Something is amiss in America. Something does not fit. How can America be one of the strongest nations in the world, yet have the lowest educational ranking among advanced nations? This trend is a disaster for America and people are learning this quickly. There are many theories and ideas on what is wrong with America--terrible teachers, too much testing, or people that have authority positions with little experience. All are certainly relevant and play a factor in the American education system, yet they are missing something--a common link. Fixing one problem and ignoring the others, will solve nothing. These issues are the end products from the real problem on how the American Education system has flopped. The problem began for the American
President Ronald Reagan once described America as, “A Nation at Risk,” He was addressing this statement to the education department thirty years ago and meant it as a wake-up call. He was aware that the United States was falling behind in education and needed to take action in order to prevent the demise of the country. Reagan correctly predicted the grim fate of America if education did not see improvement. Today, research finds that American education is failing to provide the necessary skills to succeed in college and various careers. The quality of education in America is a growing issue and every year graduate students are finding it more difficult to obtain high paying jobs and start his or her career. According to studies conducted globally, the curriculum in America is not as advanced and years behind international schools in countries such as China and Japan. There is much controversy in government over what can be done to reverse the situation in public schools but possible solutions that have been suggested are hiring more qualified teachers, more classroom time, and investing more money into education.
America, land of the free and home of the brave, a country helping to make the world a better place. A world power with our impressive military, our freedoms, and our resources. Yet, how can such a powerful country be ranked 25th in math performance and 21st in science out of 30 countries? Twenty-seven percent of the seniors in the United States scored below the basic reading level. America is in need of a change, and No Child Left Behind is not the answer.
In every school around this country hanging on the walls are posters of great inspiration. They express the significance of what hard work, courage, determination, potential, and rising above and beyond can give a person who has a good education behind them. History books tell of a not so long ago point in time when America had an economy focused on physical labor that produced goods and then turned into a knowledge-centered one geared toward offering services. Looking at American now, one would never be able to guess that for a while education was important. Times changed and it was found that advanced knowledge and creativity was a thing to aspire too. Women fought hard just to be able to have the right to an education. “American politicians and pundits have regularly stressed that education holds the key to the country's future. Everyone seems to agree that good schools are prerequisites for broad economic prosperity, individual social mobility, and a healthy civil society in which informed voters engage in the public issues of the day.” (Mehta)
As far as education, the United States is ranked as one of the lowest among developed countries. Since the mid 1800s, the American system has used a method known as standardized testing. This is an administered test that covers certain subjects and usually includes multiple choice and sometimes open-ended questions. The form of the test is always the same for all test takers. The United States copied this method from other countries that appeared to be doing better than them, like China, Finland, Singapore and others. America has constantly been competing to be at the top so they developed these tests to help with its countries’ intelligence level, yet they are still ranked at the bottom. The failure of the education system is due to the unsatisfactory teacher quality, the increase in poverty, and the compelling use of standardized tests. Instead of making improvements they’re diminishing the level of education. The government should not put such emphasis on these tests because they are limiting Americans. Standardized tests are part of the reason America is still at the bottom of the pyramid for education.
As noted by the graph our standings in education is below average, especially with African Americans and Hispanic children compared to other states. If this is the outcome in elementary school what should we expect by grade 8. With all of the various reforms enacted throughout the 30 years the curriculum in public schools did not improve nor did our standing compared to the rest of the world. Even though in each presidency monitoring tool was developed to ascertain the level of learning based on the test. In states where students passing their test equated to more funding of the school as well as the school remains open, jobs for the educators. So oppose to teaching students the information needed educators taught to the test. This is due to politicians not addressing the core issues that prevent children in low social economic status of of color due to cultural biases. Then there is the political climate of education including ignorance towards the benefit of vocational schools and real world learning.
I remember reading the America at Risk report on Education in America, there was one line in there that summed up the educational system in this country and the lack of effort to change it. "If this current educational system was instituted in America by a foreign nation, it would be cause for a social revolution and a formal declaration of war." Yet it is accepted by those in power and justified for its existence through laws and coercion of the masses.
Politicians are now placing the blame on the downfall of the economy on poor education techniques. Educational institutions in American have become so morph into the concept of standardized methods of learning
Today, the lower tiers of America’s educational system, no longer appear as exceptional as they were. While U.S. colleges and universities still attract students from abroad, the elementary and secondary pillars on which the higher education system stands rank, at best, near the average of all industrialized nations. In the figure above, it can be seen that high school graduation rates, which once led the world, now fall short of the average for all industrialized countries, and college graduation rates, are just at the industrial international average. (CITATION)
Public Schools in America for a long time were regarded as the best public schools in the world, but with the development of Asian and European schools American schools are not ranked as highly. American Public schools in 1999 were ranked sixteenth and seventeenth in science and math right behind Bangladesh. Some students are graduating from high school with little more than an inadequate ability to read and a diploma that should mean the student knows at least the core subjects. Other students are dropping out and not graduating at all. Colleges are not trusting diplomas and grade point averages as a basis of admissions because they know that with the large variety of classes that high schools offer as credit that the student may not know as much as his or her GPA says. Colleges are recalculating GPA's deleting non-core classes and evaluating SAT and ACT scores for the purpose of admissions. Colleges also have to offer more remedial classes to teach students what they should have learned in high school. Something needs to be done to reform America's public schools especially at the high school level.