Report Calls for National Effort to Get Millions Of Young Americans onto a Realistic Path to Employability

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on February 2, 2011

News release: “Despite decades of efforts to reform education, and billions of dollars of expenditures, the harsh reality is that America is still failing to prepare millions of its young people to lead successful lives as adults. Evidence of this failure is everywhere: in the dropout epidemic that plagues our high schools and colleges; in the harsh fact that just 30 percent of our young adults earn a bachelor’s degree by age 27; and in teen and young adult employment rates not seen since the Great Depression. Today, the Pathways to Prosperity Project, which is based at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, is releasing a major new report that examines the reasons for our failure to prepare so many young adults, and advances an exciting vision for how the United States might regain the leadership in educational attainment it held for over a century. Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century contends that our national strategy for education and youth development has been too narrowly focused on an academic, classroom-based approach. It is now clear that this strategy has produced only incremental gains in achievement and attainment, even as many other nations are leapfrogging the United States. In response, the report advocates development of a comprehensive pathways network to serve youth in high school and beyond.”

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