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Preparing Today’s Kids for Tomorrow’s Jobs: What Should Our Community Do? (NIF Issue Guide)

One of the National Issues Forums Institute’s issue guides, Preparing Today’s Kids for Tomorrow’s Jobs: What Should Our Community Do? outlines this public issue and several choices or approaches to addressing the issue. National Issues Forums do not advocate a specific solution or point of view, but provide citizens the opportunity to consider a broad range of choices, weigh the pros and cons of those options, and meet with each other in a public dialogue to identify the concerns they hold in common. From the issue guide…

A rising chorus of complaints from the nation’s employers is a troublesome sign that too many of today’s high school graduates are ill prepared for the jobs they seek. What and how should young people be taught to best equip them for tomorrow’s workplace and help strenghten the economy of the communities they live in? What community resources–including but not limited to schools–can be brought to bear on the problem?

This 30-page issue book presents the following three approaches for deliberation:

Approach One: A Firm Foundation
Americans’ strong work ethic has long been credited for building this nation’s economy. In this view, today’s emphasis on “me first” and instant gratification has eroded this sense of responsibility. Our focus should be on teaching basic work skills and character traits that are fundamental to job success at any level

Approach Two: Academic Competition
The United States has been losing ground in an aggressively competitive global economy. Technology, math, and science are the keys to our economic future. If American young people are to hold their own in tomorrow’s marketplace, it is critically important to improve the number and rigor of K-12 courses and to create community expectations for excellence in these areas.

Approach Three: The Community First
There is a critical need for qualified workers to fill jobs in the local businesses that are the backbone of a community’s economy. In this view, community and educational goals should be created with the needs of the local economy in mind. This will not only benefit graduates and businesses, but will strengthen the community as well.

More about NIF issue guides…

NIFI’s issue guides introduce participants to several choices or approaches to consider. Rather than conforming to any single public proposal, each choice reflects widely held concerns and principles. Panels of experts review manuscripts to make sure the choices are presented accurately and fairly. By intention, issue guides do not identify individuals or organizations with partisan labels, such as Democratic, Republican, conservative, or liberal. The goal is to present ideas in a fresh way that encourages readers to judge them on their merit.

NIFI offers various materials for each of the issues it produces issue guides on. The moderator guide or “guide to the forums” for each issue is available as a free download. Discussion guides (or “issue guides”) for participants are generally available in print or PDF download for a small fee ($2 to $4). DVD’s can also be purchased for some issues for just $6, for use at the beginning of your forums to introduce the topic and approaches.

NIF issue guides and associated tools can be accessed at www.nifi.org/discussion_guides/index.aspx.

Resource Link: http://nifi.org/issue_books/detail.aspx?catID=9&itemID=11009

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