The following is an open letter to the Bellevue School District Board: In reviewing the most recent “achievement reports” presented to the board by the district staff, I see that the district’s “mission” is “to provide all students with an exemplary college preparatory education so they can succeed in college, career and life.” In addition, the district staff advocates a 100 percent graduation rate, and several other goals: see, for example, those set forth in the district’s 2016-2017 Visionary publication.
While many of the goals and objectives described in the 2016-2017 Visionary publication appear to be genuinely attractive, I am concerned that they do not take into account the predictions of future employment opportunities as derived from U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics projections. This may result in excessive enrichment of the K-12 curriculum, provision of unneeded educational infrastructure and unnecessary taxation of district property owners.
The attached file provides a condensed view of BLS’s projections of those occupations expected to have the highest job growth in the 2016-2026 decade, and their typical entry-level educational requirements; this summary is based on BLS Table 1.4. Additional BLS data provides more comprehensive information on this subject.
I urge you to consider contracting for some more extensive independent research on this topic in order to inform your decision-making processes regarding the need for additional district revenues, and on the near- and intermediate-term mission objectives for the district.
David F. Plummer