I am not opposed to all types of group learning situations, but I also do not completely support unaccountable state monopolies over education. State monopolies can be dangerous when they are ideologically opposed to the search for truth and the reaching of one’s fullest potential. They can also be dangerous when they are failing and parents have no other educational options for their children.
Here are some examples of how some current American public school systems are failing at the task of basic education:
68 percent of Michigan public-school eighth graders are not proficient in reading and 69 percent are not proficient in math.
Like many public schools here, University City High School is underused, underfinanced and underperforming.
Nearly 80 percent of its 11th-grade students read below grade level in statewide tests this year, while 85 percent failed to make the grade in math. Last year, about only a quarter of its students participated in precollege testing like the SAT.
- Only 43 percent of all U.S. high school students have any idea the Civil War was fought in the 19th century.
- More than 65% of all U.S. high school students cannot find Great Britain on a map.
- Twelve percent of U.S. high school students cannot find the United States on a map.
- More than 25% of all U.S. high school students thought that Christopher Columbus made his famous voyage across the Atlantic Ocean after the year 1750.
- About 33% of all U.S. high school students do not know that the Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of speech, religion and due process.
- Only 55% of all U.S. students can name the Vice-President.
The failure of the public schools has been attributed by some to a change in the education systems’ goals:
What we’re seeing is nothing less than a complete divorce of education and academic accreditation. All an academic degree now assures is that the individual has been extensively immersed in the expected ideological and socio-sexual propaganda.
Read the rest: http://voxday.blogspot.ca/2013/01/its-worse-than-that.html
With the emphasis moving away from teaching students basic skills, competent but frustrated teachers are leaving the system:
“It was purely frustration. It got the point where I can’t stand by and watch kids not learn, and I have the key to help them.” he said, reading from the letter. “They want us to follow the book to the letter.”
This education failure is having negative effects on the U.S. economy:
Employers are struggling to fill entry-level vacancies, despite the fact that there are 75 million unemployed young people worldwide, Diana Farrell, Director and Co-founder at the McKinsey Center for Government told CNBC.
A new survey conducted by the group says employers struggle with a lack of skills among graduates of academic and vocational courses, particularly for medium and high-skilled jobs, such as teaching and medicine.
Moreover, with a declining economy, even well-educated graduates are having difficulty finding employment:
Generation Y professionals entering the workforce are finding careers that once were gateways to high pay and upwardly mobile lives turning into detours and dead ends.
Thankfully, American parents have other educational options for their children such as Charter schools, private schools, and homeschooling. Only time will tell if these can reverse the trend of declining skills and a declining economy.