Shinola exec: What if the “skills gap” is actually a “values gap”? | Michigan Radio

Over the past several years, economists and skilled trade industries have been incredibly optimistic about the future of U. S. manufacturing. In today’s society, consumers value American-made goods and the return of domestic manufacturing that comes with them.

However, behind this optimism is an all-too-real hurdle known as the “skills gap” that could drastically stunt the future of the industry. Essentially, industries like manufacturing that rely on skilled trades are seeing their growth significantly threatened due the lack of available skilled labor.

In order to solve this so-called “skills gap,” we have to look at the root of the problem. First and foremost, the “skills gap” is really a “value gap.”

At some point in our nation’s history, we stopped considering skilled trades viable, credible and honorable career options. We stigmatized them so much that we created a lack of interest and an overall devaluation of the trades in education, industry and society at large. But today we have a wonderful opportunity to address the gap and begin to close it on all three fronts by tapping into our American “masters of trade.”

To read the rest of this report follow the source: Shinola exec: What if the “skills gap” is actually a “values gap”? | Michigan Radio

Monday Moanin’: Repeat 3rd grade bill undermines teachers |

Public School Educators (active and retired) & Parents & Grandparents…


By Nick Krieger (@nckrieger) from the “Fix The Mitten” blog (a condensed version)
Now that the Michigan Senate education committee has finally begun to consider HB 4822, I thought I’d repost my thoughts on the legislation, complete with a few updates and new ideas.
But first, here’s a rundown of what has happened with the bill since last fall:

Go to this link: Monday Moanin’: Repeat 3rd grade bill undermines teachers |

Help protect and encourage Michigan high schools’ student journalism programs

Last week, the Student Free Press and Civics Readiness Act was introduced in the Michigan Senate. This bill would roll back the troublesome Hazelwood standard in our state and protect student journalists at the high school and collegiate levels from unwarranted censorship by public officials. It also would protect advisers from retribution for supporting the rights of student journalists and protect schools from lawsuits over content students legally produce under the law.

The bill, Senate Bill 848, is likely to be the topic of a hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 22. We need your help to pass this important bill.

Will you write to your state senator today to ask him or her to support this legislation? Find your senator here

This letter should not be long. Use our talking points and the suggestions below as a guide. (But make sure to put them into your own words. Form letters are an ineffective advocacy tool.)

We recommend your letter cover these points:

  1. Briefly introduce yourself (Example: I am a sophomore at East High School, where I work on the student newspaper; I am a teacher at Ridgemont High, where I advise the yearbook; etc.)
  2. Ask the senator to vote for the Student Free Press and Civics Readiness Act (SB 848).
  3. Briefly talk about the value of student journalism in your life or ONE of the other key messages found here

    . You might discuss the skills journalism teaches, including helping students to become a better writers, to get more involved in their school or community or to get more engaged in school. Journalism also helps build students’ self-confidence. Keep your letter focused on one main point – you don’t have to cover all the important reasons to support the bill in this one letter. Remember: Keep it short and simple.

  4. Include your full name, address and phone number.

If you send an email, start the email with the greeting: Dear Senator (last name)

If you send a letter via snail mail, address it using this format:

The Honorable (full name)
State Senator
State Capitol
PO Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

Please send a copy of your correspondence to

You can learn more about this effort at

Please don’t hesitate to call or email if you have any questions or need some help with a letter.

Thank you for helping!
Jeremy Steele
MIPA Director

From the VAMboozled! blog:   Harvard econ professor ironically calls for public education equivalent to the Federal Drug Administration

VAMboozled! A blog by Audrey Amrein-Beardsley


Kane’s (Ironic) Calls for an Education Equivalent to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA)

Posted: 13 Mar 2016 12:17 PM PDT

Thomas Kane, an economics professor from Harvard University who also directed the $45 million worth of Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) studies for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has been the source of multiple posts on this blog (see, for example, here, here, and here). He is consistently backing, with his Harvard affiliation in tow, VAMs, as per a series of exaggerated, but as he argues, research-based claims.

However, much of the work that Kane cites, he himself has written on the topic (sometimes with coauthors). Likewise, the strong majority of these works have not been published in peer reviewed journals, but rather as technical reports or book chapters, often in his own books (see for example Kane’s curriculum vitae (CV) here).

This includes the technical reports derived via his aforementioned MET studies, now in technical report and book form, but now completed three years ago in 2013, and still not externally vetted and published in any said journal. Lack of publication of the MET studies might be due to some of the methodological issues within these particular studies, however (see published and unpublished, (in)direct criticisms of these studieshere, here, and here).

Although Kane does also cite some published studies authored by others, again, in support of VAMs, the studies Kane cites are primarily/only authored by econometricians (e.g., Chetty, Friedman, and Rockoff) and, accordingly, largely unrepresentative of the larger literature surrounding VAMs.

With that being said, and while I do try my best to stay aboveboard as an academic who takes my scholarly and related blogging activities seriously, sometimes it is hard to, let’s say, not “go there” when more than deserved. Now is one of those times for what I believe is a fair assessment of one example of Kane’s unpublished and externally un-vetted works.

Last week on National Public Radio (NPR), Kane was interviewed by Eric Westervelt in a series titled “There Is No FDA For Education. Maybe There Should Be.”

Ironically, in 2009 I made this claim in an article that I authored and that was published in Education Leadership. I began the piece noting that “The value-added assessment model is one over-the-counter product that may be detrimental to your health.”

I ended the article noting that “We need to take our education health as seriously as we take our physical health…[hence, perhaps] the FDA approach [might] also serve as a model to protect the intellectual health of the United States. [It] might [also] be a model that legislators and education leaders follow when they pass legislation or policies whose benefits and risks are unknown” (Amrein-Beardsley, 2009).

Never did I foresee, however, how much my 2009 calls for such an approach similar to Kane’s recent calls during this interview would ironically apply, now, and precisely because of academics like Kane. In other words, ironic is that Kane is now calling for “rigorous vetting” of educational research, as he claims is being done with medical research, but those rules apparently do not apply to his own work, and the scholarly works he perpetually cites in favor of VAMs.

Take also, for example, some of the more specific claims Kane expressed in this particular NPR interview… follow the link below:


Source: VAMboozled! | VAMboozled! A blog by Audrey Amrein-Beardsley