Jennifer Monies: Oklahoma education system in need of change

Our state’s education system is in desperate need of change. Our kids deserve the very best chance of having a successful life with a good-paying job to help them support a family here in Oklahoma. Those jobs are out there right now, but they sit empty because too often we are graduating students without the skills needed in a modern workforce. They can’t read a ruler or write a complete sentence on a job application. They can’t show up for work on time and don’t realize that most manufacturing jobs today involve computers more than dark, dirty assembly lines.

The business community understands Oklahoma’s potential. We are parents, community members, mentors and simply concerned citizens. That’s why when we hear elected officials and education advocates saying that business needs to “stay in its own lane” and not get involved in education, we take it personally. Not for ourselves, but for our children, our future workforce.

We know our students deserve the very best education system and right now we fall far short of providing that opportunity. It is time for our state to stop settling for mediocrity and demand better results. Every single one of our kids are worthy of a shot at their dream job.

Businesses want to hire critical thinkers, people who can collaborate and problem-solve and be innovative. The success of a business depends on the quality of its workforce and nothing costs a company more than its human capital. Without quality employees, a company is doomed to fail.

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