AMERICAN EDUCATION FAILS BECAUSE IT ISN’T EDUCATION
by Tom DeWeese
April 20, 2011
The debate over public education grows more heated. Regularly, reports are released showing that the academic abilities of American students continue to fall when compared to those in other countries.
Twenty years ago the U.S. ranked first in the world in the number of young adults who had high school diplomas and college degrees. Today we rank ninth and seventh, respectively, among industrialized nations. Compared to Europe and Asia, 15-year-olds in the United States are below average in applying math skills to real-life tasks. The United States ranks 18 out of 24 industrialized nations in terms of relative effectiveness of its education system. Knowledge in history, geography, grammar, civics and literature are all in decline in terms of academic understanding and achievement.
To solve the crisis, politicians, community leaders, and the education community all preach the same mantra. Students fail, they tell us, because “expectations haven’t been set high enough.” We need more “accountability,” they say. And every education leader and nearly every politician presents the same “solution” to the education crisis: more money, better pay for teachers, and smaller classroom numbers so the children get enough attention from the teachers.