Thursday, September 11, 2014

The "middle skills" shortage: The common core will make it worse

Sent to the Wall Street Journal, Sept. 11, 2014

"German robots school U.S. workers" (Sept. 10) is the most recent of a series of reports in the Wall Street Journal on the substantial shortage of job applicants with "middle skills," requiring less than a college degree but more than high school. Instead of increasing apprenticeships and investing more in vocational education for young people interested in this path, we now have the common core standards, which will make things much worse.

Schools should include literature, but as Susan Ohanian points out, the common core elitist language arts standards are clearly designed for college English majors. Forcing all high school students to read and dissect works such as Ovid’s Metamorphoses will be useful and interesting only for a tiny minority.

John Gardner, Former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, tried to warn us years ago: “The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.”

Stephen Krashen, PhD
Professor Emeritus
University of Southern California


  1. this is such a HUGE issue...i read this piece, with outlander on TV in the i watched the credits, thinking about stephen's article, i thought to myself...all those costume designers, cutters (a separate category), set people,make up/special effects experts, electricians, etc etc etc...the world needs so many kinds of talents and skills.....maybe we should warn the folks in the film industry, and they could join us in the battle....

  2. Education is a fancy name for stuffing students' heads with useless information that renders them unemployable and devoid of critical life skills. This dysfunctional model has been in place for far too long.

  3. Great post. This article is really very informative & effective. I think its must be helpful for us.
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