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News Failure of U. S. Education System

  1. Jul 21, 2011 #1

    Bobbywhy

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    If the United States expects to compete in the international community it needs competent scientists, engineers, and mathematicians. The articles below show U. S. students falling behind students in many other nations. Even though the U. S. spends more than most countries on education we are not attaining quality results.

    This analysis from November, 2010 finds the United States ranked 31st out of 56 countries in the percentage of students performing mathematics at a high level of accomplishment, trailing Korea, Canada, the Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Poland and Lithuania, among others.

    http://educationnext.org/percentage...s-in-math-trails-most-industrialized-nations/

    Here find clear graphs comparing various countries’ mathematics and science students competency spread over several years. U. S. students rank ninth and tenth of countries measured.

    http://www.realonlinedegrees.com/education-rankings-by-country/

    Program for International Assessment (PISA) concludes that Chinese students spend less time than American students on athletics, in music and other activities not geared toward success on exams in core subjects. Also, in recent years, teaching has rapidly climbed up the ladder of preferred occupations in China, and salaries have risen. In Shanghai, the authorities have undertaken important curricular reforms, and educators have been given more freedom to experiment.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/07/education/07education.html

    Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study – Advanced 2008. Although several years old, this completed study gives specific details of worldwide trends.

    http://www.iea.nl/timssadvanced20080.html [Broken]

    American spending on public K-12 education is at an all-time high and is still rising. Continuous spending increases have not corresponded with equal improvement in American educational performance. Increasing federal funding on Education has not been followed by similar gains in student achievement.

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/edu_spe_per_sec_sch_stu-spending-per-secondary-school-student

    This is to propose improving our educational system by looking beyond our horizons to where successful teaching methods with proven results have been demonstrated. Then our educators would adopt those methods, adapt them to our culture, and then apply them. The future of our nation depends on education to develop competent citizens.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
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  3. Jul 21, 2011 #2
    Re: Faulure of U. S. Education System

    When its obvious all we really need to do is create a good line of textbooks and pump Ritalin into the water supply.lol.

    But realistically America spends way too much resources (and kids time and workload on unnecessary subjects like foreign languages, Art, Music and History (don't even get me started on scripture)... when schools should be centered around English, Math and Science. Simple. 1.5h of each a day, that makes 4.5 hrs total, And gives kids the oppurtunity to do what they want, OUTSIDE of class... but hey how can you expect American politicians to make that into a law when they are the product of a malfunctioning public education program themselves.

    Source: I'm 16...
     
  4. Jul 21, 2011 #3

    russ_watters

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    Re: Faulure of U. S. Education System

    Why do people say the system is a failure? Don't the students and parents bear at least some responsibility?
     
  5. Jul 21, 2011 #4

    Bobbywhy

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    Re: Faulure of U. S. Education System

    the "system" must include all the actors: students, parents, teachers, administrators, and whoever else contributes to the failure.
     
  6. Jul 22, 2011 #5

    russ_watters

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    Re: Faulure of U. S. Education System

    Oh, ok - I always figured "the system" was the structure set up by the government.

    In either case, your OP mentions funding, activities (structure) and teacher pay, but only seems to mention the resulting failures of students, not the causing failures of students. For example, the ~25% of Americans who drop out of school are causing their own failure. No amount of funding or teacher training can fix that problem. In other words, I don't think your OP really deals with what imo is the primary problem: culture. This isn't a government problem.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
  7. Jul 22, 2011 #6

    Pengwuino

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    Re: Faulure of U. S. Education System

    I don't entirely agree with this. A student who drops out feels there is no use in receiving an education. This is a problem that, while mainly the student's decision, is influenced by unmotivated teachers and thoughtless parents.
     
  8. Jul 22, 2011 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    Re: Faulure of U. S. Education System

    Not to mention basic economics: Drug dealing can be far more profitable than hard work.

    That isn't a matter of culture at work.
     
  9. Jul 22, 2011 #8
    Re: Faulure of U. S. Education System

    Even taxing the earned money on drug dealer would help the economy.
     
  10. Jul 22, 2011 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    Re: Faulure of U. S. Education System

    I for one found Los Angeles city school life far to dangerous to be tolerated due mainly to the gangs, the drug dealers that funded the gangs, and the environment they created. Within six months I went from being a Catholic school kid who had never really done anything wrong, to a public school kid who ditched as many as 40 days in one semester and drank a half-pint of 151 for lunch every day. It wasn't a matter of culture. It was fear. After a year and a half of that we left Los Angeles and moved to a small town in Northern California. Within a year I was on the honor role and had fallen in love with physics.
     
  11. Jul 22, 2011 #10

    Pengwuino

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    Re: Faulure of U. S. Education System

    Well, sure there's cultural aspects. And of course drug dealing can be profitable, but you can also get thrown in jail.
     
  12. Jul 22, 2011 #11

    Ivan Seeking

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    Re: Faulure of U. S. Education System

    I'm not defending it. I'm talking about the perception of an inner-city teenage boy who sees his buddies getting rich turning drug deals.

    Culture doesn't evolve out of a vacuum.
     
  13. Jul 22, 2011 #12

    russ_watters

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    Re: Faulure of U. S. Education System

    So.....you guys disagreed with me, then circled around to agreeing with me?
     
  14. Jul 22, 2011 #13

    russ_watters

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    Clarification of my point: since students are not adults, students and parents are two parts of the same entity. So any time I refer to students, I really mean both.

    For teachers, again, I think the cause/effect relationship typically cited is backwards. And I think that statistics and logic prove it.
     
  15. Jul 22, 2011 #14

    Pengwuino

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    Re: Faulure of U. S. Education System

    So you're saying that unmotivated and bad students cause create bad and unmotivated teachers?
     
  16. Jul 22, 2011 #15
    Re: Faulure of U. S. Education System

    There are numerous reasons why the US educational system sucks. On the administrative end, we have no national standards that are enforced. At the state level, the standards are so malleable that states can game the system so that the majority of their students fulfill the standards. At the social level, teachers as a whole get blamed for economic woes - just look at teh vitriol spewed on teachers in Wisconsin and Ohio several months ago. At the union level, crappy teachers have more protections against being held accountable than a 10th century virgin wearing a chastity belt. At the teacher level, too many unqualified teachers that don't have a clue about STEM concepts are teachng them - badly. Too many two income families are too tired to hold their children to high standards since all they want to do after coming home from work is to experience Amrican Idol brain drain. And unfortunately, too many students get caught in the middle of all this. These are the ones I blame the least, mainly because the cycle starts so early, in 1st or 2nd grade, and to expect a child that age to have the responsibility for their education just isn't going to work.
     
  17. Jul 22, 2011 #16
    Re: Faulure of U. S. Education System

    This can be partially true. My experience in the M.Ed. program is that newer teachers start out very enthusiastic. Many who end up getting placements in lower performing districts eventually get tired of trying, so give up on the students. And the problem with that is that with the pay scale system, once a teacher has been in a district for 3-5 years, it's very difficult to move to a new district since that district would rather pay a lower wage to a newer teacher.
     
  18. Jul 22, 2011 #17

    russ_watters

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    Mores than the other way around, yes. Being a teacher in a bad area can be soul crushing.
     
  19. Jul 22, 2011 #18
    Re: Faulure of U. S. Education System

    Another problem is the perverse incentives created for teachers. In the high school in my town, there are teachers who turn a blind eye, and in some cases, facilitate cheating. This is because school funding, perceived "worthiness" of the faculty (in the sense of municipal budgeting) and ultimately individual job security are dependent on teachers producing classes with good grades and high tests scores. The problem was bad when I went to high school, it has apparently gotten worse since. Furthermore, the "advanced track" students are actually more likely to have these kind of experiences, since they have the more activist parents.

    I disagree with the person who said history and foreign language is not important. Foreign language, besides having practical uses, helps with brain lateralization. History is important as well, for in a democratic republic, we need citizens who have an understanding of civics and the lessons of the past.
     
  20. Jul 22, 2011 #19
    Re: Faulure of U. S. Education System

    You bet they do, Russ.

    I suspect that most of the posters on this Forum came out of the U. S. school system. Some of us have done well despite it. The problem is that most people (self-starters excepted) will always take the easy way out of difficult situations.

    I taught atmospheric sciences at the university level. Whenever I put an equation on the board I would get moans and groans from my classes. I would then explain the absolutely necessary role of mathematics to them, and ask who taught them math in high school.

    Far and away the most common answer was: The football coach!

    I'm sure that all academics have heard the old canard, "Those who can, do! Those who can't, teach! And those who can't teach, teach teachers!

    Denmark requires that all public school teachers possess at least a Master's Degree in any field in which they offer instruction. A Masters in Education is not acceptable.
     
  21. Jul 22, 2011 #20
    Re: Faulure of U. S. Education System

    Teachers like to think of themselves as professionals, but most teacher's contracts smack more of hourly-workers wages in their emphasis on seniority and deliberate disregard for differences in demand in skills and location.

    If there is a greater demand for math teachers than for social science teachers, then why not pay them more? Universities do, why not public schools?

    If there is a greater demand for inner city teaching than suburban teaching, then pay the inner city teachers more. Keep raising the benefits until some teacher responds, "I'll do it!"

    And above all, let's require competence in our teachers. Before hiring, a minimum of a major in the discipline to be taught should be required (and I don't mean a Major in Education with a concentration in the subject discipline). Before tenure is granted, the Minimum of a Masters in the field should be required.

    If this mean closing down most of our Departments of Education in the university system, then so be it.
     
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