Friday, November 16, 2012

Education like Health Care is in Trouble. Part of answer. More Competition.

A well known college drop out says there are enough jobs but not enough qualified people to fill them.  The problem is our education system.  Most people would give this comment a second thought except the source is Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, a multi-billionaire.
The tech billionaire and philanthropist singled out exclusive universities for caring more about their acceptance rates than the quality of the education they offer. Gates, who dropped out of Harvard University, said federal money should go to those who look to teach.

“Who takes the people with the low SAT and educates them very well?” Gates said. “That should be rewarded."

Gates also expressed concern about state funding for education, given that health care expenses are increasing.

“State budgets are pretty easy to describe: They are spending more on medical costs, and a lot of that is coming from reducing their education spending,” Gates said.
I think he sees a legitimate problem with education and growth of health care expenses.  We're spending tons of money but not getting back the return we want.

An important part of the answer?  Empowering consumers rather than just pouring more money into the status quo.
Gates argued that the high unemployment rate — 7.9 percent, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor statistics — is the result of deficiencies in the educational system, rather than an absence of available jobs.

There are currently three million more jobs than there are people with the degrees to fill them, and Gates said the American system needs to start supplying workers or risk losing these opportunities to other countries.

“Many people want jobs, and there are a lot of open jobs,” Gates said. “It is up to the education system to equilibrate that.”
Whether that's totally accurate, I don't know the answer to that.  But even if it is correct, the education system isn't THE answer.  Part of the solution but not the whole.  The breakdown of the family, loss of character are also key parts of the problem.

The day of reckoning is fast approaching, because the money is running out to throw at education, health care and other social problems.

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