Why Education Matters

The Atlantic reported on the achievement gap between American students and students of other countries in an interesting article drawing on the work of two different agencies.  It was found that although American schoolchildren figure fairly well in the rankings, American teenagers have only average performance in reading and science, and are near the bottom of the rankings in math.

“…U.S. students’ levels of proficiency appear to decline as kids advance to higher grades, contrary to the trend in many higher-performing countries.  …as soon as students have to go deeper and answer the more complex part of a problem, they have difficulties.”

The one thing America is doing better at is closing the gap in achievement between rich and poor.  Nevertheless, poor children miss more school than more affluent children, and so do worse on tests.  It’s also worth noticing that there is more absenteeism in American schools than in other countries.

It seems that we are turning out citizens who are unprepared for modern life, citizens who have inadequate critical thinking skills as well as inadequate basic skills.  Why is this important?

We now have a president who is incapable of running the country in a safe and reasonable manner.  This has occurred because the voters were unable to make an informed decision regarding the candidates, and voted emotionally rather than rationally.  (We all remember the demographics regarding who voted for whom.)  Now we must endure the consequences, which may be dire.  The Huffington Post provides a startling example of these consequences below.

“…American intelligence has advised Israel not to transmit sensitive data to the Trump administration, as the Russians “have ‘leverages of pressure’ to use against Trump.  ….If one of our closest allies refusing to send us intelligence because our government may be run by Russian puppets isn’t a constitutional crisis, nothing is.”

 For additional reading on the consequences of our recent election, please see the articles below regarding the dossier on Trump.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/11/trump-russia-dossier-explainer-details

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/01/spy-who-wrote-trump-russia-memos-it-was-hair-raising-stuff

The information provided in the dossier is most likely true.  The election and its likely aftermath should serve as a shocking wakeup call to our country’s educators, as well as the rest of us.  I can think of no better case for universal education.  Democracy cannot function without an educated electorate.

 

Copyright © 2017 Teresa Chupp.  All rights reserved.

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