Educating the Workforce of the Future

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KQED reporter Oanh Ha has been working on a provocative three-part series on education for The California Report. The first feature aired Friday, exploring ways business is stepping up to help schools teach math and science.

Ask yourself this question: are we educating the workforce of the future?  The answer, of course, is yes and no.  Don't take this the wrong way. I'm a proud survivor of the Los Angeles Unified School District and I earned two degrees at UC Berkeley.  I know there are wonderful things about our public schools that don't get near enough airtime - and terrible, unacceptable things that hog the headlines.

In the post-Prop 13 era, many schools - at all levels - are eager for private support from businesses in the community. Industry is stepping up in all sorts of ways.  Some organizations, like the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, work to support math and science education with special programs that complement the curriculum at local schools.  Individual businesses often "adopt" a specific school, either because somebody in the business has a warm feeling for that school, or somebody in the school takes the initiative to develop a relationship with a particular business or industry nearby.  When I was a reporter at KPCC in Pasadena, I remember doing a story in 2005 about vocational education that featured Granada Hills Charter High School, which signed on with Automotive Youth Education Systems, a program that partners schools with local dealerships.

So what's the vocational program in California you want to shout out to?  Let us know here in the comments - and maybe we can see about a profile...

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About Rachael Myrow

Rachael Myrow hosts the California Report for KQED. Over 17 years in public radio, she's worked for Marketplace and KPCC, filed for NPR and The World, and developed a sizable tea collection that's become the envy of the KQED newsroom. She specializes in politics, economics and history in California - but for emotional balance, she also covers food and its relationship to health and happiness.

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