This special edition of the Harvard Business Review explains America’s unready
state for competing in the global marketplace. And it points an accusatory
finger at our education system. U.S.
public education—according to HBR authors—is “neither world class nor
reflective of the large sums spent on [it].” It’s also a system that struggles
to “produce employable workers.” In short, it’s broken. Luckily, there are
solutions. In her education-specific article (the only one in the bunch), the
Gates Foundation’s Stacey Childress (formerly an HBS professor) promotes the
use of technology to improve and personalize content delivery. Suggestions from
other contributors include calling on the business community and business
schools to invest locally in schools (a call recently echoed by
Governor Jindal) and to increase the number of apprenticeship and
internship-type programs for high schoolers. At the higher-education level,
authors pushed for curricula better aligned with the needs of employers. Those
seeking a primer on U.S.
competitiveness may wish to have a look. And to supporters of career-readiness
efforts: This issue provides much fodder for a revamped approach to vocational
and technical education as well.
“Special report: Reinventing America,” Harvard Business Review 90,
no. 3 (March 2012).