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How the American School System Can Train Kids for High-Tech Jobs

Unemployment is high, but there are tons of open jobs in engineering and science. Here's how America's school system can fill the gap.

In May of 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an estimated 2.6 million jobs were unfilled. In the heart of the worst American recession in decades, with unemployment rates hovering at nine percent, there were over two million unfilled jobs. Why the contradiction? Many of these unfilled positions were in industries such as healthcare, aerospace, advanced precision manufacturing, scientific laboratory occupations, and computer-related design jobs which require knowledge of the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

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Flavor Flav Wants to Get His High School Diploma (and Inspire Other Dropouts)

The Public Enemy hypeman and reality TV star dropped out of 10th grade. Now he's headed back to school and wants to film his experience.


Flavor Flav wants to get his high school diploma. The 51 year-old VH1 reality show star and hypeman of iconic hip hop super group Public Enemy dropped out of school in the tenth grade. Now he plans to finally get his degree, and, of course, film a reality show documenting his experience. But, before you start picturing a train-wreckish education version of Flavor of Love or The Surreal Life, understand that Flav has good intentions: If you're a dropout, he wants you to get your degree too.

Flav—real name William Drayton, Jr—told news outlet WQAD, "I want this show to be able to influence people my age, that if you dropped out of high school when you were young it's never too late to go back to get your diploma."

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Merging College and Career Prep on Chicago's West Side

There's no difference between the college track and the career track at Chicago's Austin Polytechnical Academy high school.


Can today's kids learn calculus and real world job skills? They will if they're enrolled at Austin Polytechnical Academy on Chicago's West Side. At the 381-student STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) focused campus, the college and career track are one and the same.

Founded in 2007 by Dan Swinney, the chairman of the Chicago Manufacturing Renaissance Council, Austin is the only Chicago Public Schools high school teaching the basics like English and social studies, and requiring students to take three to four years of pre-engineering courses.

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