Teachers are not workforce trainers

Our job is to teach critical thinking skills in multiple disciplines, not soft skills to enhance the workplace

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Columnists

October 5, 2021 - 9:45 AM

Recent surveys and presentations from the Kansas State Department of Education’s “Kansas Can Success Tour” demonstrate that Kansas educators are doing more for students than ever.

Graduation rates are higher than ever, and more students are seeking post-secondary education or training. This is cause for celebration. However, we see a widening gap between students who display post-secondary readiness and students who are working behind grade level in reading and mathematics.

It is misguided, then, for the State Department of Education to seek the input of businesses and corporations that don’t see the value in promoting language and mathematical literacy, but prefer our students to have corporate “soft skills” instead. What an insult to our students, and what nerve businesses have to ask schools to be workforce trainers rather than educators. The fact that KSDE has asked businesses what education can do for them, rather than what businesses can do for education, is an absurdist joke.

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