For What It’s Worth
Buffalo Springfield wrote and released “For What It’s Worth,” one of rock music’s most memorable songs, in 1966. The song notably warned about the uncertainty of a sharply divided American society to reach consensus on important issues. The song’s title, and message of warning, serves well on several fronts to frame my recommendations on how to address, and solve, the technology skills gap currently confronting the United States. First, for what it’s worth, as I mentioned in the book’s preface, I am no expert in education. But as a parent whose two children went through the public school system, as a media professional in the information technology business for 30 years where I have listened to CIOs lament that America’s schools are not preparing students for the twenty-first-century workforce, and as a founder of one of the country’s oldest technology nonprofits serving schools, I have formed opinions—that some readers will embrace and others will criticize—on what needs to be done. Perhaps my best credential for sharing with you my recommendations is this: the thousands of hours of research I have invested in trying to piece together a rational story about why American schoolchildren have fallen so far behind the rest of the world in math and science, and why it is that the further a U.S. student goes in our public school system the further behind our nation gets.
American students didn’t just wake up in 2013 and find themselves in this fix. Since ...