Schools must spend more on early childhood education, steer students as young as 16 into college and pay teachers six-figure salaries if Americans are to succeed in today’s international labor force, a national expert told Georgia education leaders Thursday.
Mark Tucker, president of the National Center on Education and the Economy, outlined a report he wrote two years ago during the kickoff meeting of a “working group” appointed by Gov. Sonny Perdue to develop a long-term education reform strategy to make Georgia more competitive in the global economy.
In “Tough Choices or Tough Times,” Tucker wrote that the school systems of developing countries including China and India have begun producing young adults who are just as capable of filling highly skilled jobs as their U.S. counterparts but who are willing to do the work for significantly lower wages. At the same time, he said, more and more jobs are becoming automated. Tucker said the result is two enormous downward pressures on American wages.