By Lynn Olson
In today's technology- and information-driven economy, businesses need an educated workforce to survive, and young people need to be educated to be employable. Yet the schools that prepare our future workers and the employers who hire them often remain worlds apart. In this clear, compelling book, longtime education journalist Lynn Olson makes the case that, for both economic and civic reasons, the only solution as America heads into the twenty-first century is for local employers andeducators to join forces. The School-to-Work Revolution provides the first full account of how the "school-to-work" or "school-to-career" movement is reshaping American education. This new model of schooling, which places students in the workplace for part of their learning, is gaining popularity across the country. Olson shows, in practical terms, how and where these efforts have worked, the promise they hold, and the obstacles they face. Aiming to end the current "dysfunctional" relationship between business andeducation, this new approach to schooling uses apprenticeships, internships, and solid career guidance to supplement new and more rigorous academic curricula. Olson recounts the experiences of companies and schools from South Carolina to Texas to Massachusetts to California, demonstrating that school-to-work students become more motivated in their studies and employers feel more confident about future workers. While "school-to-career" efforts can help all students meet higher academicstandards and prepare for a lifetime of learning, Olson points out that they need to be properly structured. In her case studies she shows how adequate follow-through is essential for businesses, and shows why educators need not feel their traditional purpose or role will be threatened. Both a theoretical blueprint for the goals of the movement and a practical guide on how to implement it, The School-to-Work Revolution will be essential reading for businesspeople, educators, and all those interested in our national debate on education reform.