Education Letter to the Editor

On Workforce Data and Jobs’ Education Needs

June 20, 2006 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

Your May 24, 2006, article “Ambiguity About Preparation for Workforce Clouds Efforts to Equip Students for Future” makes reference to my report from the Educational Testing Service Policy Information Center on welfare reform and work. The article also refers to an ACT Inc. report, which concluded that not only did college-bound high school students need stronger academic preparation than they were getting, but also that those going to work instead of college needed this as well.

There have been comments that I did not deal in my study with the ACT analysis (it was not available when mine was written).

The ACT report examined “Zone 3” jobs in the U.S. Department of Labor’s O*NET database, positions just under the tier of jobs that require a four-year college degree. But these jobs require substantial postsecondary education, such as an associate’s degree, a diploma from a technical school, a certificate, or long-term classroom and on-the-job training in an apprenticeship program.

However correct the report’s analysis of these jobs, they are not the ones that high school graduates go into if they do not go on to postsecondary education. Such jobs are in the tier down, or below that.

Paul E. Barton

Burke, Va.

This writer is a senior associate at the Educational Testing Service, in Princeton, N.J.

A version of this article appeared in the June 21, 2006 edition of Education Week as On Workforce Data and Jobs’ Education Needs


Student Well-Being K-12 Essentials Forum Boosting Student and Staff Mental Health: What Schools Can Do
Join this free virtual event based on recent reporting on student and staff mental health challenges and how schools have responded.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Curriculum Webinar
Practical Methods for Integrating Computer Science into Core Curriculum
Dive into insights on integrating computer science into core curricula with expert tips and practical strategies to empower students at every grade level.
Content provided by Learning.com

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: October 11, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: September 27, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: September 20, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education From Our Research Center What's on the Minds of Educators, in Charts
Politics, gender equity, and technology—how teachers and administrators say these issues are affecting the field.
1 min read
Stylized illustration of a pie chart
Traci Daberko for Education Week