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The U.S. educational system has been lacking in preparing and teaching our students for some years now and it seems not to remain a high priority.
“Education is the key to our future success as a country and the cornerstone of our democracy. Yet, we have allowed our students to fall behind,” according to the mission statement on the website NBC Education Nation.
According to the U.S Dept. of Education, “Sixty-eight percent of our eighth-graders can’t read at grade level. One-third of our students drop out of high school, and another third aren’t college-ready when they graduate.” The American education system has been failing, where it was once at the top globally in science, math and reading, primary and secondary education in the United States is not even in the top ten as of today.
According to NBC Education Nation reports from Rehema Ellis, “Among 30 developed nations, we rank 24th in Math, 17th in Science and 10th in Literacy.” It seems that America has put education on the back burner and in the long run it will impact the future workforce and thus the economy.
It is important to look at the quality of education students are receiving; most young people aren’t getting the necessary skills and education in the arts and sciences to keep competitive. “We teach things, subject matter, but we don’t teach how to think, that is, to analyze and synthesize and to handle novelty,” says Dr. Robert F. Duvall, president/CEO of the Council for Economic Education.
Despite technological innovations and the progress of modern resources and tools, it seems as if the American educational system has not changed much over the years to fit the developing minds of the children who are learning using this technology.
In the United States a major benefactor is the condition of the poor economy which affects the financial aspect of education in concerns to funding.
According to the Department of Education the United States puts about the same amount of money into the system as most countries; it is about how the money is placed in the educational system. “It is States and communities, as well as public and private organizations of all kinds, that establish schools and colleges, develop curricula, and determine requirements for enrollment and graduation.”
The federal government initially does not have much power or gives much funding, which probably helps account for the failing education system. In order to remedy the failing system of the United States there are many things that could be done.
America has diversity in the classroom, which can be used by students to teach each other. American students, business leaders, and entrepreneurs can succeed in this global economy, yet they must have the proper education and knowledge of the world.
Pendoley argues in the article “World’s Apart” that the most important change should be cultural.
“We need to move beyond the culture of education as a political football and students as repositories of math and grammar rules,” he says, explaining that this includes paying teachers well, requiring students to learn new languages and about new cultures, encouraging foreign travel, rewarding accomplishments in science and technology, and most of all, giving them a competitive edge by using to an advantage the vast diversity of the United States.”
There is plenty of potential in the U.S. education system but the right people have to be placed and the focus on education has to become a top priority along with the student as an individual, not a building that can be sent finances to attempt to fix a problem. Students are no longer competing with their peers across the campus, but across the globe and if their education doesn’t prepare them for it, they’ll lose.
While there are steps being taken to change the path our value in education has taken, there is still much to do and people must get involved to save their children’s future.