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Dr John King Commissioner NY State Education
January 31, 2013 @ 12:00 am EST
Dr. John King is the New York State Commissioner of education and president of the University of the State of New York. We made a request that he appear at LIMBA and he was with us Thursday morning.
Dr. King began by telling us that many students are deficient in basic skills when they leave high school. He stated that only 33.5% of students are being adequately educated. Raising that result to 34.5% would be a boon to the society. We could raise the economic output by a trillion dollars if we improve our education to the same level as Canada’s.
The education/income gap in our country is presently large and is growing worse. This gap is not limited recognized challenged communities. That gap can be narrowed by having more people trained in good craft jobs and career paths such as medical technicians Dr. King addressed our questions about technical education, but he went further. He lamented the fact that reading skills are not geared to reading technical material. Our schools emphasize fiction reading assignments. He has no quarrel with that, but thinks that the ability to read non-fiction material such as a service manual can be more difficult.
Writing skills are important as well. All occupations are better served by practitioners that can accurately describe the workings of the technology they are engaged in.
Mathematics are also important to the mechanical skills, Carpenters, machinists, automobile mechanics are among the trades that rely heavily on the understanding of mathematics. That knowledge is well understood by masters in all of the crafts. Mastering the skills of math, writing, and reading, elevates the status, as well as the income of the practitioner.
LIMBA has been a supporter of BOCES and their efforts to train students in skilled crafts. That is why we invited the commissioner. We asked him to speak on that topic specifically. He accepted our invitation and we took the opportunity to ask many questions on technical training