Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox, addressed the question of education reform in a speech at the Detroit Economic Club this week. She said that schools need to focus on effectively teaching math and science, in order to make the US economy competitive on a global scale. She pointed out that 150,000 engineering jobs with salaries over $60,000 went unfilled two years ago, due to the lack of qualified applicants.
She decried the amount of money that is donated to educational institutes every year, yet results are still poor. “If you ran a business that invested a billion dollars with so little progress, you’d shut it down,” Burns said. She also said that young people need better mentors, who would be able to direct students towards careers that are not only interesting, but also needed and lucrative.
Burns herself is an inspiring role model. She grew up in the projects of New York, but her mother was determined that her children would have a brighter future. Burns earned engineering degrees from New York University and Columbia University. She is the first black woman to head a Fortune 500 company.
The CEO is currently working with President Barack Obama on the Educate to Innovate program, which aims to improve science and math education in the US. “This is a multi, multi, multi-year problem,” said Burns. “It takes a lot longer to grow an engineer than it does to get elected.”
Via The Detroit News.
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