Oregon public education is changing in a major way. Â We no longer elect a Superintendent of Public Instruction. Â The Governor now wears that additional hat. Â Our last elected Superintendent is ending her term early (at the end of the June). Â The Governor has appointed his chief education officer to oversee the Oregon Department of Education, as well as the community college system and the system of higher education. Â All of this change has created quite a stir. Â The Governor has nominated Rudy Crew as his chief education officer, and this has added to the controversy. Â Iâ€™m not here to take sides or weigh in on this appointment. Â
But the Oregonian newspaperâ€™s website OregonLive.com ran an editorial by former head of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries Jack Roberts that provoked my thinking. Â He quoted Mr. Crew, as follows:
“It is unacceptable for students not to know the rules of work: that there is a time and place for everything and that a work environment, interview, or formal setting requires a different attire from a mall, a ball game, or just hanging out. … Teaching children about time and place is as important as teaching them about math and science. And if we don’t teach them that, we’re consigning them to a permanent place in the underclass of society.”
Roberts goes on to list â€œsome of the things Crew believes young people should know in order to possess this workplace literacy:
- Basic financial realities and budgeting.
- How to balance a checkbook. Â
- How interest and credit work.
- What to wear and how to conduct themselves in an interview. Â Â
- How to write a proper and effective letter and email. Â Â
- What general area of study or employment they want to head toward. Â Â
- The fundamentals of how money works in our economy and government.â€
Again, Iâ€™m not weighing in for or against Mr. Crewâ€™s appointment. Â But I am glad to hear his viewpoint on what I consider a vital part of a high school education. Â I teach my business students much of this, and much much more. Â Workplace literacy is just one element of a good high school education, but an important one. Â I hope you agree!
Posted by marks on Wednesday June 20, 2012 at 12:07PM