Below, is the guiding question for our work.
How do we partner with our community to ensure that ALL Tahoma High School graduates leave with a plan that provides options for success in post high school learning and work?
As a part of this work we are exploring the mental model held by many adults that the only path to success is through a four year university degree. Our task is to craft a vision that forces people to examine this mental model and become knowledgeable about aligning learning opportunities with career goals. It may sound easy, but the work will be difficult because we are challenging long held beliefs and assumptions. Changing culture is always difficult and risky work. But, we are committed to it because we know that not all graduates leave our system with a focused plan that has options for them to consider as they make life decisions on a career.
We shared a number of readings with the committee and also had a guest speaker, Steve Hanson, President of Renton Technical College. Steve shared data and information that caused dissonance for some and that was affirming for others. One of the slides that he shared is copied below.
We know that the majority of jobs of the future and all jobs that pay a living wage will require learning beyond high school. In the slide below Steve reinforced this, but shared with us that there are multiple pathways for securing these jobs that require us to examine our current mental models. Being able to broaden our thinking as he and others suggest is at the core of our work as we learn and provide the board with guidance on how to proceed.
Below, are links to the readings we gave committee members.
- Pathways to Prosperity
- Smart People + Big Report = Dreamy Nonsense
- "Pathway to Prosperity" Authors Educate Me
- A Skilled and Educated Workforce 2011 Update
- 1 in 2 New Graduates Are Jobless or Underemployed
- College Dropouts Have Debt But No Degree
Here is another that Steve shared with me this morning.