools and businesses and institutions of higher education, making high school more relevant and preparing students for college and a career. It is time to bring this idea to scale.
“In the midst of historically high unemployment, there are 3.6 million jobs going unfilled because employers cannot find applicants with the education and skills needed to fill them. Education is the solution to this problem. President Obama’s challenge will help to ensure that every child receives the education they deserve and the experience the nation’s job market demands.”