BERT MAES

The Future of CNC Manufacturing Education – CNC Manufacturing, Education Reform & Change Management News.

Only local governments can reform manufacturing education

Posted by Bert Maes on March 2, 2010


Only local governments can reform manufacturing education. At least, that is what I believe, based on a few observations:

  • History shows that real education reforms occurs only in the absence of a strong federal role”. Jeanne Allen, the founder and president of The Center for Education Reform (CER) calls for small-government fire that spreads beyond local political differences (“bipartisan”).
    National education departments simply are not equipped to understand how choices can best be developed and supported in a community, how a teacher can best be evaluated for performance so he stays in that role, how we can close schools and shift around students, get rid of bad teachers and demonstrate success.” (See article: Don’t look for government to reform education)
    What can the federal government do to ensure the best-possible education for our kids? If the president wants to be a real reformer, he should get the federal government out of the education business and let states, cities and parents decide how best to educate the next generation of Americans.” (See article: Can Barack Obama reform education?)
  • Government resources are under serious pressure. With their rapid increase in spending for health care and economy stimulus plans, today’s government’s strategy is simple: smarter, more efficient public sector investments. This means: they ask bigger contributions from private businesses into education. Those firms are working at the local level, in their own manufacturing communities. So: local companies taking social responsibility are the only ones that can help in financing education. And they will only do it for their local schools, to directly impact the quality of classroom teaching and higher student achievements, in their local pool of potential employees.

Jeanne Allen concludes correctly that those “best-intentioned programs at all federal agencies end up NOT having very much effect“.

I believe that the manufacturing education challenges ahead can only be overcome with a much more concerted and dedicated LOCAL effort, cooperation and interaction by individuals, industry business (Companies should get their hands dirty and help students), trade unions, local education and training providers, public services and local governments.

A good idea comes from Finland: the key in the quality of education in Finland was ‘how to find ways to help schools and teachers come together and share what they have learned about productive teaching techniques and effective schools’. The result was the creation of multi-level, professional learning communities of schools sharing locally tested practices and enriching ideas, and matching the needs for local economic development.

If we add LOCAL governments, company leaders, business associations, parents, employment service providers, entrepreneurs, venture capital investors / banks and universities (e.g. in some kind of regional platform defining goals and policies) we will get a huge synergy … and education reform is born…

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