Business leaders present their priorities

Written by on Jan 2nd, 2013. | Copyright © IdahoEdNews.org

During the last 23 months, Idahoans engaged in a statewide discourse about our education system.  We have debated the merits of education reform proposals and discussed what the end goals of our children’s education should be.  Despite the sometimes fraught and heated debate, and perhaps because of it, we have elevated the level of interest in education around the state and now have a unique opportunity to come together and craft meaningful, needed reform for our students, schools and communities.

Idaho Business for Education, a not-for-profit organization whose membership consists of Idaho business CEOs, presidents and managing partners, is particularly interested in how the outcomes of these reforms will affect the economy of this state.  The Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce predicts that by 2020, 63 percent of Idaho jobs will require a career certificate or college degree. Currently only 34 percent of Idaho adults ages 25-34 have an associate degree or higher.  For our young people to compete in an ever-changing global economy, we must prepare them to obtain higher levels of education.

In the interest of bridging the gap between our projected workforce needs and current attainment, Idaho Business for Education will approach the Governor’s task force and any legislative action with the following priorities:

  • Student Achievement – Priority must be given to evidence-based practices that increase student achievement and promote post-secondary completion.
  • Transparency and Accountability – We believe that Idaho’s citizens and businesses must be engaged, and deserve transparency and accountability in our state’s education system and spending. IBE will advocate for transparent, evidence-based data management systems, linked to internationally benchmarked standards and assessments, to drive the allocation of resources and ensure a return on those investments and accountability for results.
  • Great Teachers and Leaders –Teachers and school leaders are fundamental to the education of our young people.  Idaho Business for Education will advocate for policies and practices that ensure the recruitment, retention, and development of highly effective teachers and leaders in every school.

Idaho Business for Education is in agreement that lasting reform will only occur through collaborative action; however we do believe this is an urgent cause.  To illustrate that point – in 2020 today’s 8th graders should be graduating from college.  It is imperative that we work collaboratively, yet quickly, to dramatically increase the educational attainment in this state.

We look forward to working with all education stakeholders in the weeks and months to come and have high hopes that we can make great strides toward our shared goals in this state.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Skip Oppenheimer

About Skip Oppenheimer

Skip Oppenheimer is the board chair of the Idaho Business for Education, a group of current and former CEOs. Skip Oppenheimer also is chair and CEO of Oppenheimer Companies, Inc.

  • Brian Rich

    One of my major concerns with the Students Come First laws related to the economic benefit that would have gone to businesses out of state. As we go forward, I think the best, nonpartisan ideas for education reform are going to be rooted deeply in the Idaho business community. Idaho businesses are run by Idahoans who have children and grandchildren in Idaho’s public schools and therefore they have both a personal and a professional reason to support reform in a nonpartisan fashion. Idaho’s business leaders have the opportunity to be the objective third party in the education debate and I’m sincerely looking forward to hearing more ideas from people like Mr. Oppenheimer.

  • Ryan McGill

    Mr. Oppenheimer,

    Your first paragraph does a great job of glossing over the rammed legislation by Mr. Luna, Governor Otter, and our 2011 legislature. The voters expressed their disgust at the poor attempt of leadership in November. Please recognize, in your writing, the complete failure of leadership on the part of the governor and the superintendent of public instruction. Understand that this conversation about education reform will be more about politics than learning. The financial motives of the parties were exposed. The effort for reform should not be driven by business interests. Businesses, by the nature of the free-market world they exist within, will only be interested in the top 5% of students. Survival of the fittest can be the mantra of the corporate world but it can not be in the classrooms of Idaho.

    “evidence-based practices” Agreed. Caveat: Who will profit from writing the tests that will be administered to students to see if the teachers taught directly to the standard written for them to teach to?

    “transparency and accountability in our state’s education system and spending” Alright, CEO’s of Idaho. I would imagine this is all part of public record. A simple inquiry would provide the necessary documents. Or does this mean something different?

    ” IBE will advocate for transparent, evidence-based data management systems, linked to internationally benchmarked standards and assessments, to drive the allocation of resources and ensure a return on those investments and accountability for results.” So, one big common test to measure every kid against other kids. Can you imagine going to that kind of school as a kid? Talk about drop out rates. It seems the business world wants perfectly trained little technicians to exit schools and meet the needs of America’s corporations? Why don’t these CEO’s push for a diverse system that enriches and helps to create new entrepreneurs?

    ” Idaho Business for Education will advocate for policies and practices that ensure the recruitment, retention, and development of highly effective teachers and leaders in every school.” Get real. Corporations don’t want real leaders in schools; they want followers. They want people that will deliver on a certain ‘mission/goal.’ They want a person that will follow directions and force the people around them to conform.

    Ryan

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