Miranda Green: When businesses, concerned about how to find well-educated and work-ready employees, also lobby for tax cuts, how far ahead are they thinking? Not very, argues Rana Foroohar. In this week’s column she takes US corporations to task for failing to engage with the need to properly fund America’s public schools and reform tertiary education.
US education, says Rana, has not been retooled for decades and needs an urgent update to deliver a workforce adapted to the digital age and to “new-collar” jobs. State funding for education hit a peak in the 1980s, and has been falling ever since, a decline that has created a huge class and skills gap.
She recommends that business groups grapple with the failings of the college system — did you know that only 54 per cent of Americans who enter tertiary education receive a degree within six years? — and face up to the message of the current teachers’ strikes. Education needs some stronger advocates.
How will Xi use his power?
Eswar Prasad argues that after securing his supremacy and longevity, China’s Xi Jinping now faces a serious test: will he, after assembling a dream team of economic reformers, follow through, defy the reactionary forces, and tackle the dangerous flaws in the Chinese financial system.
Dr Who and earth’s unknown unknowns
Did other advanced live-forms and their civilisations precede humans? Anjana Ahuja explores the Silurian hypothesis, an intriguing thought experiment that suggests the ultimate success of a previous, extinct culture may have been its absence of traces on the planet. Might we be able to erase our own marks too? – Financial Times