The economy is in collapse and the unemployment rate continues to rise. Job prospects for high school and college graduates are dwindling, leaving few options for young people with degrees (and almost certainly debt).
Things are not looking good for recent graduates–what should they do? With few job leads, folks seem to be getting creative by starting businesses of their own. But while many young people may have great ideas, they may not know the first thing about starting their own business. Enter entrepreneurship education.
The National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) aims to provide entrepreneurship education to young people in low-income communities, and on October 7, it will hold its annual competition that brings students from around the country together to present their business plans to a panel of judges in hopes of winning cash prizes that will turn their business ideas into a reality. We’ll be excited to see what’s to come from the next generation of business leaders.
Back in 2007, we followed the story of Yesenia and twelve of her classmates–all participants in NFTE’s program–who were trying to launch a soda company. We watched as they pitched their business plan to a panel of judges in hopes of getting $10,000 in startup funds. We also went to Riker’s Island Prison to see how entrepreneurship programs are working with incarcerated youth.
Summer isn’t necessarily known as the busiest time for educators, but interesting things are bound to happen at the Alternative Education Resource Organization’s conference this June.
Keynote speakers at the 6th annual conference include Patch Adams, Deborah Meier, Ira Shor and more. Working under the theme, “Education Alternatives: Past, Present and Future”, the AERO Conference will gather alternative educators from around the globe for 3 days of dialogue, strategy sharing and ideas.
At a time when charter schools and the small schools movement are emerging as powerful alternatives to traditional models and when national standards are under scrutiny, this conference could very well present some antidote for the increasingly fractured US educational system.
Tomorrow the House Education and Labor Committee will hold a hearing “to examine how supporting outstanding charter schools can help build an innovative, world-class American school system that educates all students to high levels.”
President Obama has emerged as a proponent of charter schools by calling on states to lift the restrictions that limit charter schools growth. Tomorrow’s hearing includes a gathering of charter school founders and directors who will likely make a strong case for charter schools.
Among the participants in tomorrow’s hearing are Steve Barr, Founder of Green Dot schools, John King, Director of Uncommon Schools in NYC, and Barbara O’Brien, Lt. Governor of Colorado. It might present a narrow perspective, but could lead to larger, more spirited discussions about charter schools.