Of collaboration and global competitiveness

Rashid Davis square
Rashid Davis

As often happens after an interesting interview, I came back to the computer with more insights from Rashid Davis than I could fit into a single profile.

Davis has a great storyline, the kind that makes for an easy-to-write profile. He is the principal of Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Pathways in Technology Early College High School — a public school/university/industry partnership so novel that, in its second year, the school earned a surprise mention in President Barack Obama’s Feb. 12 State of the Union address. “In my wildest dreams I never would have imagined it would have happened,” Davis said in an interview Wednesday.

Davis’ story has a strong local tie-in. He was in Boise this week explaining the P-TECH model to prospective Idaho partners; the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation has offered $5 million in startup money for a similar school, offering high school students a ninth- through 14th-grade education.

Davis also has an interesting insight into work force development — and the universities’ role.

The university system is a great competitive advantage for American companies, since it is a draw for the best and brightest students from around the world. But the American university system still struggles to meet the nation’s need for a tech-ready work force.

Not that this is a unique phenomenon. China faces the same dilemma, Davis said.

The implications, then, are readily apparent. The country that gets this right — syncing curriculum with the skill set employers need — will enjoy a key global advantage.

Disclosure: Idaho Education News is funded by a grant from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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