A report from the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce called “Tough Choices or Tough Times,” out of the National Center on Education and the Economy offers several major changes.

  • End high school earlier for most students. Expect most 10th graders to pass new state exams that would let them leave high school and enter community colleges directly without remediation.
  • Invest in early childhood education. Make high-quality early-childhood education available to all 4 year olds and all low-income three year olds.
  • Recruit better students to be teachers. Raise pay for novice teachers and those at the top of redesigned career ladders. Have teachers work directly with states. Link compensation in part to student performance and offer incentives for teachers who work in shortage fields and hard-to-staff urban and rural areas.
  • Rebuild standards, assessments, and curriculum. Improve the quality and reduce the number of assessments…. Promote creativity and innovation in addition to mastery of key ideas, core facts, and procedures.
  • Support lifelong learning. Guarantee all workers age 16 or older access to a free education up to the new high school exam standard. Also, start federally financed education accounts for every child, depositing $500 at birth and $100 each year until age 16. Individuals, parents, states, and employers could contribute.

Will these changes help to recruit more teachers? More men? What do you think?