Jeff Livingston: The Most Neglected Skills
Jeff Livingston is Senior Vice President of RISe, Readiness and Intervention Solutions, for the McGraw-Hill School Education Group. In this capacity, he is responsible for product development and marketing for Advanced Placement, Career and Technical Education, Adult Basic Education, Health, Fine Arts and College Readiness curriculum areas. Before this assignment, he served as Senior Vice President of Marketing for SRA/McGraw-Hill and Wright Group/McGraw-Hill. Jeff previously served as the Vice President of Urban Markets, Database Marketing and Inside Sales.
Before joining McGraw-Hill Education in 2004, Jeff was a successful entrepreneur with specialties in instructional technology and marketing to urban school systems. As Co-Founder, President and Chief Operating Officer of Achieva.com, Jeff helped to build the largest provider of online test prep and college prep for American high schools. Achieva.com was sold to the Kaplan K-12 Learning Solutions, a division of the Washington Post Company, in 2001. In the early 1990s, he spent several years in investment banking and trading of financial derivatives for Merrill Lynch.
Jeff holds a baccalaureate degree in Government and Economics from Harvard University. Jeff currently lives in Columbus, Ohio.
Jeff Livingston: In my life as a professional engaged in the business of education I frequently find myself involved in conversations about college and career readiness. Almost always that phrase - college and career readiness - precedes a conversation between two people, both of whom went to college – a particular kind of college even. And the conversation is usually about college. I think our society hasn’t been serious enough about the career part of that equation. There is a presumption among some people that the body of knowledge necessary to be ready for college level work and the body of knowledge necessary to enter a career with prospects for promotion are exactly the same.
I believe that there are students, in fact, the vast majority of students, whose education after high school will look nothing like mine. I left my public high school in South Carolina and moved to Massachusetts and went to an Ivy League university and spent four years there, graduated and went on with my career. That is now an unusual experience to a ridiculous extent except among education policy people. There are going to be many more students who leave high school and go directly to work and start on a path of learning from work that’s going to lead in very different directions than my career has led.
And I don’t believe that we have done enough at the policy level to explore what those different pathways might look like. And if you ask employers, industry leaders – they tend to agree with me on that. We are not thinking enough about middle skill jobs. We are not thinking enough about technical jobs below the level of engineer. And I think our society and its policymakers really need to pay some careful attention to that. Probably if and when we start to pay attention, we will come upon the tragic absence of apprenticeships in our American society. In Europe as many as a quarter to a half of any group of teenagers at any point is pursuing an apprenticeship which means that they are getting both academic training and work training while being paid by an employer.
They’re learning on the job to pursue a particular career. And that can be an apprenticeship in software development. It could be an apprenticeship in hotel management. It could be an apprenticeship in any number of things. In the United States we have shamefully convinced most high school students that they either need to go to Harvard or they need to go to McDonald’s. And the truth is significantly more complicated than that. In the middle are where job growth is, where there are jobs that are not being filled today and too few people in our public policy community are really focused on what students who are going to pursue a career as their pathway out of poverty, for example, really need to be getting from their education – really need to be getting from the public policy people who are dedicated to creating opportunities for them.
And allowing them to pursue pathways that look nothing like what we think is traditional. Because the reality is the notion that you go off to college, live in a dorm, go to some football games, graduate in four years and go on with your life is a persistent myth that has very little to do with the lives of most people pursuing a degree after high school right now. And the sooner we get to the point that we take the career side of the college and career readiness equation much more seriously, the better off our society will be, the fewer young people we will have who are in a position of not being in school or at work and the better off we will be in terms of filling existing jobs requiring high levels of skills for which there are no employees today.
Directed/Produced by Jonathan Fowler and Dillon Filton
In the United States we have shamefully convinced most high school students that they either need to go to Harvard or they need to go to McDonald’s.
Explore how alcohol affects your brain, from the first sip at the bar to life-long drinking habits.
- Alcohol is the world's most popular drug and has been a part of human culture for at least 9,000 years.
- Alcohol's effects on the brain range from temporarily limiting mental activity to sustained brain damage, depending on levels consumed and frequency of use.
- Understanding how alcohol affects your brain can help you determine what drinking habits are best for you.
If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx a team of DNA sequencers has figured that out.
- A team at UMass Amherst recently sequenced the genome of the Canadian lynx.
- It's part of a project intending to sequence the genome of every vertebrate in the world.
- Conservationists interested in the Canadian lynx have a new tool to work with.
If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx, I can now—as of this month—point you directly to the DNA of a Canadian lynx, and say, "That's what makes a lynx a lynx." The genome was sequenced by a team at UMass Amherst, and it's one of 15 animals whose genomes have been sequenced by the Vertebrate Genomes Project, whose stated goal is to sequence the genome of all 66,000 vertebrate species in the world.
Sequencing the genome of a particular species of an animal is important in terms of preserving genetic diversity. Future generations don't necessarily have to worry about our memory of the Canadian Lynx warping the way hearsay warped perception a long time ago.
Artwork: Guillaume le Clerc / Wikimedia Commons
13th-century fantastical depiction of an elephant.
It is easy to see how one can look at 66,000 genomic sequences stored away as being the analogous equivalent of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. It is a potential tool for future conservationists.
But what are the practicalities of sequencing the genome of a lynx beyond engaging with broad bioethical questions? As the animal's habitat shrinks and Earth warms, the Canadian lynx is demonstrating less genetic diversity. Cross-breeding with bobcats in some portions of the lynx's habitat also represents a challenge to the lynx's genetic makeup. The two themselves are also linked: warming climates could drive Canadian lynxes to cross-breed with bobcats.
John Organ, chief of the U.S. Geological Survey's Cooperative Fish and Wildlife units, said to MassLive that the results of the sequencing "can help us look at land conservation strategies to help maintain lynx on the landscape."
What does DNA have to do with land conservation strategies? Consider the fact that the food found in a landscape, the toxins found in a landscape, or the exposure to drugs can have an impact on genetic activity. That potential change can be transmitted down the generative line. If you know exactly how a lynx's DNA is impacted by something, then the environment they occupy can be fine-tuned to meet the needs of the lynx and any other creature that happens to inhabit that particular portion of the earth.
Given that the Trump administration is considering withdrawing protection for the Canadian lynx, a move that caught scientists by surprise, it is worth having as much information on hand as possible for those who have an interest in preserving the health of this creature—all the way down to the building blocks of a lynx's life.
The exploding popularity of the keto diet puts a less used veggie into the spotlight.
- The cauliflower is a vegetable of choice if you're on the keto diet.
- The plant is low in carbs and can replace potatoes, rice and pasta.
- It can be eaten both raw and cooked for different benefits.
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