Grades 9 Through 14 School Model Strengthens Education-to-Work System

Michael Bloomberg and Rahm Emanuel innovate how public education leads to a competitive workforce.

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[ Check out the U.S. News STEM Blog.]The next chapter in the success story of American education will be written when many more companies heed the calls of progressive civic and education leaders to strengthen our schools by connecting education to good-paying jobs. Companies should have strong incentives to participate, because strong schools make strong communities and businesses. But there are even more benefits, as companies that partner with public education will realize considerable business value from their collaborations. The reasons are clear: While students get the skills required to connect the dots between education and professional success, corporate partners get the talent pool they desperately need to stay competitive and grow.With the grades nine through 14 schools model, we now have a proven method for increasing community college graduation rates, increasing wages and tax revenues, and building stable and successful communities. If the public and private sectors can work together in innovative ways to establish and maintain a new, more relevant, and more effective standard for American education, we can jumpstart our global competitiveness and look forward to across-the-board improvements in our schools, in our cities, and in our communities. The time to act is now.

Corrected 2/28/2012: A previous version of this article misstated the number of STEM graduates that will be needed over the next 10 years, according to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. The council has identified the need for four million STEM graduates.