On September 28th the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology released a letter report on education technology. The focus in this letter report is on using education to boost access to higher education. Costs are rising, which likely doesn’t help the notable gap based on income of the percentage of high school graduates that immediately enroll in college. The report recommends that the federal government take steps to support the coordination of efforts to connect workers with training and jobs. The jobs in question here are considered ‘middle skill’ jobs – needing a certification, license and/or two-year degree. They comprise the bulk of the workforce.
The letter report has three recommendations:
Better coordination of federal efforts to support the connections between workers, trainers and jobs, specifically within the Departments of Labor, Education and Commerce.
Continue the support of information technology research that can help train workers, assess skills, and provide career guidance.
Lead the private sector by finding ways to use information technology to assess the skills and employment needs of the federal government and finding the people that meet those needs.
The third recommendation, as PCAST notes, is a break from the recommendations in its report on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). In that report, the Council was more confident in the private sector’s ability to drive growth in that area.