When you were a kid, your parents would say, “Santa is making a
list and checking it twice.” Well, Santa isn’t the only one.
In an effort to find the best employees, employers are making
lists of which students are serious about school _ and they’re using high
school transcripts to do it. Transcripts tell a prospective employer if a student
had a good attendance record, took tough courses
and showed interest in a variety of subjects.
Students who demonstrate such commitment, enthusiasm
and intellectual curiosity in school are likely to
become excellent employees.
It is all part of an effort by Washington’s
Partnership for Learning to make high school transcripts a worthwhile document
to which students pay attention. The Partnership for Learning, in
conjunction with organizations such as the Association of Washington
Business (AWB), is working to build more accountability into the schools by
letting students and parents know that grades, attendance and good
It’s not unusual to hear some students say, “That subject is so
lame, I’ll never need that stuff when I get out of school.” So they skip
classes, flunk the course or act up in class while their fellow students try to
learn. But when job-hunting students discover that prospective employers
will review their transcripts, their attitude _ and their behavior _ changes
Case in point: In the early 1980s, I was part of a group of employers
in Port Angeles who worked with school officials to motivate students and
create better employees.
We agreed that employers, as part of the hiring process, should
know what a student’s attendance record was in high school. The
superintendent told us that the impact on students
was amazing. Word got around that if you wanted a job at the local bank or
in one of the two pulp mills, you’d better have a good attendance record.
It made attendance in school mean something.
The things that make someone a good student make them a good
employee: Are you willing to learn? Are you dependable? Do you stick
to something and finish what you started? Can you work as part of
Sounds simple, but you’d be amazed at how many young men
and women today just don’t get it.
Don Brunell is president of the Association of Washington
Business, Washington state’s chamber of commerce. Visit AWB on the web