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letters | filling the jobs of the future

Better education for faster growth

THE GLARING omission in the article “State tech economy growing, but not fast enough” (Business, Feb. 13) is the role of the Massachusetts education system. To address the shortage of qualified workers that is holding Massachusetts back, our elementary and secondary schools need to change the way they prepare students.

Despite their reputation for excellence, our schools are not producing a stream of graduates prepared to join our world-class workforce. Loath as we are to admit it, other states and other nations are catching up, producing students better qualified for the high-tech sector.

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We can’t afford to be complacent. The global competition for skilled talent is intensifying. In Massachusetts, the demand for college-educated workers is outpacing the supply, and our education system is not on a trajectory to change that. Nearly 40 percent of students who enter our public colleges and universities need remediation, and many will never earn the credentials they require.

If we are serious about driving our innovation economy forward, we must act now to reinvent our schools — to fundamentally change not only what we teach but how we teach — to provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to fill the more than 100,000 jobs that are waiting for people qualified to fill them.

Linda Noonan

Boston

The writer is executive director of the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education.

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