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About the Author

James C. Wilson, Ed.D.
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James C. Wilson, Ed.D.

I earned my Doctorate in Education at the University of Southern California. My dissertation was a two-year longitudinal study of vocational education graduates of San Diego City Schools. It was a great research experience in understanding longitudinal studies and defining subjects for research. This training was invaluable to me as I designed my nonfiction book on career academies, Disposable Youth: Education or Incarceration?

I managed Career Technical Education Programs in San Diego City Schools for thirty years. I saw that the piecemeal efforts of the School to Career Program really were not working to raise test scores and few students completed a sequence of courses that led to employability. However, a series of research studies pointed out on a new innovation called the high school career academy. The research was mixed on raising test scores, but the findings on improving the high school graduation rate were revolutionary. I became committed to creating a standard rubric, which would define the career academy in measurable terms to aid implementation and evaluation

In my research for a specialized education book about career academies, I discovered the criminal justice side of the high school drop out issue. Seventy percent of the two and a half million prisoners in America are high school dropouts as are the additional 4.5 million on probation and parole. I could not believe that I was the only person in the country to put the career academy reform of reducing high school dropouts together with reducing crime and incarceration. This unique understanding of this connection energized me to complete and publish Disposable Youth. The concepts in Disposable Youth can transform high schools to graduate an enormously larger segment of each cohort and also can change our society by systematically using career academies to put our youth to work. Disposable Youth is available on Amazon and Kindle.

Since retirement, I ran unsuccessfully for the school board, built a house on a burnt-out lot, wrote my book, Disposable Youth, had both knees replaced, traveled most of the world, and completed my fourth novel. I am now very excited about my new book titled, Cataclysmic Failure: American High Schools. It is past time to recognize the potential power of an appropriate high school education. We have the power to create a skilled workforce, reduce crime, and reduce incarceration in America. The essays in Cataclysmic Failure provide a blueprint to a better future.





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