WASHINGTON -- A high-profile commission warned Thursday that U.S. workers will lose more jobs overseas and will see their standard of living drop unless dramatic steps are taken to improve how kids are educated.
In a report, the panel called U.S. schools outdated and said they were failing to prepare students to compete in a global economy.
The group is proposing that high school end at 10th grade for many students and that teacher pension plans be scrapped for other benefits such as higher pay and 401(k)s.
The proposals, which likely will be viewed as radical by some, were presented by a decidedly establishment group that includes two dozen ex-Cabinet secretaries, school officials and business executives, along with top government leaders from the major political parties.
The panel is called the new Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce. It was organized by people who launched a group by the same name about 16 years ago. That first commission made a series of recommendations, several of which were enacted.
The new group wants to end high school in 10th grade for many students -- a point at which students would be able to take exams and go to a community college or, in some cases, stay in school and study for more advanced exams that could earn them a place at a four-year college. Somewhat similar systems are in place in other countries.
highschool end at 10th gradeSome members of the new commission are former Education secretaries Rod Paige and Richard Riley; former Labor Secretary Ray Marshall; former U.S. trade representative and member of Congress Bill Brock; former Michigan Gov. John Engler; and Joel Klein, chancellor of the New York City schools.
I think this would be a bad idea. You be having 14 and 15 years old going to college with people that are 18 years and older. That would feel a little awkward.