Thursday, 26 March 2015

Human capital for the global economy

The extract comes from Anita Hoge`s "Womb to Tomb" A New Managed Economy: Education, Health, Labour. (Link above)

She provides documentary evidence that there is a system of education in the US that has as its primary task the preparation of children for the future workforce: a system that moulds students` behaviour, attitudes and values into government approved standards. (Human capital for the global economy.)

Working assumptions

Schools, by themselves, cannot be held accountable for children`s readiness to become successful learners. A partnership must exist among families, the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services (HRS), other community agencies, businesses and the local school to truly ensure every child`s readiness for success in school. Adoption by the State Board of Education of these recommendations for school improvement and accountability will establish the partnership as state policy for all agencies under the control and direction of the governor and State Board of Education.

In developing this readiness through shared responsibility, programs need to be family centred, community based and focused on building family and community strengths that will enable families to identify their needs, mobilise supportive resources and plan for acquisition of needed services. Services should be delivered in a manner that supports and promotes the integrity and unique needs of the family unit and respects racial, ethnic and divergent family demographics.

All children and families must be afforded access to physical and mental health care systems (including pre and postnatal care) without regard to income or financial resources. Self-sufficiency for families is most likely to be achieved through education and training for employment. Good physical and mental health and appropriate support systems are key to developing self-sufficiency.

(Approved June 22 1993)Adult literacy is an integral part of a continuous system of education.

Adults in the work force must continue to learn and retrain to live and work successfully in today`s world. A nation at risk must become a `nation of learners` to be competitive in a global economy...

Schools and districts must be held accountable for achieving adult literacy in Florida.

Research indicates that the literacy level of the parent or guardian significantly influences the educational achievement of the child....

Inter- and intra-agency cooperation and collaboration strengthen the quantity and quality of programs.


At one time parents sent their children to school to be educated, supervised their homework and attended the odd parent/teacher meeting but mostly left the professionals to get on with their job.

What is interesting about the above extract is the idea that schools in Florida cannot be expected to get children ready to be successful learners by themselves. There has to be a partnership between schools, families and Rehabilitative Services.

This was approved in 1993. So the idea that parents must be drawn into a partnership in order to prepare their children for learning is one that has been around for quite some time. Learning should be a constant preparation for work, right into adulthood and beyond. Failure to meet approved educational outcomes is a matter of health and rehabilitation.

The Scottish Government has similar ideas. It expects Education authorities to work in partnership with schools, parents and other relevant bodies in order to close the attainment gap for which parents are held responsible. Children are to have workforce learning in primary schools and are expected to be lifelong learners and adaptable workers. Failure in learning is a wellbeing concern requiring team effort around the family.

I think we`re all heading in the same direction.

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