Thursday, April 08, 2010

Global War for Talent

As this written, I no longer remember where I stumbled across the info that came out of a 2008 study by The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and which placed the United States 18th among the 36 nations examined.

While I know 2008 seems like ancient history and in Twitter years probably qualifies as prehistoric, but even way back then there were folks concerned about where America stood from an educational perspective.

Indeed, even with data this old, if you were looking for a way to get back on your diet by losing your appetite in a hurry, you can read the entire article here.

I am guessing that most of us would have a tendency to say, that if the sky hasn't fallen by now, it's time to worry about something else like trying to figure out if the Eagles trade of McNabb to the Redskins was a good one, and if so for which team. (As a Giants fan, I'm worried about both.)

If you read some of the think pieces about our country's prospects for the future as a global player most don't exactly make you want to run out and bet the ranch on our educational system as the answer.

Certainly I realize that many of the articles that look at this stuff as very much half empty are done to, as they say, "sell papers" but the fact remains that even if things are not as dismal as they project, to say that we do not face major challenges is a huge understatement.

When one reads articles on how to fix all this, the Rx always seems to say we need to develop more collaboration between parents, teachers and school administrations. Rarely, or at least not often enough, there is little talk about the role that business leaders should play.

Sure there is a fair amount of financial support for scholarships, but in a sense it feels to me that by the time those are awarded, we have already lost hundreds of thousands of kids with equal or better potential because they have been destroyed by the system before they even had the chance to compete.

As to putting cost of education out of reach for most middle class families, there is plenty of fodder there for books much less blogs.

If business leaders hope to compete effectively on a global basis, then they best think about putting some of that R&D money into helping to figure out how to save the intellectual capital that is going to waste.

H-1 visas are not an answer, they simply mask the disease.

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