Call to action. Human capital: Challenges and opportunity

Robert H. Bruininks, Amy R Susman-Stillman, Jim Thorp

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    An essential key to securing any economy's future is the development of human capital, or to put a more human spin on it: helping all children and youth, families, and communities reach their full potential. Indeed the United States is no exception. A storm is coming - whipped up by two huge winds of change: One economic and one demographic. The economic trend is the steady increase in knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the twenty-first-century global economy. The demographic trend is the rapid rise in the percentage of our population who live below the poverty line. This storm poses serious problems, because, at precisely the time when our economy will need more and more highly skilled workers and citizens than ever before, the percentages of students from backgrounds that have not historically succeeded in our education system will be at an all-time high. This trend is often referenced as the nation’s growing achievement gap. If we are going to weather this perfect storm and retain our quality of life, we need to improve the academic development of all students - from early childhood through higher education and lifelong learning. We need a renewed national vision for education and the development of human capital, one that recalls our nation’s great past successes (e.g., the Morrill Act, the GI Bill, the National Defense Education Act, Pell Grants), and acknowledges the changing nature of both our society and the workplace.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationHealth and Education in Early Childhood
    Subtitle of host publicationPredictors, Interventions, and Policies
    PublisherCambridge University Press
    Number of pages5
    ISBN (Electronic)9781139814805
    ISBN (Print)9781107038349
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


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