What to Teach Today to Prepare Students for Tomorrow’s Workplace

Free Online Event: What to Teach Today to Prepare Students for Tomorrow’s Workplace

Download a PDF of the key takeaways

More than half of the educators who responded to a survey by the Education Week Research Center—51 percent—said that updating curriculum to get students ready for the jobs of the future is a top priority.

• But what exactly are those skills and how are schools changing their curricular offerings to meet them?
• How do they address the tension between traditional academics and businesses’ demands?
• How are they overcoming entrenched ideas about what school should look like?

Join Education Week reporters and their expert guests for a lively summit designed to explore these issues and more.

Thank you to those who joined us for this event, which took place on Feb. 26, 2020. Below, you can watch the reporter wrap-up we streamed at the end of the event.


Feb. 26, 2020
1-3 p.m. ET*

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Event Video

What to Teach Today to Prepare Students for Tomorrow's Workplace: In Conversation With Education Week

  • 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET | Discussions Open
    Education Week journalists and their special guests provide practical takeaways on getting students ready for the jobs of the future.

    Room 1: What Are Schools Doing Now to Bridge the Gap Between Career and the Classroom?
    Holly Kurtz, Director, Education Week Research Center
    Mark Lieberman, Staff Writer, Education Week
    ‣ In Education Week’s survey, 39 percent of respondents said their districts were already taking steps to better connect students to future careers. Learn more about these and other survey findings and the challenges schools face as they reshape their curricula.

    Room 2: Nurturing Creativity in the Classroom
    Moderator: Sarah D. Sparks, Assistant Editor, Education Week
    ‣ When asked to name the most desirable skill for the workforce of the future, employers inevitably point to creativity. And educators, for their part, give it a lot of lip service. But educators and business experts have different ideas about what creativity looks like.
    Megan Fasules, Research Economist, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce

    Room 3: Taking School to Work
    Moderator: Stephen Sawchuk, Associate Editor, Education Week
    ‣ Internship and job-shadowing and apprenticeship programs proliferate, but a handful of schools and districts are taking these initiatives a step further and bringing classes to business sites. Learn how these new arrangements work.
    Colleen Viggiano, Deputy Superintendent, Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES, Cortland, N.Y.

    Room 4: Learning to Wrangle ‘Big Data’
    Moderator: Catherine Gewertz, Senior Contributing Writer, Education Week
    ‣ In California and elsewhere, a few high schools have begun to teach a blend of statistics and computer science that is known as data science. The classes are designed to help students understand and use the “big data” that shapes modern life and position them for a labor market hungry for skilled data wranglers.
    Monica Casillas, Associate Director of Professional Development, Introduction to Data Science, University of California at Los Angeles, Center X
    Suyen Machado, Project Director, Introduction to Data Science, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), Center X

    Room 5: Equip Students for Success with Critical Thinking
    ‣ Learning how to think is an integral part of academic achievement. Students who are empowered to think critically have the skill set to succeed in the classroom, to perform with confidence on assessments, and to face the demands and complexities of the future. Join Mentoring Minds to discuss how students can become more effective critical thinkers and problem solvers when they apply the 9 Traits of Critical Thinking™: Adapt, Examine, Create, Communicate, Collaborate, Reflect, Strive, Link, and Inquire. By modeling and teaching the 9 traits across the curriculum, educators can build a thinking culture that supports student growth and achievement.
    Charles Fuhrken, Vice President, Curriculum Development, Mentoring Minds
    Sandra Love, Managing Editor of Educator Resources, Mentoring Minds

    Room 6: How Schools Can Realign Pedagogy, Curriculum, and Teaching Practice for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
    Ann McMullan, Education Leadership Consultant and former Executive Director for Educational Technology, Klein Independent School District, Texas
    Anna McVeigh-Murphy, Managing Editor, equip Magazine
    Naomi Veak, Lead Training Manager, Learning.com, and Former Middle School Math and Science Teacher
    ‣ The Fourth Industrial Revolution is reorienting the global economy and the future of work. New jobs in STEM, a growing prevalence of technology, and a need for interpersonal competencies are placing greater emphasis on digital literacy and computer science skills as well as critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration.

    How can educators adapt teaching and learning to ensure students graduate with these career-ready skills?

    This discussion will offer insights, resources, and conversation to assess the Fourth Industrial Revolution's impact on career readiness initiatives and programs and equip participants with strategies to effectively realign pedagogy, curriculum content and skills, and teaching practices.

  • 2:30–3:00 p.m. ET | Final Reporter Wrap-up
    What to Teach Today to Prepare Students for Tomorrow’s Workplace: In Conversation With Education Week
    Led by Assistant Managing Editor Debbie Viadero, the Education Week newsroom will close out the day with insights from the discussions they’ve had with you, the readers.

Guests, Speakers, and Moderators

Monica Casillas
Associate Director of Professional Development, Introduction to Data Science, University of California at Los Angeles, Center X

Casillas taught math in Los Angeles for more than 20 years. She piloted the Introduction to Data Science curriculum, and now leads professional development for it.

Megan Fasules
Research Economist, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce

Fasules’ research uses the Occupational Information Network which focuses on tying work competencies with the labor market. She also supports research efforts to help states integrate education and workforce data systems for evaluation and improved feedback between labor markets and education. Prior to joining the Center, Fasules worked as a researcher at the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. She also worked as the head research assistant at American University where she conducted research on bankruptcy. Her dissertation focused on evaluating the extent to which the implementation of Medicare affected personal bankruptcy. This dissertation looked specifically on the impact of Medicare on personal bankruptcy rates, medical debt at filing, and petitioner characteristics.

Catherine Gewertz
Senior Contributing Writer, Education Week

Gewertz covers curriculum and instruction. In recognition of her expert reporting on assessment, the National Council on Measurement in Education named her the winner of its 2019 award for Excellence in Public Communication. Since joining Education Week in 1999, Gewertz has been the lead reporter on the common core and assessment and has covered urban schools. Previously, she was a staff writer at The Los Angeles Times and United Press International.

Holly Kurtz
Director, Education Week Research Center

Kurtz directs the Education Week Research Center, which produces standalone studies as well as analyses for Education Week and special reports such as Quality Counts. She spent 11 years covering education and other topics for newspapers in Florida, Alabama, and Colorado. The Education Week Research Center also produces customized studies and analyses for a range of clients, including professional associations and leading companies in the field of education.

Mark Lieberman
Staff Writer, Education Week

Lieberman is a reporter for Education Week covering technology and digital learning. He covers issues including cybersecurity, personalized learning, the future of work, e-learning, and virtual education. He previously covered digital learning and online education in the postsecondary world for the online publication Inside Higher Ed.

Suyen Machado
Project Director, Introduction to Data Science, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), Center X

Machado is currently the Introduction to Data Science (IDS) Project Director at the UCLA’s Center X. She was the administrator/liaison for the MOBILIZE Project, a partnership between the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and UCLA that created the IDS high school course. She led the MOBILIZE team that developed the IDS curriculum. At LAUSD, Machado has served in many positions including teacher, instructional coach, professional development facilitator, and administrator.

Stephen Sawchuk
Associate Editor, Education Week

Sawchuk covers superintendents, district management, school safety, and civics education for Education Week. He joined the newspaper in 2008 and formerly covered the teaching profession, curriculum and instruction. He holds degrees from Georgetown and Columbia universities and was a 2017 Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan.

Sarah D. Sparks
Assistant Editor, Education Week

Sparks is a reporter for Education Week who has covered education research and the science of learning for more than a decade. Sarah joined Education Week in 2010, and has published on education and other issues in Education Daily, the Republican-American, the Wall Street Journal, National Geographic Traveler, and others.

Debbie Viadero
Assistant Managing Editor, Education Week

Viadero is an assistant managing editor at Education Week, where she focuses on the school district leader audience, education research, and special student populations. Before becoming an editor, she was Education Week's longtime education research reporter. She has also written about teaching, special education, and youth-related issues. Viadero joined Education Week in 1986 after spending several years as an award-winning writer for daily newspapers in Maryland and Delaware.

Colleen Viggiano
Deputy Superintendent, Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES, Cortland, N.Y.

Viggiano has been the deputy superintendent at Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES since July 2019. Prior to that she served as the assistant superintendent for student services. Viggiano works closely with school districts to design and implement programs to meet the diverse needs of students in career and technical education, innovative education, special education, and adult education.


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