(KCPW News) The Governor's Office has released a report that recommends how to prepare Utah's future workforce for the 21st century. Gayle McKeachnie, chairman of the task force that created the report, says the state's education systems aren't coordinated, creating different goals and ideas about how to train Utah's workforce. He says one part of the system that needs to be addressed is public education testing.
"Our testing is almost meaningless to the students and to their parents, because you get promoted whether you have learned it or not, and a lot of the students that drop out in high school, drop out because they are just bored. Either they have learned the stuff and they want something more, or they haven't learned it and they've tuned out," McKeachnie said.
McKeachnie recommends the state conduct tests throughout the school year and teach according to the results.
The report also addresses the needs of Utah businesses. McKeachnie says businesses feel that college graduates are not trained for the jobs that are available. He says Utah's shortage of engineers and biological scientists is the result of the educational system, not students' choices. However, he believes the future of the workforce is not just in the hands of public education.
"This is a societal thing, its parents, it's our institutions, it's the community that we live in and what we seem to value that permeate things like dropouts, early childhood education, things like that. So it shouldn't be interpreted as just pointing a finger at our educational institutions, and saying they are not doing as good as they should, because it involves all of us," McKeachnie said.
The report makes 10 main recommendations that will be discussed next year by another group of stakeholders chaired by Governor Huntsman. Click here to see the full report.