Monday, January 12, 2009

the economic opportunty

When unemployment rises, education organizations do well. When the economy is good, people coast and soak up the rewards. When the economy tanks, people want to make themselves more valuable to their current organization or seek training to move into a more new career after losing their jobs. At Kaplan we could count on many more LSAT, GRE and GMAT test takers during a crunch.

We are seeing this firsthand at ABCTE right now. We are having the largest enrollment month of our short history. Part of this is due to the tremendous response from Missourians but it is also coming from people who have lost their jobs in real estate, financials and technical fields. They now want to move into teaching.

I have heard the past criticism that these people will move back into the private sector once the economy recovers. But there is no actual data to support this AND the economy is a long way from recovering. Plus ABCTE has an 85% retention rate – so as long as the program is rigorous, there is no concern.

This is a unique opportunity for states and even for the Congress. We can put technical workers back to work and solve our math/science teaching shortage. We are seeing great people come into our program (over 110 have enrolled in January so far and many more are expected). We have even discounted our program by $100 to make sure we do our part to help. We cannot let this opportunity pass us by.

One program and we can solve two problems - - let’s work together to make this happen.

NOTE: we need some school districts in Tennessee to work with us to apply for an alternative teacher certification program under their new regulations. If you know an education leader there, please connect us!

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