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ACT president to discuss workplace skills at MIT Forum on Public Education

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Richard Ferguson, president of American College Testing (ACT) will discuss "The Skills of the American Workplace: A Reality Check" at an MIT Forum on Public Education at 4pm on Tuesday, December 2, in Room 6-120. The session is open to the public.

ACT has produced a database for over 2,000 jobs and compared these profiles with the skills of prospective employees. This enables employers to communicate their requirements for all jobs to educators, prospective employees and policy makers.

"Today's workers must possess interpersonal, problem solving and communication skills," said Mr. Ferguson.

The ACT Assessment, known to many college students, allows college admissions officers to compare applicants throughout the world. Rather than testing their aptitude, the assessment focuses on the acquisition of knowledge and the application of analytical thinking in the major content areas covered in most colleges and schools. About 60 percent of the freshman class in the nation's four-year colleges take the ACT Assessment.

The Forums are sponsored by MIT's Council on Primary and Secondary Education (CPSE) and the Museum of Science. Previous speakers have included MIT Urban Economics Professor Frank Levy, National Academy of Sciences President Bruce Alberts, Boston School Superintendent Thomas Payzant, and Massachusetts Board of Education Chairman (and Boston University Chancellor) John Silber.

"In his role as the leadoff speaker this fall, our colleague Frank Levy spoke about the new basic skills required of young people entering the workplace," said Professor Ron Latanision of the MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering, chair of CPSE. "Dick Ferguson will add to this theme."

Mr. Ferguson's speech will be preceded by refreshments at 3:30 p.m. in the Eastman Lobby (outside Room 6-120).

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