The U.S. is not alone in its worries over the quality of its schools and the skills of its workforce.
Not a single industrial nation is entirely happy with its education and worker training programs. But in four European countriesFrance, Britain, Sweden, and West Germanyeducators have joined hands with government, industry, and local communities to face the problem head-on.
The results of their imaginative initiatives recently were observed firsthand by participants in an equally innovative U.S. projectthe West Philadelphia Improvement Corps (WEPIC). Support from the German Marshall Fund of the United States enabled two WEPIC groups-including public school teachers, principals, and administrators, as well as city and state policymakersto tour some of the best European education, youth employment, and community development programs.
SchoolWorks describes what these groups found in Europe. It also profiles a project that is seeking to make West Philadelphia schools the life centers of their communities. Finally, it presents guiding principles for strengthening workforce competence in America, with particular emphasis on those Americans who will make up an increasingly significant portion of our future workforceyoung minorities and blacks from our most disadvantaged neighborhoods.
A German Marshal Fund of the U.S. Book
William E. Nothdurft, a policy consultant, is also the author of Going Global: How Europe Helps Small Firms Export (Brookings, 1992).