Map to the Middle Class

The story of the future of work in America is one of deepening economic polarization. Good jobs are disappearing for people with only a high-school diploma, while wage and employment gains increasingly accrue to people with higher education. In this series, we’ll explore the jobs of the future and ask how schools can help young people prepare for a landscape where middle-class life is increasingly out of reach. To do that, we want to hear from you. See all our Special Reports

“Since my parents didn’t get much education, it’s hard to talk to them about my schoolwork and applying to college, or how to plan my time and get everything done,” says Mariano Almanza, 18, pictured speaking with his Coronado High School guidance counselor, Colleen McElvogue.

School counselors keep kids on track. Why are they first to be cut?

How Colorado is betting on counseling to vault low-income kids into good jobs and post-secondary education

Lack of sufficient financial aid has forced Jocelyn Ramirez to work more than 40 hours a week and cut down on coursework so she can afford to stay in college.

Eligible for financial aid, nearly a million students never get it

States run out of money and aspiring low-income college students feel the pain

Wes McEntee works on one of several manufacturing machines students use at Vermont Technical College.

OPINION: 3 reasons that career and technical education doesn’t preclude college

Confronting some misconceptions about future learners

Lande Ajose

OPINION: Latinos find the deck stacked against them in this state

Feeling the brunt of low wages and limited college access

Mitch Askew, a history teacher at Flagstaff High School, marches with his two-year-old son.

Are teachers losing their grip on the middle class?

Red-state teachers are walking out, not just over low pay but the erosion of their profession as a valued, white-collar occupation

Students walk on the campus of historical Morehouse College in Atlanta Ga.

We won’t have any black Mark Zuckerbergs or Bill Gates till we do this

Colleges that allow their students to also start businesses give them a boost

Wes McEntee works on one of several manufacturing machines students use at Vermont Technical College.

Colleges are adding programs in a once-decimated industry — manufacturing

But few young people are seeking out the skills to fill these jobs

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Automation will boost demand for science-and-tech skills as well as soft skills such as critical thinking, according to a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Study: The U.S. isn’t doing enough to prepare students for the automation age

The country ranks ninth when it comes to upgrading curricula and teacher training for the labor market of the future

The United States Capitol. A House bill to revamp the Higher Education Act has moved out of committee for debate, while the Senate is still discussing reform ideas in committee.

OPINION: To succeed in tomorrow’s workforce, today’s students need equity-driven policy

How high-quality data can drive reauthorization of the Higher Education Act

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