Automation continues to come our way in unceasing waves. Automation cannot be detained at a border. Some Americans are convinced that the major impetus for tightening our stance on immigration is protecting jobs that would otherwise be filled by actual citizens of the United States. The reality is that automation, not immigration, represents a far greater danger to many jobs we consider as employment in today’s era.
Many types of labor-oriented jobs, such as factory work, continue to be usurped by technology. With the advent of driverless vehicles, commercial transportation will become automated. Construction jobs will also be victim to widespread loss of employment. It is easy to dismiss these pending realities right now as impossible, improbable, and certainly something some of us reading this won’t see in our lifetimes. Although within a decade or two, this redefining of the job market will be felt. How can society adapt? We must face the fields where humans are needed: art, music, nursing, care taking, childcare, areas where empathy and concern are the qualifications – ones that are unfulfillable by robots.
I believe strongly in public education, and think that commercializing this facet of our society under the auspice of the “teacher accountability” mantra would be shortchanging the youth of America. I think there is room for discussion regarding teacher performance, and am open to finding some type of middle ground with others regarding the topic. To me, the exposure to diversity, to differences, and the proactive elements of socialization that can occur in our public schools outweigh the proposed advantages to capitalizing on education. With this in mind, I believe the changes that need to be made in Wisconsin’s education can be found elsewhere. Addressing the concerns of today and tomorrow should become part of our public school curriculum, one way to help our economy adapt, a way to allow humanity to survive.
While engineering, technology, artificial intelligence, and the diversity of associated academia should maintain a forefront role, I believe the impending alteration of our economy allows for other subjects to enter the public curriculum in a more direct fashion, such as: nursing, care-taking, insects (with an emphasis on pollination), waste, climate change, and facets of agriculture. Many public school courses are labeled with broad topics such as “biology” or “math”. Labels can be rethought. As Wisconsinites, I believe that reconsidering the traditional role gender plays in our job market is critical, and one that won’t be easy by any means. Curriculum reform in a public school setting is one avenue to sustaining human survival, a way to rethink and approach gender-specific employment at a younger age where such a transformation could potentially have a greater success of taking hold in the long term. The educational issues at hand today are far from being addressed when solely defined by the broad line of being either public or private. Instead, I believe the prudent question is, what do we need to know to survive tomorrow?