‘We can’t afford waste of human resources’
December 12, 2014 | by David Driscoll and Gary Kaplan | commonwealthmagazine.com
Massachusetts prides itself on having the best public education system in the country, and our pride is justified. Thanks to the efforts of thousands of teachers, principals, superintendents, and other administrators – and the hard work of tens of thousands of students – we lead the country in every category of measurable student achievement. But the bright banner headlines obscure a subhead that should shock us into renewed action.
Two recent reports, from Mass INC and the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, sound an urgent warning: Massachusetts is not producing enough college graduates to support our economy’s need for skilled workers. Not only is the rate of increase flattening almost to zero; incredibly, the actual number of working-age college graduates is about to start going down just when the economy’s need for them is spiking up. State officials project a shortfall of 6,000 graduates per year from 2015 to 2025. Skilled workers are the fuel of economic growth, and our pipeline is drying up. The Massachusetts economy is running on empty.