Work-force Science

Student data-tracking, an essential component of P-20 education reform, is getting lots of attention and much needed scrutiny.   Along with the obvious privacy concerns many wonder how the large amount of information or “big data”,  will be used.   As always, it is helpful to remember the goal of public education:  cradle-to-career tracking and placement to meet the needs of employers in the global economy.  

That includes exposing students to careers at an early age, starting with more elementary school tours of businesses. It also includes more coordination between schools and employers to make curriculum less theoretical and more practical.

Michigan Governor recently said, “One of the key reasons we have an education system is to better connect kids and people to careers,”

With the advances in technology, the link between education, data collection and job placement has now been elevated to a  science, Work-force science.  

Work-force science, in short, is what happens when Big Data meets H.R.

The new discipline has its champions. “This is absolutely the way forward,” says Peter Cappelli, director of the Center for Human Resources at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. “Most companies have been flying completely blind.”

Today, every e-mail, instant message, phone call, line of written code and mouse-click leaves a digital signal. These patterns can now be inexpensively collected and mined for insights into how people work and communicate, potentially opening doors to more efficiency and innovation within companies.

Several start-up companies, such as Gild,  are developing systems that crunch big data in search of employees.    Dr. Ming, Chief Scientist at Gild,  explains how big data helps recruit computer programmers.

 “Gild’s algorithm crunches thousands of bits of information in calculating around 300 larger variables about an individual: the sites where a person hangs out; the types of language, positive or negative, that he or she uses to describe technology of various kinds; self-reported skills on LinkedIn; the projects a person has worked on, and for how long; and, yes, where he or she went to school, in what major, and how that school was ranked that year by U.S. News & World Report.“

Let’s put everything in and let the data speak for itself,” Dr. Ming said of the algorithms she is now building for Gild.

All the calculations lead to a “Gild score’ a measure of what the person can do.” Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Wal-Mart are either testing or using their service in search of employees.

The big data currently mined is from internet sources but imagine the potential data-mining after all 50 states have a fully integrated P-20 data tracking systems.   One of the objectives of the P-20 student data system is is to ensure that the data is:

…made available to state and local policymakers and residents of this state in the most useful format possible.

Private student data collected and crunched creates a powerful tool to guide government/industry partnerships in work-force development in the 21st Century.

The big data is not just   GPA and ACT scores but other “noncognitive” fatctors such as  “grit”.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology published a report back in February entitled “Promoting Grit, Tenacity and Perseverance: Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century.”

“There is a growing movement to explore the potential of the “noncognitive” factors—attributes, dispositions, social skills, attitudes, and intrapersonal resources, independent of intellectual ability—that high-achieving individuals draw upon to accomplish success, (pg. v).

Social engineering meets big data for work-force development that will meet the demands of the state but not the dreams of the child.

As a Christian, the bible instructs me to  to train up my child in the way he should go for eternity NOT  to train a worker for the global economy in the 21st Century.  Gov. Snyder’s goal for education will never be my goal.

That may not be your goal but as a parent YOU must decide why you educate before you decide HOW or WHERE you should educate your children.   Why do you educate your children?

For more information on national education standards, Common Core, data tracking and mining visit my blog SpunkyHomeschool.

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