Ever asked a kindergartner what they want to be when they grow up?
I love that game. I hear responses such as firefighters, doctors, mommies, teachers; you name it. One little girl told me she wanted to be a doctor, the president and a jeweler; she just wasn’t sure she’d have time to be all three.
The goal of education is to produce young people who are fully prepared for the workforce that awaits them outside of high school or college and to help them become fully engaged, productive citizens.
We in common education sometimes lose sight of this ultimate goal and set our sites only on the next frame in the unfolding picture of a child’s life — college. The end goal, however, is to prepare a student so they can find a job that pays them an adequate salary, makes the best use of their talents and skills, and satisfies their passion.
Education Week’s 2013 Quality Counts report, which was released this week, gave Oklahoma an A+ in the category of Economy and Workforce. The grade is awarded on the criteria of the state having a definition of work readiness, offering a high school diploma with career specialization, having a path in K-12 for industry-recognized certificate or license, and offering portable credits for K-12 students to earn career tech credits toward postsecondary education.
I was pleased to see this grade, but I know there is more to be done in preparing our students for their future careers. Part of this is we must work to incorporate more career counseling and work skills training in our common education experience.
To this end, I was excited to see a report this week detailing a Career Pathways Pilot Project taking place in Duncan Public Schools.
The goal of the program is to help students in the district develop a post-high school action plan that will help them determine their career pathways. Through participation, students will gain an awareness of their personal strengths, challenges and opportunities that will set them on a path of intentional instruction and guidance prior to high school graduation to ready them for college or career. The plan contains actions for students at all educational levels from elementary to high school.
The program is a collaboration between the Southwest Oklahoma Impact Coalition, a regional economic development entity; the Oklahoma Department of Commerce; the Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation; the Red River Technology Center; and GEAR Up/Oklahoma Higher Education Regents.
Duncan was considered perfect for the pilot because of the city’s robust manufacturing sector as well as a strong health care community. Duncan also has a technology center, a branch campus for higher education and a competent economic development organization.
The first meeting for the program drew more than 100 people, from employers, to teachers, counselors, cross agency partners, and members from the community – all working together toward the goal of preparing students for their futures of college or career.
I want to commend Duncan Superintendent Sherry Labyer and the Duncan Public School Board for implementing this program. I will be anxious to hear the outcome of the pilot. I hope other communities will consider emulating it. When we’ve prepared each student in Oklahoma for the rigors and challenges of the future work place, then we will truly have cause to celebrate.
JANET BARRESI is state superintendent of public instruction of Oklahoma. She may be reached via her website at http://ok.gov/sde/.
Ever asked a kindergartner what they want to be when they grow up?
Both genders think women are bad at basic math
A study of how both men and women perceive each other's mathematical ability finds that an unconscious bias against women could be skewing hiring decisions, widening the gender gap in mathematical professions like engineering.
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3-15 Edmond Senior Center calendar
For information about Edmond senior programs, stop by and pick up a monthly calendar, check out the website at edmondseniorcenter.com. or call 216-7600. Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. and reservations are needed a day in advance by 11 a.m. For lunch reservations, call 330-6293 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Diabetes Center program helps participants lose weight and gain a healthy lifestyle
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AS I SEE IT: Tax time is sneaking up faster than you think
Chances are that you woke to the Ides of March this morning without giving a thought to the fate that awaited poor Julius Caesar before this day ended in 44 BC. Why would you? That was a long time ago and you hardly knew him. But think on these things: If the Ides of March is already upon us (and it is), then the Ides of April can’t be far off, and friends, that particular upcoming Ides is of profound personal importance to you and to me. Be prepared!
The YWCA 2 Minute 5K and Kiddie K is approaching
Every 2 minutes someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. Take a stand against sexual violence by joining members of the YWCA in bringing victory over violence at 7 a.m. April 12 at Stars and Stripes Park, 3701 S. Lake Hefner Drive.
Registration is at 7 a.m.; Kiddie K registration is at 8 a.m. and 5K registration is at 8:30 a.m. Cost is $25 for the 5K or $35 for day of registration; Kiddie K registration is $15 or $20 for day of registration. Registration is open now.
Race packets will be available for pickup from noon to 7 p.m. April 11 at Red Coyote Running & Fitness, 5800 N. Classen Boulevard, Suite No. 1, Oklahoma City.
Public invited to Oklahoma History Conference
The general public is invited to register to participate in Crossroads of Commerce: The 2014 Oklahoma History Conference, sponsored by the Oklahoma Historical Society. The conference is scheduled for April 23-25 in Stillwater. More than 20 individuals, including historians and people who have made history, will make presentations during the conference. A special reception, a concert featuring Byron Berline, The Red Dirt Rangers and other musicians, two luncheons, a dinner and a bus tour are among the activities. For more information, visit www.okhistory.org.
Information also may be requested by emailing conference coordinator Paul Lambert at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 522-0317 or 800-750-4090.
Schools forget that boys will be boys
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Pruning of shrubs requires timing, knowledge, care
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