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  • Writer's pictureDavid Brake

Current Realities in Our Schools: Are Students Future-ready?

Updated: Apr 3

The World Economic Forum has predicted that by 2025, 85 million jobs may be displaced by an AI-powered shift in labor from humans to machines. Even if it takes until 2030 before that happens–and don’t bet against it–we are going to see a seismic shift in the workplace.

There may be a silver lining to this cloud, however. The WEF estimates that 97 million new labor roles will emerge. These jobs of the future will require people to think differently about their education, skills, and the need for a life-long-learner mindset.

Our PK12 schools have an opportunity–if not an obligation–to develop Future-ready Students. Doing so will require transformational change, a metamorphosis that some school stakeholders may not fully embrace or believe necessary at this time.

Almost every industry association I follow or am connected with concurs: AI is a game changer for the workplace, perhaps even eclipsing the societal impact of the Industrial Revolution.

AI is also a game changer for our PK12 education system. But before we have a pro or con knee-jerk reaction, let’s ask ourselves about the PURPOSE of school. According to many school administrators I’ve talked with, the primary purpose of our schools is to produce future-ready students. Most stakeholders would agree.

Though AI may be a common denominator for most career paths, the paths themselves are divergent and some are not clearly marked. Given that many of today’s graduating high school students can expect up to 12 career changes or career disruptions before they retire, it seems reasonable that future-ready students need resiliency skills as much as academic skills. They need the volition and agility to explore and adapt to new paths, or blaze their own trails through a thicket of uncertainty. Where does volition, agility, and resiliency come from? It’s part nature (genetics) and part nurture (life experience). While schools cannot do much about nature, they can have a tremendous impact on the nurture side of the equation, but only if they think transformationally about the purpose and design of schools–the experience they need to facilitate for students.

Based on some of the work Grandview has done with school districts striving for transformational change, there are five things that seem to impact purpose and design:

  • Student-centered learning

  • Learning environments

  • Learning models

  • Workforce/staff development

  • Community and family partnerships

These five points cannot be the sole responsibility of our schools. All stakeholders need to be engaged in addressing the purpose and design of schools. Parents, school staff, administrators, community partners … and students.

Grandview has a playbook to get the process started. Click below to talk to us or learn more.


David Brake is the founder and CEO of The Grandview Group, a consulting firm that helps organizations engage their stakeholders and elevate impact. We would love to talk with you about how your organization is engaging stakeholders and elevating impact.

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