Call it the American fantasy. For years, people have believed that a college degree provided the only safe path to achieving middle-class security and a stable career, and the nation’s high schools have been shaped to fit the idea that all young people could and should go to college.The facts tell a different story: Only three in 10 young people earn a bachelor’s degree by their mid-20s, while more than 40 percent never even set foot on a community college or university campus. For the majority of young people who never earn a post-secondary degree, the American dream remains just that.The problem, three Harvard analysts say in a new report called “Pathways to Prosperity,” is that high schools don’t offer alternatives that prepare students to enter the working world, rather than four more years in a classroom. And while the new public education system they’re advocating — one that offers robust vocational and technical training programs alongside traditional college-prep schools — is a long way from broad reality, their vision is inspiring debate.“What we’re trying to do is cast a searchlight on the problem,” said Robert Schwartz, the Francis Keppel Professor of Practice of Educational Policy and Administration and faculty dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), who spent three years working on the report with Ron Ferguson, senior lecturer in education and public policy at the HGSE and the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), and Bill Symonds, a former BusinessWeek education reporter who now runs the Pathways to Prosperity Project at HSGE.“We’re trying to jump-start a more serious effort to bring together employers and educators from community colleges and high schools,” Schwartz said. “Employers in growing sectors are highly motivated to figure out how to get the workforce they need,” he said, “but there’s a huge social stigma attached to [vocational training] in America that we have to overcome.”The report is nothing if not timely. The recession hit teenagers and young adults the hardest; the percentage of Americans under 25 who have jobs is at its lowest level since the Great Depression.“The labor market has become a lot more unforgiving,” Symonds explained. “It’s becoming more and more difficult for young people to get meaningful work experience.”As part-time work dries up, the authors reason, students could benefit now more than ever from vocational training as part of the typical school day to learn the job skills they’ll need down the road.According to the report, 30 percent of jobs created over the next decade will require “some college” short of a four-year degree. These positions, in such fields as health care or construction, can offer entry into the middle class for those who are trained to fill them. Just as high schools encourage students to consider college, the authors write, they should also help prepare their graduates to enter apprenticeships, certificate programs, or community colleges that can teach those job skills.There are examples of vocational school success, as Symonds points out. In Massachusetts, students who attend vocational schools are now scoring higher on the MCAS and graduating at a higher rate than their peers in traditional high schools.“These schools work because we didn’t create them as a second-best option,” he said. “Some of these schools have waiting lists.”And of course, Europe has long made vocational training an option for students. American criticisms of the European system — namely, that it “tracks” students at a young age, based on their abilities — obscure the fact that it works, said Schwartz, who has worked with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on two studies comparing countries’ educational systems. European nations are outscoring America on international standardized tests, and employment rates for young people are higher.In Northern European countries, Schwartz said, 40 to 70 percent of students opt for vocational education over a college-prep curriculum. Even in Finland, a less socially stratified country that outlawed tracking in the 1990s, 43 percent of students choose vocational training.“We’ve relied on one institution, our higher education system, to get kids from high school into the workplace,” Schwartz said. “These other countries have built a parallel system, and I would argue that’s something we should be paying attention to. We have no serious alternative strategy.”Reactions to “Pathways,” which was released Feb. 1, have been mixed but rarely muted. A Washington Post education columnist called it “dreamy nonsense”; NPR’s “On Point” devoted an hour to the report.“The first few emails I got were negative — people accusing us of trying to deny college to disadvantaged students,” Ferguson said. “That was quickly eclipsed by people really thanking us for raising the issue. The college-for-all movement has been so strong that people who think we need more than just college for all have been afraid to speak up.”Symonds has received invitations from 18 states to address local school districts, community college presidents, state legislatures, and other groups, from as far away as Alaska and Hawaii.Even the White House has paid attention. President Obama has long made improving community colleges, which provide the bulk of America’s technical training, a pillar of his higher education policy. But the administration is now considering the importance of career and technical education at the high-school level in preparing students for jobs.Arne Duncan, Obama’s secretary of education, called the report “absolutely pressing,” and the newly formed White House Council for Community Solutions has asked for a briefing on “Pathways.” In fact, when President Obama came to Boston last month he made a visit to TechBoston Academy, a high-performing pilot school for at-risk students that offers its students vocational training for careers in technology.But to Ferguson, director of the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard, promoting alternative educational paths is more than just smart policy. It should be a “social movement,” he said, to help students from all backgrounds succeed in work and life, especially poor minority students — a rapidly growing population that is most frequently left behind in traditional high schools.“We’ve got to persuade people across society that unless we pay more attention to adolescence, we’re headed toward having a fragmented society that is divided by race and social class,” Ferguson said. “We don’t claim to know how to fix everything in the report. But we’re already in trouble, and if we don’t do something, things are only going to get worse.”
from $49.50 Related Shows View Comments Chicago Spice it up for mama! NeNe Leakes will return to Broadway as Chicago’s Keeper of the Keys on November 23, replacing Carol Woods. The Real Housewives of Atlanta star is scheduled to play a limited engagement as Matron “Mama” Morton in the Tony-winning revival through December 20.Leakes is best known for her appearances on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Atlanta; she made her Broadway and stage debut last year as Cinderella’s wicked stepmother Madame in Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Additional acting credits include Glee.Chicago also currently stars Dylis Croman as Roxie Hart, Amra-Faye Wright as Velma Kelly, Jason Danieley as Billy Flynn, Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart and R. Lowe as Mary Sunshine.
(REUTERS)-Dries Mertens and Romelu Lukaku scored twice as Belgium destroyed Estonia 8-1 to seize top spot outright in World Cup Group H qualifying yesterday.Coach Roberto Martinez’s men also struck through Thomas Meunier, Eden Hazard, Yannick Carrasco and an own goal from Ragnar Klavan, with the first three coming inside the opening 25 minutes.Estonia replied just before the half-hour through Henri Anier but it was a lonely highlight for the Baltic nation who are second from bottom with three points.Meunier’s first international goal after eight minutes began the deluge as he timed a run to the back post perfectly to head home Carrasco’s cross.Mertens’ shot from outside the area took a wicked deflection for the second goal after 16 minutes and Hazard made it 3-0 with a powerful drive after a swift attacking move.A rare defensive slip then allowed Anier to turn and beat keeper Thibaut Courtois before the break.Belgium added three more goals in six minutes soon after the hour mark as they claimed their fourth group victory.Unmarked Carrasco finished off a square pass from Lukaku before Klavan steered a centre by Mertens into his own net.Mertens then grabbed his second goal with a chip over the goalkeeper after Lukaku’s effort had been well saved.Lukaku was rewarded for his contribution when his 83rd- minute shot took a deflection to leave goalkeeper Mihkel Aksalu with no chance.The Everton striker was then fed five minutes later with a clever ball from midfield and he raced towards goal before shooting into the corner of the net.Belgium have 12 points from four games, two ahead of second-placed Greece and five in front of Bosnia who are third.Greece were held 1-1 at home by Bosnia yesterday.
The decision comes despite an uptick in in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country. Daily infections have jumped to more than 1,000 since Aug. 4 to reach levels previously recorded in June.___The Minnesota Vikings will play at least their first two home games without fans in attendance.With current Minnesota Department of Health guidelines specifying an indoor venue capacity of 250 people, officials from the Vikings, the state, U.S. Bank Stadium, the NFL and the city of Minneapolis were unable to establish a prudent way to open the gates to the public for now.The Vikings will host Green Bay on Sept. 13 and Tennessee on Sept. 27 with the 66,000 seats empty. Over the ensuing five weeks, Minnesota plays at home only once, on Oct. 18 against Atlanta. August 25, 2020 In a statement, the Vikings said: “We have sought to balance the opportunity to provide fan access with the responsibility to adhere to public health and medical guidance in order to maintain the health and safety of fans, players, staff members and the broader community. Ultimately, public health is our top priority.”NFC North rivals Green Bay and Detroit have announced their first two home games will be played without fans. Chicago also will start the season without spectators but has not specified for how many games.___Tennessee will be selling tickets for approximately 25% of the seats at Neyland Stadium for this season.The stadium has a capacity of 102,455, counting everybody in the building, which could mean around 25,000 fans ___The Buffalo Bills will play their first two home games without fans present, while not ruling out the possibility of allowing some into the stadium before season’s end.The Bills announced the decision on their Twitter account Tuesday following discussions with state and county health officials. The team said it is still attempting to establish policies and procedures “that hopefully permit fans later this season.”State guidelines remain unchanged since June, when New York approved the resumption of pro sports but without spectators present.The Bills have offered season ticket holders the option of refunds or pushing that money to next year. Those who keep money in their account would be eligible to be included in a lottery should fans be allowed. ___Vanderbilt is getting its top tackler back after Dimitri Moore changed his mind about opting out of this season.Moore posted on Instagram on Tuesday that he decided to opt out of the upcoming season after his grandfather died of COVID-19. The senior from Cedar Hill, Texas, wrote that he has done more research and talked with doctors and medical personnel since that decision. Moore says he is returning to the Vanderbilt football program, a decision he made on his own.The linebacker says he trusts and has confidence in Vanderbilt’s testing abilities and safety protocols.Vanderbilt canceled football practice last Friday and has yet to return after what the university called “a small number” of positive COVID-19 test results in the program. The football players who tested positive were put in isolation. ___Masks will be required on Oklahoma’s campus on football game days and tailgating will be prohibited during the football season in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.The school made the announcements in a news release on Tuesday.The mask requirement includes all campus buildings and outdoor areas, athletics facilities, parking areas, outside the stadium, gate entry, concourse, stadium seating bowl and the club/loge areas. The masks may be removed temporarily for eating and drinking while in the stadium seating bowl, or in common areas of clubs, suites and loges.Although the school has no authority over off-campus tailgates, it encourages people to wear face masks in public and to avoid congregating in large groups that impede social distancing. ___USA Diving has announced it will hold next year’s Olympic Team Trial s from June 6-13 in Indianapolis.The trials were initially set for June 14-21, 2020 in Indy but were rescheduled when the Tokyo Olympics were postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic.The Indiana University Natatorium has hosted the Olympic Trials six times since 1984, most recently in 2016. USA Diving headquarters also are located in Indy.A full competition schedule can be found on USA Diving’s website. The Latest: USA Luge to look for recruits only in New York This year’s schedule featuring sleds on wheels started later than usual as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The next clinic is on tap for this Sunday in Lake Placid for boys and girls ages 9 to 13. Sessions are limited to 10 youngsters to accommodate social distancing rules and face masks are mandatory. All sleds, helmets and registration items will be disinfected after each use.Other stops are set for Sept. 12 in Utica, Sept. 13 in Glens Falls, Sept. 26-27 in metro New York City, and Oct. 4 back in Lake Placid. At all locations the organization will deploy new cleaning and sanitizing protocols to keep participants safe. The original schedule had clinics scheduled in Duluth, Minnesota, and Columbus, Ohio.___ ___North Carolina says the rest of its winter and spring sports teams may resume activities Wednesday after a recent pause amid the coronavirus pandemic.The school announced over the weekend that football, men’s and women’s basketball, and other fall sports were cleared to resume workouts as of Sunday. But they said all other sports remained on hold for the time being.The school lifted that hold Tuesday afternoon.Last week the school had paused activities amid rising numbers of coronavirus cases on campus, including in student housing and a fraternity. Those cases had led the school to cancel in-person undergraduate classes in favor of remote instruction. The Volunteers’ first home game is Oct. 3 against Missouri and university officials say restrictions could change during the season based on statewide virus data and recommendations from public health officials. Tennessee asked fans statewide to wear masks in public.Athletic director Phillip Fulmer says he empathizes with the thousands of fans who won’t get to go to games in Neyland this fall. Fulmer says the circumstances are beyond the control of Tennessee officials and they will do their best to create the safest environment both inside and outside the stadium.Current students and active donors to the Tennessee Fund with season tickets get top priority for tickets and season tickets will be offered based on annual amount given and the order to the Tennessee Fund.The original prices for season tickets will not change with Tennessee set to host five Southeastern Conference opponents for the first time since 1959.Students can start requesting tickets issued on a game-by-game basis Sept. 23. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___USA Luge has changed plans and is restricting its slider search strictly to New York state. Buffalo opens the season on Sept. 13 hosting the New York Jets, and then hosts the Los Angeles Rams two weeks later.The announcement comes a day after Bills coach Sean McDermott described the lack of league-wide uniformity regarding the presence of spectators at NFL games as being “ridiculous” after AFC East rival Miami announced it would allow up to 13,000 fans into its stadium.___The San Francisco 49ers will play their season opener without fans in attendance because of the COVID-19 pandemic.The team said Tuesday after consulting with local officials that the Sept. 13 game against Arizona at Levi’s Stadium will be played without spectators. Associated Press The team said it would work with state and county officials to determine whether it will be safe to allow fans to attend games later this season.___The Turkish soccer federation says a limited number of spectators will be allowed into stadiums to watch games as of October as it relaxes coronavirus restrictions.The federation says stadiums around the country would operate at a maximum of 30% capacity.The spectators would have their temperatures taken before being admitted. They would be required to wear masks and keep to social distancing rules. Purdue has announced football coach Jeff Brhom, basketball coaches Matt Painter and Sharon Versyp and athletic director Mike Bobinski have voluntarily taken a 20% pay cut and agreed to give up money from incentives, effective Sept. 1.Athletic department officials are projecting they could face a budget shortfall in excess of $50 million.As a result, the Boilermakers other head coaches and assistant coaches will voluntarily take 15% pay cuts, while other staff members are facing reductions in force, reduced work schedules, furloughs or salary cuts ranging from 5% to 50%.In addition to the salary cuts, Brohm, Painter, Versyp and Bobinski have agreed to donate $1 million to the school’s More Than A Game on Sept. 9 as part of the school’s day of giving campaign.Purdue is one of the few in the Football Bowl Subdivision that does not receive money from taxpayers, the school’s general fund or student fees and it is trying to make up at least some of the projected losses through donations. ___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports