21 Aug Making America Great Again
America became the most successful nation on Earth because it built a great education system. This system was good from elementary school through high school and into college. Postgraduate education was also available. Americans who studied hard excelled in many areas and this helped the country become wealthy and successful. That is no longer the case today.
Shockingly, more than half of today’s Americans can’t read well. This means they can’t understand what they’re reading. 54% of people between the ages of 16 and 74 don’t read at a sixth-grade level or higher. This is a problem because it means they can’t understand important things like news articles or books.
The United States is ranked 37th out of 79 countries in math, 13th in reading, and 18th in science. During the COVID pandemic, our students have fallen even further behind. This is because they are losing skills at an alarming rate. Illiteracy rates are expanding, and this will mean that the next generation will be even worse at reading, math, and science. American students from kindergarten through 5th grade experienced comparative annual declines of 20% in reading and 33% in math, with consequent expanding inequality. They will have a harder time getting jobs.
We need to do something to improve literacy rates in America. Some things that can be done include:
- – Providing more funding for education
- – Improving teacher training
- – Ensuring all students have access to books and other resources
If we want to improve our economy and way of life, we need to invest in our education system and make sure all Americans have the opportunity to succeed.
America’s competitors have been successful in school because they offer early education for all children ages 1-6. After that, elementary school is compulsory. Lower-secondary education provides basic general education to all children and upper-secondary education involves choosing between higher academic learning or vocational training. University is the route for those on the academic path, with apprenticeships being available for those on the vocational track. Because education in Germany is the responsibility of each German state, practices vary, adding both diversity and internal competition to Germany’s educational system.
Finnish teachers are some of the best in the world because they are well-valued and well-paid. In Finland, there is a state-funded pre-school program followed by compulsory basic education. This education can either be academic or vocational. The Finnish educational system is different from America’s in that it focuses on developing thinking and problem-solving skills, rather than memorization and standardized testing. This encourages creativity and individual excellence in both teachers and students.
In America, education is not a priority for the government. This results in teacher shortages. Additionally, public schools rarely offer free pre-school programs and there is little focus on vocational options. Instead, there is an emphasis on standardized testing and the belief that everyone should receive a college degree, regardless of whether or not they can afford it. However, success in life is not measured by a college diploma. Success requires a marketable skill.
It is time for America to face the reality of its educational failures and take action before it is too late. A hundred years ago, education was not a priority in America. However, times have changed and education should be given the attention it deserves. American children deserve a chance to succeed.