Thursday, January 18, 2018

Jim Eshleman

American education needs to diversify

Simply Biased
The system of education in this country is failing our students. When ranked internationally against other developed nations, we spend more, but our students seem to receive less.
The United States spends, $15,171 on average, for each student in the school system. This is more than any other country, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The average spending by nation according to the OEDC report is $9,313 per student.
The country ranking closest to the United States in spending was Switzerland at $14,922.
As a share of our economy, the United States spends 7.3 percent of its GDP on education. This compares to 6.3 percent average of other countries in the OECD report.
With this level of spending, students in the United States, when ranked internationally, are 17th in reading, 26th in math and 21st in science.
For years, especially at the secondary level, there has been so much emphasis placed on equality of education, not quality of education.
By this, I mean our education system’s goal is to make all students college ready.
The problem with this type of system is every student is subjected to a common curriculum that has to be lowered in difficulty so it accommodates every student.
Every school system has students with diverse abilities and desires, and the current system does not allow educators to take into account the differences in academic capabilities and talents of the students.
What you end up with is a mediocre education.
The best-performing students in this county are being outperformed internationally because they are being brought down by a mediocre curriculum and the curriculum is failing those with other interests.
Countries that are outperforming us don’t look at education from an equality standpoint; they seem to offer an education more tailored to students’ different abilities.
Many of the top-scoring countries offer different educational tracks for their students.
While the traditional academic track may be fine for one student, it may not work for another. 
Some student are better suited for a vocational track, where they can be taught to be a welder, builder, plumber, or heating and cooling specialist. 
The students who prefer these fields could be trained and ready for the workforce upon completing high school.
Our one-size-fits-all system of education is failing our kids. It’s time we rethink education in this country.