Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce is
the voice of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes
a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region.
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Los Angeles, CA 90017
Educating young people for the jobs of the future is one of the top issues facing families and communities all across America. Our economy continues to evolve from the traditional industries of the 20th century to the new, emerging sectors of this millennium. These continuing changes on a global basis require even more out of our public school system and have spawned an ongoing struggle within our schools and communities over how we adapt.
First and foremost, students at all achievement levels deserve access to rigorous, engaging learning environments. We must educate a more highly-trained, flexible workforce with skill sets that allows them to transition to different careers throughout their working lives. They must also be able to apply their knowledge in ways that allows them to collaborate with other people and utilize new technology. There’s a new term for this emerging educational process – Multiple Pathways.
Multiple Pathways merges academic rigor with demanding career technical education. This is not the auto shop or home economics class of the 1960s. Instead, students are taught all subjects through project-based learning in themed environments.
Students are engaged through hands-on, group projects that develop vital interpersonal and work-based skills on which to build a successful career and prepare for additional post-high school education.
The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce is an active proponent of Multiple Pathways as a way to dramatically improve the preparation of our students for the global economy. This year, we have sponsored a package of state legislation to build successful pathways for all California students.
In the first of these three bills, AB 2648 (Bass), we are calling on the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Secretary of Education in conjunction with UC, CSU and California Community College to develop a 5–10 year multiple pathways implementation action plan. The second bill AB 2078 (Fuentes), would expand work-based learning opportunities for students, make it easier for high school students to earn course credit through workplace internships with businesses or non-profits and improve liability coverage for companies offering internships and other student work experiences. SB 1677 (Scott) would enhance teacher preparation by providing training in techniques that replace lectures with project-based methods in the classroom.
Top legislative leaders are championing all three of these bills. We are grateful to the bill authors who have worked closely with Chamber staff on this legislative package - Speaker-elect Karen Bass; State Sen. Jack Scott, chair, Senate Education Committee; and Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes.
As students, parents, businesses and society, we must come to grips with the fact that securing a good education is no longer an option, it is a requirement. The future requires all of us to embrace new strategies in public education that recognize our changing economy and implement new approaches that appeal to the interests and talents of every child. The global economy and history will judge our nation based on our ability to meet this challenge. Giving our young people multiple pathways to a good job and a bright future is the right place to start.
And that’s The Business Perspective.
Gary L. Toebben
President & CEO
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
The Business Perspective is a weekly opinion piece by Gary Toebben, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.
Gary Toebben, President & CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
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