Creating a High-Performance Education and Training System

Published March 1, 1998

The National Association of Manufacturers’ report, “Education and Training for America’s Future,” offers six policy prescriptions for improving worker education and training.


  • More choice and competition in education, with charter schools, public school choice, school vouchers, and tax-free savings accounts for K-12 education.


  • Measurement of student performance by rigorous and meaningful tests benchmarked nationally and internationally, so that districts, schools, and individual teachers can be held accountable for student achievement;
  • Creation of an industry-designed national system of skill standards to enable students, educators, and employers to determine the knowledge and skills required to function effectively in the workplace.


  • Targeted tax incentives to support education and training investments by businesses and individuals, such as loans to small businesses for training and tax policies to encourage individual savings accounts for education and training;
  • Consolidation and decentralization of existing federal job-training programs, which would reduce red tape, improve accountability, and leverage existing community resources for maximum educational impact.


  • A cooperative commitment to lifelong learning, with employers committing to invest in employee education and training, and with employees also taking advantage of these programs plus making their own investment in maintaining and improving their skills.