Monday, February 01, Policy Education Public Schools Many American critics believe that the major problem with public education today is a lack of focus on results.
The world has changed in many ways since the Cold War ended. The internet and mobile communication have opened up new possibilities across the world.
As high-tech, high-value generating industries are no longer bound by national borders or access to restricted resources, a new world order has began to emerge.
In this new world education has become even more important.
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The US — and the West as a whole — has seen its advantage in economic, technological and defense arenas erode, because we are beginning to fall behind the rest of the world. While the political establishment debates, increasingly on ideological grounds, the future of America is at risk.
The problem begins very early in the national academic system. Beginning in elementary school many students are already behind the nationally accepted standards. For example, one study found that only 31 percent of fourth graders are proficient in reading on the NAEP National Assessment of Educational Progress and by eighth grade this number is virtually the same 33 percent.
If the average student is not an efficient reader, how can we expect them to excel? One can find similarly alarming statistics for math and the problems compound by the time students are in high-school. In fact, according the Heritage Foundation about one in three American students fail to graduate from highschool.
What is most worrying is that the numbers are getting worse in relative and absolute terms. Inthe US was the only developed country with a higher percent of to year-olds with high school degrees than to year-olds. The data for college level education is also not positive.
The problem is not necessarily one of quality in higher education. Many foreigners this author included still choose to come to the US because the value offered by American universities is very high, despite very high costs international students have limited options in terms of funding or student employment.
And while I am willing to pay the extra cost for an American higher education, I see no such incentive for primary or secondary education. Simply put, American college education may be the most expensive in the world, but it also offers some of the best employment and earnings opportunities.
The problem, therefore, is not quality or potential, but rather the small number of Americans earning degrees in critical areas and the even smaller number who are prepared for rigorous study in those fields. The most serious problem is in the area of STEM Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathwhere there are almost 3 million unfilled jobs, but only aboutgraduates annually.
The picture is even bleaker when one considers that many of those advanced degrees are awarded to foreigners.
For example, about half of all engineering doctoral degrees are awarded to non-US nationals. The implications of this shortfall are not only economic, but also a national security concern as it will become increasingly difficult to fill sensitive security-related jobs.
Most policy-makers would not dispute these facts: Identifying the problem and recommending a solution, however, is becoming increasingly ideological. Politicians on both sides of the aisle are all too eager to turn critical issues into an ideological battle rathen seek a realistic compromise.
It would be foolish to pinpoint any one issue as the sole problem with education.
The system needs to be adjusted to attract qualified, motivated teachers through fair compensation; national and state curriculums need to be updated to reflect the realities of the post-Cold War era; school testing norms need to be redesigned; and effective means of motivating students have to be implemented.
What is at stake is far more than just increasing reading or math test scores; without a well educated population the American advantage in just about every field will continue to erode.Classical Education in America By Daniel Walker Howe The study of ancient Greek and Latin long ago vanished from most American classrooms, and with it has gone a special understanding of the values and virtues prized by Western civilization.
Many American critics believe that the major problem with public education today is a lack of focus on results. Students aren’t expected to meet high standards, the argument goes, and the process of education takes precedence over analyzing education results in policy-making circles..
This is a valid argument (as far as it goes). Yet despite spending a greater proportion of its GDP on universities than any other country, America has only the 15th-largest proportion of young people with a university education.
Despite this, there has generally been a large enough number of dreamy eyed teachers willing to dive in and fight against all odds to teach any student that is placed in their classes.
One simple reason for the decline of ANY education in ANY population. THEY caused the decline of American education. That's because they are not. Philosophy of education is the branch of applied or practical philosophy concerned with the nature and aims of education and the philosophical problems arising from educational theory and practice.
The value added is in the brand — how it is imagined, presented, sold and sustained. Or consider America’s vast entertainment industry, built around stories, songs, design and creativity.