Friday, July 1, 2011

CCS's Role in Our Evolving World


Fareed Zakaria's book, The Post American World, 2.0 (2011, W. W. Norton Company), discusses the following:

Soon, the United States of America will no longer lead the world in the number of patents or citations in scientific journals. Countries like Germany, with a population of nearly 120 million fewer people than the USA, exports more goods than we do. The world’s tallest building, fifty largest factories, highest ferris wheel, and biggest economy will reside in Asia.
(hear more at: http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=13&prgDate=6-30-2011). Our aging infrastructure of bridges, power, and transportation, along with our lack of internet access and our government's declining investment in discovery industries and education are putting us behind.
The good news is that our population is growing, unlike many other countries in the world. This, in large part, is due to the fact that we allow immigrants in, which many other countries do not. Population growth means that many young people will continue to enter the work force. These people offer great hope for our future.
At the same time, there is a shortage of engineers in the United States. Many jobs are going unfilled. (http://www.mlive.com/jobs/index.ssf/2011/02/employers_finding_a_shortage_of_engineer.html). In response, President Obama established an Advanced Manufacturing initiative with several companies and universities, including the Ford Motor Company, Dow Chemical, and the University of Michigan (http://www.mlive.com/business/mid-michigan/index.ssf/2011/06/obamas_advanced_manufacturing.html)

It seems that we posses the knowledge to lead the world in manufacturing, engineering, research, ingenuity, entrepreneurship, creativity, and design--yet according to Zakaria (2011), we're in danger of falling out of this dominant role.

The Clarkston Community Schools can and should lead the way in preparing our children to meet the needs of the future. What do you think? What is our responsibility? What are the possibilities?