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Education is Paramount

May 25, 2009

Quality education and educational success is paramount to an individual’s success and continued success of our state and national economies.  However, with every year passing, the students of this state and our nation are falling behind our peers globally.  Our students cannot compete against their peers in science and math – and this is hurting our competitive edge.

Let’s look at some statistics.  In Delaware, the statistics are bleak:

  • 60% high school graduation rate (2005)
  • 32% college readiness rate (2002)
  • 54% college enrollment rate (college enrollment directly from high school, 2004)
  • 64% college graduation rate (within 6 years, 2005)
  • 40% dropout rate (2008)

These statistics are simply not good for Delaware.  Uneducated students lead to uneducated workforce.  Unskilled workforce leads to corporations unwilling to bring jobs to the state.  … and the death spiral continues.

When two-thirds of jobs require a college education, it is no wonder the unemployment rate is high. 

On a national scale, the story is even more bleak:

  • U.S. ranks 20th in high school graduation. (Forty years ago we were FIRST!) 
  • On an 8th grade math quiz, the average U.S. student scored a 26% (behind Singapore, Hong Kong,  South Korea, Taipei, Japan, Belgium, Netherlands, Hungary, Estonia, Slovakia, Russia and Australia)
  • On an 8th grade science quiz, the average U.S. student scored a 31% (behind Singapore,  Taipei, South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Estonia, Hungary, and England)

That’s right folks – the U.S. ranks behind Estonia and Hungary in BOTH mathematics and science.  This is alarming.

Mathematics and science education are pivotal to our economic continuity and survival as a society.  Without them we cannot be the leaders in technology, medicine and engineering.

With them, jobs will leave the shores of the U.S. for abroad.  Has this already begun?

Where do we go from here?

The U.S. and each state must focus on the following:

  • Teacher education and certification (in core subjects of reading, writing, mathematics and science). 
  • Increased teacher placement in schools, K-12
  • Teacher accountability on the progress of learning based on standardized tests (at the beginning and end of the academic year)
  • Standardized tests to progress from grade to grade
  • Teacher re-certification requirement every two years based on a competency examination in their teaching subject
  • Minimum high school graduation requirements based on English, math, science, social studies, personal finance, and computer proficiency.

So what are we waiting for?

Data sources: Strong American Schools (www.strongamericanschools.org)

One Comment leave one →
  1. Dan Braunstein permalink
    May 28, 2009 3:35 pm

    We already spend more per child’s education than most other countries in the world. Look at the results!!!! When too many families, term used loosely place no value in education this is what you get. Then there is the teachers’ union that has a strangle hold on the process of education and just look at those results. Can’t grown-ups and educated people derive the answers? Get government, the union, special interest groups out and allow the process of education to resume in an orderly fashion with discipline and consequences.

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