Re: ECON: Lack of skilled people in the USA

From: Michael B. Hubbard (
Date: Thu Feb 01 2001 - 19:55:54 MST

I would think that the rational solution would be to expand the time
available. The current agriculturally based school year is outdated in the
first place. Why not year-round school?


----- Original Message -----
From: "Spike Jones" <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2001 12:47 AM
Subject: Re: ECON: Lack of skilled people in the USA

> > Max More wrote: In an article
> > reporting the declining position of the United States in world trade in
> > telecommunications equipment,
> Part of the problem might be that a long run of good times has
> to a certain extent demotivated students. Even the slouches
> manage to find adequate employment. We are to a certain
> extent victims of our own success.
> > the New York Telephone Company reported that
> > "it tested 57,000 job applicants in 1987 and found that 54,900, or 96.3%
> > lacked basic skills in math, reading, and reasoning."
> Right, but they are likely getting the bottom of the barrel applicants.
> > (35) A human resource
> > planning document prepared at the Bank of America in 1990 reported that
> > "Chemical Bank in New York must interview 40 applicants to find one who
> > be successfully trained as a teller";
> Again, the better qualified applicants are not looking to become
> bank tellers. Who aspires to compete with ATMs?
> > (36) "at Pacific Bell in Los Angeles,
> > 95% of the 3,500 people who recently took a competency test for
> > jobs not requiring a high school education failed"
> I would certainly agree that the US educational system is failing.
> > Almost one-quarter of high school seniors could not
> > accurately determine the cost of a simple meal from a short menu of
> > and prices,(42) and fewer than half "demonstrated a consistent grasp of
> > decimals, percents, fractions, and simple algebra."(43)
> This is an area that has long been debated. Schools are being
> required to teach additional skills in addition to the ones taught 30
> yrs ago, such as computer competency. The total amount of
> time in class has not changed. So what should be dropped off
> of the curriculum? The most common thing has been math
> skills, with the notion that having computer skills will somehow
> compensate for the loss. What isnt fully understood is that the
> study of mathematics trains the mind in logic and clear thinking.
> Max, being an educator, this must cause you countless
> headaches, eh? spike

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