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Re: [Fwd: [Schools Matter] U. S.



I think Donahue's comments are hokum and I think he knows it.
Test scores are never high on employer's lists of where to
locate or relocate. If they were, CT, MA and what a Finnish
friend calls the Scandinavian Midwest would have all the
industries. There wouldn't be a BMW plant in Spartanburg, SC,
or a Mercedes plant in AL or Toyota plants all over the south.

The natural locale for a new CGI-AMS plant and a new Northrop
Grumman tech center is along the hi-tech highway I66 here in
northern VA or a similar strip along I270 in MD.

So where are these 2 company's going to build? "They are
looking at rural America instead--to places where rents are
cheap, traffic is light and, instead of companies being forced
to offer bonuses or poach employees from a competitor, resumes
pour in by the dozens." That from a Jan 2 Washington Post
article by Ellen McCarthy. They're going to build in Lebanon,
VA. Find it on a map if you can (hint, it's NNE of Bristol).

State and local officials came up with some kind of $4.5
million "incentive package" (people in Tuscaloosa told me AL
gave away the farm to get Mercedes and the word "kickback"
came up often).

The article does say that colleges within 100 miles of Lebanon
awarded over 4,500 computer science degrees, but it lists
James Madison as one and it's about 250 miles away. It also
doesn't specify what a "computer science degree" is. I
imagine most came from community colleges--which have promised
to tailor courses to the needs of the companies--and from VA Tech.

Off hand it looks win-win unless you worry over Northrop
Grumman making stuff that kills people. Companies get a work
force of out of work farmers and small shop people, the
workers used to a rural wage or no wage get an industrial one.

Tom Friedman would probably take it as more evidence of the
flat world, but these companies sure as hell didn't run down a
list of Virginia school districts and pick by test scores.


Jerry