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Can K-12 Education Drive on the Information Superhighway?

By Robert Pearlman

"Can K-12 Education Drive on the Information Highway?", chapter in The Changing Nature of Telecommunications/Information Infrastructure, National Research Council, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1995)

If they build it, will we come? If government, the telephone and telecommunications companies, and the cable industry join to develop the backbone of the information highway and its local access ramps, will schools and school districts invest in the local telecommunications infrastructure that will ensure universal participation by the nation's over 40 million K-12 students and their teachers?

While the government's goal to "extend the 'universal service' concept to ensure that information resources are available to all at affordable prices" (IITF, 1993) may be a reasonable short-term policy for federal government action, it is at best only a first step toward the more appropriate goal of universal participation (Bolt, Beranek, and Newman, 1993) on the information superhighway by the nation's students and teachers.

The universal service goal, which borrows an analogy from telephone service, means that governments use regulation to require private companies with regional monopolies to provide the public with access to minimal services at affordable prices. Still, after 100 years of telephone service and over 60 years of regulation, there are few telephones in schools today. Few school districts in the country have seen the educational and communication services on the telephone network that would justify both the ongoing service costs and the up-front investment in a local school-based telephone infrastructure that would ensure universal participation by students and teachers. Many more factors than access will be needed to justify an investment in a computer-based telecommunications infrastructure that provides the pathway to universal participation on the information superhighway.

The national debate on education today stresses as its goals not just access to education but instead high standards of what students know and can do. It is the active participation on the information superhighway that helps students develop the planning, interpersonal, informational, technological, and communication skills required by the knowledge-based citizens and workers of the 21st century. If such skills are the goal of long-term federal policy for K-12 education, then universal participation is the appropriate strategic goal of federal policy.

Neither federal nor state government action can assure K-12 education both universal access to and widespread student utilization of the information superhighway. Smart regulation and investment can, however, encourage organizational change in schools and the emergence of new educational service providers on the information superhighway. These new services will, in turn, provide the incentive for local communities to invest in the development of an adequate and sufficient local school and school district telecommunications infrastructure.

Government goals, at both the federal and state levels, must be to ensure K-12 access to the future national information infrastructure (NII), to provide equity for all students, and to support the development of information resources for education. Such goals, however, will not be realized unless public and private initiatives combine to enable the development of a real economy of schools and learning enterprises on the information superhighway.

K-12 education is a totally different sector, economically, than banking, health, or libraries. Though educators today know well the effective learning activities that can take place on the information highways, there remain many roadblocks to significant K-12 traffic. K-12 is still very much a cottage industry of some 100,000 disparate school units, not easily subject to economic integration or rationalization. While banking, health care, libraries, and higher education have all invested substantially in data networks, K-12 lacks a telecommunications infrastructure at all levels—national, state, school district, and, most important, at the school site. While other economic sectors provide obvious markets that the NII will facilitate, such as money transfer, medical information and report sharing, information resources, research, and video on demand, K-12 opportunities will not emerge without structural changes in school organization and the parallel development of new educational enterprises that utilize the new telecommunications potential.

What will be the triggering event for schools and school to reallocate current expenditures and invest new dollars to equip their students and teachers with the vehicles, training, local roads, and on-line ramps to the superhighway? Can government investment and regulatory activity be designed to spur the organizational changes in schooling and encourage the growth of new educational service providers that, in turn, can combine to exploit the educational potential of the future information superhighway?


There is no mystery today among educators as to what the effective and powerful applications of communications technology in education are. Using technologies such as computers, CD-ROMs, videodiscs, phones, cable, broadcast, satellite, local area networks, and wide-area "internetworking," students and teachers today in exemplary technology-using schools can do their work, access information, communicate via electronic mail with each other and with mentors, engage in professional collaboration and student collaborative project work, go on electronic field trips, create virtual learning communities, and receive and use course and minicourses from any number of educational service providers. Some exemplary uses include the following:

These new learning activities and educational services on the information superhighway have expanded significantly over the past several years. Over 1.5 million students around the world have participated in the Jason project. Over 14,000 schools watch the daily 15-minute news program, CNN Newsroom, and 10,000 schools receive Whittle's Channel One. Together, these news programs reach nearly 25 percent of U.S. schools. According to the U.S. Department of Education, distance learning is now used in 6,000 schools for 20,000 elementary and 20,000 high school students. The TI-IN network, transmitting video via satellite from Texas, reaches 1,100 schools in 40 states (Bruder, 1991). MCET reaches 37 states with its curriculum modules.

These applications, whether carried on phone lines, cable lines, broadcasts, satellite, or through the Internet, are the wonderful side of these communications technologies. The unfortunate characteristic, however, that unites these examples is that few have demonstrated independent commercial viability. Customers for these services include schools and state agencies. Most of the schools that receive these services pay a user fee that is not sufficient to cover costs. States, as the governmental unit responsible for schools, add support, as do foundations, and federal government agencies like the National Science Foundation or the U.S. Department of Education.

The emerging industry of educational service providers is frail and fragmented. The real market, from schools, school districts, and states, is too limited today to support the range and quality of services that schools need. The Midlands Consortium, one of the early Star Schools grantees, shut down after the Star Schools money ended. Schools are not paying customers for the daily news programs. They receive the CNN Newsroom program, which is subsidized by Turner Broadcasting, by paying minimal or no cable use fees and the Channel One news program by agreeing to have students watch two minutes of advertising. There are other factors, however, including the current organization of schools and the lack of a telecommunications infrastructure at school sites and school districts, that impede these developments. State and federal support will, of course, continue to be necessary to encourage this emerging industry, but we are going to have to look at the K-12 industry a lot closer to see how market niches might emerge to foster the development of the new educational service providers.


Imagine what the information superhighway looks like to a teacher in one of our 100,000 K-12 schools in the United States. First, most teachers don't even know about it. Few have external phone lines and most school district business offices will not approve the open-ended purchase orders needed for phone service. Some teachers have phone lines but have outmoded Apple II-E's or early IBM PCs as workstations, with interfaces that cannot support the newer software for easy navigation on the Internet. Some teachers have a phone line, a computer with an effective interface, a modem, and a connection, through a local university, to the Internet. But while they can communicate with colleagues in Moscow, they can do little with their primarily unconnected colleagues and students and the parents of the students in their own district. Few teachers in the country use computers that are on local area networks (LANs) connected to wide area networks (WANs), as is common in higher education, business, and the research community.

Market Data Retrieval reports that 49 percent of school buildings have LANs. Most of these, however, are relegated to a single lab for limited instructional purposes, such as drill and practice or remediation. Occasionally, an entire building is wired for administrative purposes, including the reporting of attendance data and grades. While a survey by the California Technology Project found that 10.6 percent of 400 schools surveyed had LANs connected by modem to WANs, further research showed these connections were for administrative purposes and that there were "no connections between instructional LANs and instructional uses of wide area networks" (Newman et al., 1992).

Typically, schools and group of teachers who might want to develop the local infrastructure for school networking do not have budget control at the school site level. They have difficulty paying for the phone lines. The barrier to putting the nation's 100,000 schools on to the Internet is not the capacity of the Internet, but the lack of local school and school district infrastructure and the difficulty in any locality of financing the end-user equipment and the LANs that represent the vehicles and local access roads to the information superhighway.

Many states are currently developing plans to give all schools access to the Internet. In most cases this means dial-in access by single computers and modems and use of data but not video communication. Some states, such as Iowa, plan a more extensive fiber optic backbone with county points of presence to which local schools can connect, permitting both data and video communications. This is the kind of infrastructure states should build. This still leaves, however, two tasks for local school districts. First, districts will have to run the fiber to the "curb" of the local school and, second, wire the school and build the in-school voice, data, and video distribution system. For all members of a school community to "drive" on the information superhighway, schools will need their own local telecommunications infrastructure, including an Internet server and router, cable, and satellite connections, and internal voice, data, and video distribution, all of which requires significant investment. The most extensive wiring of schools in the country, by Whittle's Channel One news program, has, unfortunately, done little to meet this need. Channel One schools get a fixed satellite dish, receiving equipment, 19-inch monitors in every room, and a limited video distribution network, with only the ability to send out two signals to classrooms and only receive from one satellite. It is much too constraining, not the real video distribution that schools need, nor does it do anything to set up a school-wide data communications network.

The costs of providing real access to all U.S. students on the future NII are significant. Educational researcher Henry Jay Becker estimates the annual personnel, hardware, and software costs at nearly $2,000 per student for developing expertise in technology use among teachers and providing students with a learning environment characterized by project-based learning, gathering information from diverse sources, and electronic communication with "students all over the world, with scientists engaged in real world inquiry, and with databases of enormous magnitude" (Becker, 1993).

That is nearly one-third the current annual cost per student in most U.S. school districts and would amount to approximately $90 billion in additional costs annually for all the nation's schools. Such an investment is unlikely to happen, except in wealthy districts or in schools and districts where there is a clear understanding that the up-front investment will yield real and rapid dividends, such as better and more appropriate student outcomes and economies in the costs of schooling.

The Telecommunications Industry and K-12 Education

In the real economy, building the home-school, school-community, and wide-area connections will require partnerships between the phone companies, cable companies, the schools, and the states to plan the local and regional infrastructures.

Cable shows how the real economy works. The spread of cable to U.S. schools has little to do with the schools as a current market for cable products. Instead, schools are the beneficiaries of a struggle for public policy leverage and regulatory advantage between the cable industry, the regional Bell operating companies, and the other telephone and telecommunication companies (telcos). Displays of public spirit and partnerships are the currency in this battle. To its credit, the cable industry competes by providing excellent educational programming to schools and, through Cable in the Classroom, an industry organization, obtains and identifies program rights for recording and use in schools. Cable in the Classroom and CNN have also done a wonderful job of encouraging regional and local cable multiple service operators to wire schools and their classrooms, not just run a cable drop to the school door, as was the practice until recently.

In the distance learning sector, there are many good examples of programming services that are encouraged by the federal government's Star Schools initiatives, but in most cases none of these are real commercial successes. Federal and state support is critical to nurture the development of these service providers.

By providing video equipment to schools in exchange for students watching two minutes a day of commercial time, Whittle's Channel One program tapped an economic niche by giving advertisers access to a well-defined teenager audience. For this service, advertisers pay $157,000 a half-minute to reach 8 million students, yielding Channel One a daily gross of $628,000 (Kubey, 1993). This has been very controversial in school districts and states all over the country, but it did demonstrate that there was a small niche in the marketplace. It also shows the limit of that niche, as there is hardly any room in the school schedule to expand that kind of advertiser-supported educational programming into schools.

Many companies are now eyeing the potential of the NII as the delivery system for future electronic and video educational services such as customized curriculum, thematic units, customized textbooks, courses, modules, and electronic field trips. Some of these companies come out of the educational technology sector, like the Educational Management Group, but most represent new alliances from companies in the publishing, printing, cable, and telecommunications sectors.

The Organization of Schooling

"Informating" is organizing to exploit information technology.
—Shoshana Zuboff, In the Age of the Smart Machine (1988)

Besides the substantial cost of building the local school telecommunications infrastructure, there is also the problem of the organization of schooling. Schools are not really organized to exploit this new world. Schools and school districts need to change profoundly in order to exploit these new technologies, to "informate." For students of today to become the citizen knowledge workers of tomorrow's global economy, and for students to acquire the high-performance skills set forth in the SCANS1 report, What Work Requires of Schools (SCANS, 1991), schools will have, in a sense, 24-hour school days and 365-day years, operating around the clock by telecommunications.

Education in what James Mecklenburger calls a global village school (GVS) would be appropriate to both today's and tomorrow's world. According to Mecklenburger, "A GVS will be concerned round-the-clock for learning. A school building will not define the school; a building may be the 'headquarters' of a community of learners but not the sole location. Electronically, through voice mail and various networking schemes, there are many ways even today that home, school, and other institutions near and far can be intimately connected …" (Mecklenburger, 1993). Changing schooling requires the changing of all elements of school practice and organization simultaneously, including "school organization, curriculum, assessment, technology, and the learning environments" (Pearlman, 1993).

Students have to be the real workers in education, the ones who actually produce and do the work. There is a very good vision of how schools might be organized in British management expert Charles Handy's book, The Age of Unreason (1989). Handy describes how the "shamrock organization," or what others are calling a virtual corporation, would operate in education. It should be stressed that "virtual corporations" are not synonymous with "virtual reality''; instead, they are real corporations that are becoming leaner, more engaged in core activity and are outsourcing much of their work to other companies or to consultants. It is in this sense that the "virtual school" may emerge, functioning as Handy says, "as a shamrock with a core activity and everything else contracted out or done part time by a flexible labor force. The core activity would be primarily one of educational manager, devising an appropriate educational program for each child and arranging for its delivery." Much of that delivery could be on the future NII.

K-12 education is in much the same place today as the service industry was in the mid-1980s. Despite some of the great capabilities available in schools today (including single desktop machines with associated communication links), critical mass is nowhere in sight. Schools and school districts in the United States are spotted with technology-using teacher pioneers, but widespread utilization and its associated productivity gains remain distant and elusive. The school site communications infrastructure is not in place and, even if it were, schools are not organized to exploit it.

If schools are to change in the direction of shamrock organizations, they will need to outsource those learning activities not provided at the school site. This means that new educational service providers will have to arise locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally to deliver courses, minicourses, project activities, curriculum, materials, and apprenticeships to meet the range of learning needs and learning styles in the shamrock school. Enabling this new industry of education providers is, of course, the potential of the information superhighway, or NII.

K-12 Education and the Real Economy

Nobody heard the story on the news wires that the Los Angeles Unified School System bought out the San Francisco Unified School District. No one heard about the Whittle bid for majority control of the New York City Public Schools. Nor the merger of the Washington, D.C. Public Schools with those of Fairfax County, Virginia, and Montgomery County, Maryland. But everyone has heard about the rash of mergers in the health industry, in banking, in telecommunications, and in many other sectors of the global economy. No one heard about any of these kinds of economic developments in K-12 education because it is a distinct kind of economic and organizational entity, not easily subject to economic rationalization. While schools are governed by local, state, and national entities, in no sense is any of these a system in the way that banking enterprises are integral national or global economic units. Chris Whittle's stalled efforts to establish a national network of Edison schools did aspire to such systemic economic and organizational integration. Despite its failure to raise sufficient investment funds, the Edison project does raise the proper question of how, whether private or public, to put together a network of schools, whether in one location or around the country, that actually work together and produce some savings by sharing curriculum, programming, and teachers through a national delivery system of educational services.

The Clinton administration's NII initiative aims to loosen the regulatory noose around phone and cable companies in order to get the private sector to build the information superhighway, yet retain regulation as a way to ensure a "public right of way on the information superhighway" for schools, libraries, and museums (New York Times, 1993).

Schools, of course, will need much more than a "public right of way." "Universal access" to phone service has not led to phones in schools nor to significant investment in teacher and student workstations, school and district LANs, Internet nodes, and training among K-12 schools and school districts, as it has in higher education and in the research community. The "public right of way" to the information superhighway only deals with a portion of the costs. What will be the triggering event for schools, school districts, and local communities to reallocate current expenditures and invest new dollars to equip their students and teachers with the vehicles, training, local roads, and on-line ramps to the superhighway?


The first person with a telephone gets little productive use if his or her neighbors and family are without phones. The first person with a car in a remote region doesn't get much local benefit until the neighbors also acquire them and local society and government build roads for the local infrastructure. So, too, in schools, things don't take off until most teachers and most children are using technology to do their work, when they can communicate with each other and with parents and community-based mentors as easily as pioneer technology-using teachers and students can today share data and reflections with counterparts in Moscow on the Global Lab project. Schools today lack the critical mass of skilled information highway "drivers" that will lead to organizational changes in schooling and to a new industry of educational service providers. Besides a lack of physical infrastructure in schools, school districts, and states in terms of local-area and wide-area networks, another serious problem is that schools today are filled with outmoded technology equipment. More than half of the computers in schools today are five or more years old. According to Quality Education Data (QED), less than 30 percent of the computer equipment in schools can support graphical user interfaces (GUIs) such as Windows or Macintosh. The GUI is critical to today's applications, whether in the creation of multimedia documents or in "internetworking" around the globe.

To realize schools for the 21st century requires that state and federal governments develop the policies and investment that will spur local school and school district investment in local school network infrastructure and that will assist schools in the process of envisioning, reorganizing, and redesigning themselves. Local communities will not make the enormous local investment in a school telecommunications infrastructure unless there is a clear public understanding of its perceived benefits. Despite the acquisition of some 4 million microcomputers in U.S. schools, technology has not resulted in many economies in the cost of schooling. In K-12 education about 80 percent of school budgets have to do with personnel, mostly teachers. Some private companies that are making a business of managing schools are realizing economies on custodial or food service personnel, but significant economies in schooling would require reductions in teacher personnel. This has not happened as yet, even in technologically rich schools.

The only way to realize that is by totally reorganizing schooling and making a significant up-front investment in communications technology. What would it take for schools to work effectively with fewer teachers? Students would have to be able to work much more on their own, with teacher advisors managing their education with the support of external mentors and service providers, as in Handy's shamrock organization. To support this, schools would have to establish up front a communications infrastructure with a local area network in the school connected to the Internet and with connections throughout a wired local community. With that kind of structure in place, it is possible to imagine that significant economies could occur in school personnel. Schools today, however, face the dilemma of investing up front significant funds and incurring ongoing costs for a communications infrastructure before there exists the availability of sufficient educational services on the information highway that are cost efficient and effective.

This, of course, is the critical mass, or chicken and egg, problem. Without widespread local school infrastructures, no one will invest in creating new educational service companies. Without widespread and cost-efficient educational services, local school districts won't invest in local school infrastructures. To solve the critical mass problem requires the progressive and simultaneous development of:

There are many attempts today to reinvent and redesign the American school. These include efforts by school districts to build new kinds of schools (Pearlman, 1993), the efforts of the design teams sponsored by the New American School Development Corporation, schools launched by Charter School legislation in many states, and private efforts, like the Edison project. All of these attempts focus on the question of how to develop schools that have both better student outcomes and outcomes more appropriate for the 21st century; that are more economical and are each tied to a system of schools, whether in one location or around the country; that actually work together and produce some savings by sharing curriculum, resources, teachers, project activities; and so forth.

Today, K-12 education, despite the governance of school districts and state systems, is effectively a cottage industry with 51 state units, 15,000 school district units, and 100,000 school units that exhibit little or no economic integration. These school districts and state systems will have to evolve in a way that goes far beyond their current governance and regulatory role to use the new information infrastructure to provide services and bring about efficiencies in the way that a global corporation like Citibank or a large health maintenance organization utilizes networks to rationalize and economize on the delivery of services.

As a nation, we will need many experiments on the new design of schooling and the utilization of telecommunications network services over the next several years in order to understand how to exploit its potential. These experiments will come from both government investment and private and public partnerships.

Despite the fact that the current Internet owes much of its development to prior governmental support, the NII of the near future will be largely a private venture and will swamp the current Internet in size and power. Universal digital access and the "public right of way" for schools, libraries, and museums will come about less through government investment than through private development.

The key sectors of the telecommunications industry—cable and the telcos—are actively engaged with school partnerships in their contest for public policy leverage. Smart schools, school districts, and states will use these partnerships to show what can be done effectively and productively in K-12 education with an advanced communications infrastructure.


Government has a key role in enabling the development of an information superhighway that fosters the simultaneous development of new school organizations and the educational service providers to serve them. But federal or state investment can never be of the scale to provide nationally to local schools and school districts the necessary level of school site workstations and LANs, training, and nodes to make them full partners on the information superhighway.

Federal and state policy initiatives should be aimed at overcoming the critical mass problem so that local schools and school districts see the benefits of investing in the local infrastructure. Today, few classrooms have phones. Tomorrow's schools will have digital links not just between Denver and Moscow but also, and more importantly, between the local school and its own community, parents, students, and teachers, so that students will be able to communicate with teachers, parents, community mentors, and international mentors and resources and share messages, ideas, data, and multimedia student work. To raise the funds needed to build the local infrastructure, local schools and school districts will have to understand the benefits of these information-age skills and activities and be able to persuade the local citizenry to invest, through special bonds and appropriations, in such a capability.

Federal and state government policy can support these developments. Government can be a customer of new services and can invest directly in, and promote through grants, the following:

The federal government can increase existing support through direct NSF or National Telecommunications and Information Administration grants, through defense conversion funds or the High Performance Computing and Communications Initiative, the Star Schools program, and the U.S. Department of Education. In the regulation sector, tariffs could be regulated and targeted subsidies established to enable school consumers less costly access to the information highway. The state of Georgia gives schools the same below-tariff rate as state agencies and, together with a less than 1-cent surcharge, has generated $35 million annually for an education technology trust fund (Kessler, 1993).

Government must respect that the most significant investment will come from the private sector, when private interests coincide with the public interest, and not because private sector subsidies are specifically required by regulatory rules. Linkage requirements to builders of the information superhighway to give schools a "public right of way" can, however, be used smartly to foster win-win public-private partnerships between schools and the telephone or cable companies. K-12 education also needs to develop partnerships with other public service sectors, including libraries, museums, social services, and health care; to press for government action; and to lobby effectively with the telecommunications and cable companies.

Building the information superhighway, the Internet, and the future digital NII is not enough. That is just infrastructure. The key development, besides national, state, and local infrastructure, is the availability of quality educational programs and services.

Few technologies have made any impact on the organization of K-12 education, whether radio, broadcast TV, satellite TV, cable TV, or computers. Accompanying these developments, however, have been an increasing number and quality of both public and private, but free, programming services. With the development of the NII and "shamrock schools," one can envision the parallel development of local, regional, and national program providers that are part of the real economy, that is, neither public supported nor advertiser supported but instead paid for through service fees by schools that have been able to reorganize and reallocate their expenditures to pay for such services. These services would include direct instruction courses, minicourses and modules, thematic blocks for project-based learning, and an array of curriculum materials and information resources for school and home use. They could also provide the basis for companies that manage networks of public or charter schools dispersed throughout the country.

A Seat at the Table

Like other economic sectors, K-12 education is faced with a critical mass problem. While commercial viability of NII-based services is evident in such sectors as banking, financial services, and new video-on-demand services, K-12 education will require substantial state and federal support to nurture the development of school-site telecommunications infrastructures and new educational services. K-12 education needs a seat at the table in national efforts to develop the NII. To be effective, K-12 education will have to get its voice together in a better way as a sector and in coalition with other public service sectors. The federal government could aid that process by financing national teleconferences for the education sector to learn the issues of the NII and build its collective voice.

State and federal governments are critical players in promoting universal access to and widespread student utilization of the future NII. Through investment and regulation, states and the federal government can promote the new school organizations, the new educational enterprises, and the local school-site telecommunications infrastructures that will make the information superhighway a roadway for today's and tomorrow's students.


Becker, Henry Jay. 1993. "A Truly Empowering Technology-rich Education—How Will It Cost?" Educational IRM Quarterly (Fall).

Bolt, Beranek, and Newman Inc. 1993. Getting the NII to School: A Roadmap to Universal Participation. Bolt, Beranek, and Newman, Cambridge, Mass., December.

Bruder, Isabelle. 1991. "A Guide to Distance Learning," Electronic Learning (November/December).

Handy, Charles. 1989. The Age of Unreason. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.

Information Infrastructure Task Force (IITF). 1993. The National Information Infrastructure: Agenda for Action. Information Infrastructure Task Force, Washington, D.C., September 15.

Kessler, Glenn. 1993. "Treat Schools as State Agencies for Telephone Rates," Inventing Tomorrow's Schools (May/June).

Kubey, Robert. 1993. "Whittling the School Day Away," Education Week (December 1).

Mecklenburger, James A. 1993. "To Start a Dialogue: The Next Generation of America's Schools," Phi Kappa Phi Journal 73(4):42–45.

Newman, Dennis, Susan Bernstein, and Paul A. Reese. 1992. Local Infrastructure for School Networking: Current Models and Prospects, BBN Report No. 7726. BBN Systems and Technologies, Cambridge, Mass., April.

New York Times. 1993. "Gore Views the Data Highway," December 22.

Office of Technology Assessment (OTA). 1989. Linking for Learning: A New Course for Education, OTA-SET-439. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., November.

Pearlman, Robert. 1993. "Designing the New American Schools," Communications of the ACM 36(5):46–49.

Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS). 1991. What Work Requires of Schools. U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, D.C.

Zuboff, Shoshana. 1988. In the Age of the Smart Machine: The Future of Work and Power. Basic Books, New York.

1. SCANS (1991) defines a framework that can serve as the foundation for the establishment of education goals and objectives in future U.S. citizens. Whether they work on a shop floor on in an executive suite, they will need to master the following competencies and foundations skills:


1. Resources: identifies, organizes, plans, and allocates resources.

2. Interpersonal: works with others.

3. Information: acquires and uses information.

4. Systems: understands complex interrelationships.

5. Technology: works with a variety of technologies.


• Basic skills: reads, writes, performs arithmetic and mathematical operations, listens, and speaks.

• Thinking skills: thinks creatively, makes decisions, solves problems, visualizes, knows how to learn, and reasons.

• Persons qualities: displays responsibility, self-esteem, sociability, self-management, integrity, and honesty.