Testimony before the Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives

In this testimony, Al Shanker addresses concerns about the United States falling behind competing nations. Shanker states that America's economic competitiveness hinges upon its ability to educate its citizens properly. Shanker suggests three areas that could be improved: education quality in high school, tightened standards of entrance into colleges and universities, and a stronger connection between school and work. Shanker argues that students do not work hard in high school because there is no incentive to do so: they can find a college that will let them in regardless of high school performance, and for those students who do not go to college, high school performance has little bearing on the types of jobs they get. Shanker urges colleges to tighten their standards which would not only make students work harder to gain entrance but would also cause high school education quality to improve because students would have to learn basic skills before entering college. Shanker also suggests that employers look at high school records when considering hiring and wages. He mentions successful apprenticeship programs in other countries and urges adoption of a bill in Congress proposed by Richard Gephardt and Sam Nunn that would establish something similar in America's high schools. Several charts and graphs are included with this testimony.

Washington, D.C.
14 pages
Attachment(click to download)
64.96.pdf64.96.pdf660.56 KB