As part of its Influencer series, The Sacramento Bee asked CSBA CEO & Executive Director Vernon M. Billy and other education leaders: What can we do to make sure our kids get jobs? “We must prioritize a high-quality education for every child, one where all students benefit from relevant curriculum, appropriate supports, expanded professional development for teachers, and a greater focus on instruction” said Billy. “To keep pace with technologically driven change, knowledge of basic computer science theories should be included across grade levels. These foundational changes require dramatically improved school funding levels and an even higher level of differentiated assistance for districts in need.
“We must pursue stronger public–private partnerships that give students a chance to develop their skills and use them in a real-world environment. We should also emphasize career prep that nurtures important skills like oral and written communication, critical thinking, and collaboration that hold increased importance in an era where more employees have non-traditional work arrangements or change jobs every few years.
“This important work is happening in schools across California, but it needs to be the standard and the state needs to provide the resources to make that feasible. In sum, we need to invest in the creation of a school system where young people can explore their talents, develop an action plan to realize their dreams, and acquire the skills needed for the workplace and society at-large.”