NYT’s Tom Friedman Echoes UMass Lowell: ‘Work Ready’

In his Sunday opinion column in the NYTimes, Thomas L. Friedman begs the President and Gov Romney to give the American voters a big vision for what the country can do. One of his suggestions is to enact government policies that make some form of post-secondary education accessible and affordable for anyone who wants to go because the nation needs to bring all the talent it has to the global economic competition. He says Americans must be “work ready,” echoing the branding language at UMass Lowell: “Work Ready, Life Ready, World Ready.”

What goals could merit such a journey? Now that we have put a man on the Moon, let’s commit to keeping everyone in school. Let’s commit that, within a decade, every American will have the tools for, and financial access to, some kind of postsecondary education — whether it is vocational school, community college or a four-year university. Because without some higher education that makes you “work ready” for one of today’s good jobs and a lifelong-learner for one of tomorrow’s, you’ll never secure a decent job or realize your full potential here on Earth.

Read Friedman’s new column here, and get the NYTimes if you want more. 


4 Responses to NYT’s Tom Friedman Echoes UMass Lowell: ‘Work Ready’

  1. Publius says:

    Why do we insist that every one can handle post secondary education, let alone secondary education? We currently have students in our classrooms that disrupt the class and deprive others of an education. I would think that these “students” are not candidates for post secondary education.

    These “students” are a drain on our resources and take resources from their fellow students. Where in the economy we put these people, I do not know. The one thing I do know is that keeping them in school is not good for their fellow students, the taxpayer or the economy.

  2. DickH says:

    Every child is capable of learning, just not in the same, one-size-fits-all way that we employ, mostly because we as a society aren’t willing to pay what it takes to offer a more varied approach to education. And the kids who are disruptive in middle school and high school weren’t born disruptive; they were left behind (as flawed as it is as a policy, No Child Left Behind is an accurate label) either in the lower grades or more likely before they even got to school. We lazily – or is it selfishly? – dump all of our collective problems in the lap of the schools without providing enough resources for the schools to effectively deal with them, then we have the audacity to say the schools are failing.

  3. Publius says:

    I reject the canard that we do not spend enough on our students. We are spending about three times what we spent in 1961 in real dollars. I would say that is not selfish.

    We have given the educators all these resources and yet we are turning out a far more inferior product then we did in the sixties. I have never heard an educator say that we don’t need the money – they are always whining it is never enough.When we start getting real results, then I might consider giving them more money.

    Government is always saying that it does not have enough money no matter how much they take in. Why should I believe it? If you truly believe that the government does not have enough money, I would suggest that you follow MY Warren Buffet rule.
    Send in more of YOUR money rather than someone else’s money.


  4. DickH says:

    It’s not a canard you’re rejecting; it’s reality. This isn’t 1961. Ozzie and Harriet don’t exist anymore. Life – and educating students – is a lot more complicated.