In January 2016 the World Economic Forum (WEF) issued a report entitled, “The Future of Jobs.” In this report the WEF cautioned that “the fourth industrial revolution” will continue to change the labor markets in the major world economies as early as 2020.
The report shares that millions of jobs may be lost due to “redundancy, automation, or disintermediation.” The proliferation of technology and robotics is changing our world – and it isn’t going to stop any time in the foreseeable future. The good news is that millions of new jobs will be created in new, specialized areas such as computing, artificial intelligence, math, and engineering.
Our district’s mission is to prepare each student to be “Ready for Tomorrow.” Tomorrow is going to be very different for many of our students. This year’s graduating class – the Class of 2016 – will be entering the job market in 2020. This year’s second graders – the Class of 2026 – need to be ready to enter the job market in 2030.
Yes, change is difficult. It is comfortable when school today looks like the school of our youth. Our mind’s eye has a vision of a classroom, of cursive handwriting, and of desks in rows. We must embrace the discomfort of change; we aren’t preparing students for an Industrial Age jobs. We are four industrial revolutions behind in schools – the time has come to step-up and relentlessly pursue growth and innovations in our schools. It can’t be about the comfort of the adults; it must be about the preparation of the next generation of Americans.