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By CCW Staff  /  
2015 March 19 - 09:48 am

COMING MARCH 30: Faltering Skill Sets

League Conference Spotlights Growing International Skills Gap

The west coast attendees of Innovations conference in Boston had barely shaken off their jet lag – exacerbated by a switch to Daylight Savings time — when a cascade of data certain to snap them out of their lethargy began. Walt McDonald, CEO of the Educational Testing Service was delivering the opening keynote speaker at the event sponsored by the League for Innovation in the Community Conference. His topic was “Using Education Technologies to Catalyze Success” but the heart of his talk was a study the ETS released last month titled America’s Skills Challenge: Millennials and the Future.” The report contained familiar but disturbing news. Despite having the highest levels of educational attainment of any previous generation, America’s millennials — those born after 1980 — demonstrate weak skills in literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments compared to their international peers. McDonald said findings raise the question of whether the nation can thrive when large segments of society lack the skills required for higher-level employment and meaningful engagement in our democracy. “We still have too many people who don’t have the skills that they need,” he said. Against this backdrop, the Innovations conference was devoted to closing these gaps and helping more students succeed.

 
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