Students Lack Skills for Workforce

Amarillo ISD Superintendent Rod Schroder
Amarillo ISD Superintendent Rod Schroder

Many area students are not equipped with the skills they need to enter the workforce after high school graduation.

Leadership skills, conflict resolution, time management, and work ethic are just a few of the skills business leaders say new graduates are struggling to demonstrate.

So superintendents are discussing ways to create a better balance between academics and life skills in the classroom. Businesses are requiring quality employees now more than ever.

Superintendent's say they will rise to the challenge.

Amarillo ISD Superintendent Rod Schroder says, "I think you'll see the assessment systems already changing a little bit but that will take legislative action. I think you'll see the accountability systems change a little bit. So there will be incremental changes over time to make the shift back to where we think we need to be."

The Canyon School District is also looking at making adjustments.

Superintendent Mike Wartes says, "We're looking at adjusting our period schedules maybe at our high schools to accommodate students for a well rounded education."

Students say the changes are not a bad idea. Canyon H.S. Senior Matt Waguespack says, "I'm guessing everything they are talking about is available but just not mandatory. So if it stays voluntary it might not reach as many kids, so I could see the use of that."

Wartes says, "If we don't give them those experiences at seven teen who's going to?"

Barriers that also prevent graduates from being hired include drug records, criminal records, and a poor credit history. The curriculum changes are a part of a state-wide effort.