The Degradation of Education What has happened in society, or is happening, that hinders America’s progress on the educational spectrum? In a Dan Ratter’s report, Marc Tucker, the president and CEO of the National Center on Education and the Economy stated, “The United States, about twenty years ago, had the best educated workforce in the world” (Interview). Since then we’ve been steadily declining behind up and coming countries as well as that of many middle class countries. Although many believe college is about developing as a human being, it has in actuality become more about appeasing the asses instead of the education gained from it.
When the US spends more money on our elementary and secondary educations then all but one other country, how is it that our quality of education is lacking? Well in that same interview with Marc, he states “Our education system was set up over 100 years ago to provide about an eighth grade reading level to the majority population that was going to work in the burgeoning mass production factories and retail sales around the country; and to provide a much higher education for not more than fifteen percent of the people who loud be professionals and managers and run the country’ (Interview).
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With that in mind, why is it that with so many working models of how an educational system should work, the US continues to fall behind? Take Singapore for example, their education system is different in almost every facet. Students wake up early In the morning to get to school even though it doesn’t start for quite some time, Just to touch on the precious nights assignments. They respect and care for their teachers and principle along with the faculty being well paid. All teachers In Singapore go to he same college to get the same educations and must have degrees In the field that they will be teaching.
This is in addition to the fact that unlike the US, teachers are required to be among the top three percent of their class. Then once they are teachers, they are given continued training In order to stay current as well as being constantly evaluated for leadership potential to go through even more classes to become a principle. How can education possibly be about becoming a well rounded individual when more and more Individuals are getting less and less valuable degrees?
In 2009 the United States graduated 89,140 students In the visual and performing arts, more than In computer science, math, and chemical engineering combined” (Tabor 250). Now don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are a good number of absolutely talented singers, dancers, and actors, but most of those Individuals didn’t go on to work In the career field of their education. It’s becoming more and more common to hear that It doesn’t matter what you get a degree In, but that a degree Is obtained. The military Is Just one of many examples supporting the fact that It doesn’t matter what educational field that Is studied.
A soldier can get a degree In underwater basket weaving and will still get paid and provided the same opportunities as another soldier that gets their degree In chemical engineering. There are no Incentives given to Individuals who pursue more rigorous and socially valuable degrees. This Is much Like what doctors are facing now with the passing of, “Obama Care. ” Doctors and those looking at getting Into the medical fields are the high amounts of student loans that inevitably come along with being in the medical field will no longer be worth the reward.
Things like these are more than keel a large contributor to the unemployment rate of veterans and likely society as a whole. Today’s society has gotten so wrapped around the “Politics” of life and how we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, that we fail to instill important values in our youth. Children get “participation trophies” so that they don’t feel like they’re any different than other kids. Whatever happened to instilling values into children so that they will grow up to be contributing members of society, now we’re instilling participation instead of hard work, sacrifice, and pride in working to be better than our peers?
I know in high school, all I ever did was show up to class and take tests. Rarely did I ever do homework to stand out among my classmates. Sure if it was given in class and there was enough time to work on it, I would to pass the time; but beyond that, it never got done. That’s because of the participation stigma and that being all that was required in order to move on to the next stage in life. I don’t know if that was due to a lack of planning for my future on my part or if it was a lack of drive instilled in me. The question of what someone’s dream Job, is a repining question to me.
This is especially true at a young age when people haven’t had much work experience; mostly because until you do it, how can you know. It was always amusing to me how many young adults say that they want to be soldiers when they get older, but yet countless young men and women abandon their obligations of their contract and desert their basic training. Basic training, the beginning of being a soldier, is the minimum required abilities to do a Job in the military. They’ve barely even had the opportunity to hold a rifle, which is every soldier’s primary Job, sugarless of the occupational specialty that they choose to get into.
My point is that until you’ve done the Job or at least had some sort of an internship in the career field, it is unfathomable for an individual to possibly have a dream Job. I go to Golden West College, because it’s local and because as I said, I didn’t try very hard in high school; so the likely hood of being accepted right off the bat to a more prestigious school is pretty unlikely. This is all in addition to the fact that I don’t have the burning desire to get as far away from home as I possibly can as a lot of the late teens to early adults eve since Eve already done that.
Luckily paying for college isn’t a concern of mine since I did participate in the active duty military and have earned full educational benefits from that time. However, the high price tags put on education to the general public are well depicted in Andrew Dalliance’s writing, “Three Reasons College Still Matters,” when he delivers the alarming statistics that, “If you are a child of a family making more than $90,000 per year, your odds of getting a BAA by age 24 are roughly 1 in 2; if your parents make less than $35,000, your odds are 1 in 17” (244).
With that being said, the part of college that is very amusing is the general education credit requirements of degrees and the classes that can be taken to fulfill those requirements. Unless you plan to be a health coach, how is an “A” in weight lifting class going to help you get a meaningful career or how about a class on women’s studies to name a few. These are an attribute to the education system meaninglessly taking valuable time and money from its alumni. As if the cost of higher education wasn’t already a looming struggle that students face on their way to appease a boss hat of education for politics on behalf of democracy.
Delano recited Thomas Jefferson in his writing stating, “If the new republic was to flourish and endure, it required, above all, an educated citizenry’ (245). This is especially true in a country like our own with a democratic government, not a true democracy, but democracy based. This is so that its people can make informed decisions when hitting the poll booths come election time or when a proposition needs to be voted on. Now if a college student takes a few US government courses in college it won’t make him an expert, but perhaps it will make him more informed of the decisions being made.
That however, says nothing to the fact that as we all know, the future of America will be largely determined by how we educate American children. They hold the key to tomorrow’s new ideas. This alone however, isn’t enough to combat the fact that the primary reason that the majority of today’s youth is merely in college because they are told that if they get a degree, they will earn a better living in the future. Although many believe college is about developing as a human being but, it has in actuality come more about appeasing the masses instead of the education gained from it.
That’s not to say that an education isn’t beneficial, Just that change is needed in order to steer students and the US as a whole in the right direction to once again reaching the tops of the educational standards and for the right reasons. This is because growing as a human being to become a more contributing member of society is much more important than the degree that comes with grinding out a few years of college. In order to progress and begin to catch up to our economic counter parts, we need to form our education system to meet the needs of the times.
Works Cited Delano, Andrew “Three Reasons College Still Matters. ” America Now: Short Readings From Recent Periodicals, 10th Edition. De. Robert Atman. Boston, MA: Bedford/SST. Martins, 2013. 243-247. Print Tabor, Alex “Tuning in to Dropping Out. ” America Now: Short Readings From Recent Periodicals, 10th Edition. De. Robert Atman. Boston, MA: Bedford/SST. Martins, 2013. 249-252. Print Tucker, Mark “Take a Lesson from Singapore. ” Dan Rather Reports. Blip Networks Inc. New York, 2014. Interview