Today The Washington Post ran a big op-ed by Norman R. Augustine the former CEO of Lockheed Martin and yesterday the Baltimore Sun ran one by Clinton Administration quality guru and U. of Maryland professor J. Gerald Suarez. Both had roughly the same theme, that the nation faces a competitiveness crisis, though Augustine and Suarez offer different solutions.
Over time competitiveness is an issue particularly as other countries improve their education systems and produce more highly skilled workers. But here’s a question that does not seem to gets asked enough, what’s the more immediate risk to our quality of life: Is it competition from overseas countries or is it the remarkable disparities we tolerate in educational outcomes right now? Sure, these are related, but it sure seems like the latter is the more immediate problem yet it gets a lot less ink than all the scare talk about other countries. Besides, in terms of galvanizing the attention of educators Eduwonk tends to think that the competitiveness stuff gets little traction because people have been hollering about it for generations.
Background: Great Ed Week package laying more of this out here.