The United states is undoubtedly one of the better counties in the world. The U. S has a high ranking status in bounteous fields such as space research, quality of life, sports and movies but in one area the U. S is lacking. The Education system in the United States has been steady if not slightly climbing in the past few decades but, so is the rest of the world and they are climbing the education ladder as a much more rapid pace than the U. S, especially in the math and science subjects. Even though the U. S isn’t dead last, it’s not even in the top 30.
Around the world 15 year olds in 2012 took the “Program for International Student Assessment and the scores shows that the United States scored a 48, ranking 35. At first a rank of 35 doesn’t seem that bad but when exposed to the realities of what that entails for the average American student, it’s astonishing. The reality in America is that Two out of three eighth-graders can’t read proficiently, Nearly two-thirds of eighth-graders scored below proficient in math, Nearly three out of four eighth-12th-grade students cannot write proficiently.
All these students that do stay in school and finish are being sent out into the world with less than adequate education to actually get them a head. A study of 27 industrialized countries found that the United States ranked 25th in math, 17th in science, and 14th in reading. For the U. S to continue to be a superpower and allow the next generation to be able to compete with our foreign competitors, the United States needs to work on their students for a change because at this rate the once great superpower of the world is going to be nothing but mediocrity. About 1. 1 million students drop out annually.
What this means is that over one million people go out into the real word with little education to earn them a job with a sustainable living wage, which only contributes to the economy issue. Most high school dropouts do not have any redeeming qualities that employers look for so they have to choice to settle with a minimum wage job, if any job at all. Although minimum wage jobs are not meant to be career options many have no choice but to try and make them a career because they need the money.
Minimum wage jobs do not pay very much, working a full 40 hour week at $8. 5 an hour is a paycheck of $322 before taxes, and according to CBS News, the average cost of rent alone in the U. S. is $1,231. not including utilities, insurance, food, transportation and miscellaneous items. What this leads to is more people every year applying for government assistance which already costs the United States $1. 03 trillion a year. According to a blog written by Matthew Lynch, who is the dean of the school of education, psychology, and interdisciplinary studies at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia “It’s estimated that half of all Americans on public assistance are dropouts.
If all of the dropouts from the class of 2011 had earned diplomas, the nation would benefit from an estimated $154 billion in income over their working lifetimes. Potentially feeding that number is the fact that young women who give up on high school are nine times more likely to be, or become, young single mothers. A study out of Northeastern University found that high school dropouts cost taxpayers $292,000 over the course of their lives. ” By doing a little math of $292,000 multiplied by the 1. 1 million dropouts, that would save the American taxpayers $321,2 billion every year.
Also according to Matthew Lynch, 80% of all incarcerated people are high school dropouts and with the prison system having a hefty price tageof $80 million on it (CBS News) that means that $64 billion of that goes towards those high school dropouts. In the Norton Reader there is a story about education told by a reporter that came to a public school that was severely underfunded. This particular school had too many students and not enough teachers or space for those students. The students at this school could be put in classes that could have benefited their futures or even an elective class that fascinated them.
So many of these students had to repeat several classes that they had already taken and passed simply because that’s the only place they had to put them. The reporter mentioned one girl and how the first this she asked him was “Can we talk about the bathrooms” and what she meant by that was that there was supposed to be 15 bathrooms for the school to legally operate, however there were only two working bathrooms. Students would be late to class because the bathroom was on the other side of the school or they would be distracted all class period because they had to use the rest but opted out of waiting in the long lines or being late to class.
Some students were doubled up in classes, they just sat there and watched other students do the class work. Many of the teachers at this school didn’t even bother showing up half of the time, and neither did the substitutes. So they had situations of a teacher subbing for a teacher subbing for a substitute who was subbing for a substitute because neither the substitute nor the teacher showed up. Several of the students said that they rarely see their teacher because they either don’t come or are subbing for a different teacher that did not show.
How sad is it that this is our next generation, the children in charge of tomorrow, yet they can’t get a decent public education because the legislatures for their states don’t care enough for them now. Even the Safford Unified School District has its fair share of funding that is not exactly up to par. The high school art teacher has been fighting a losing battle for the past five going on six years for new chairs. The chairs in this particular classroom are literally being held together by duct tape.
The chairs have angered many students and parents when the broken jagged piece stab students or rip clothes but the school doesn’t have the funding to get new chair. Inadequate sitting can cause back and neck injuries if carried out for prolonged periods of time. A bigger issue is also textbooks. The seniors are using government books that are 13 years old, falling apart and seriously lacking in the information department. So much has changed since 2003 when the textbook is published and if the United States expects their students to be informed, how are they suppose to do that with dated, shredded and graffitied textbooks.
The math department barley saw new textbook last year and that was not in all classes just a few of the lower math classes such as algebra one, and consumer math. Most of the high level math students also have dated and falling apart textbooks. Despite popular belief, teachers are actually underpaid. Working 40 hours hours a week teaching the leaders of tomorrow, the average American teacher makes $55,360. However in the Safford School District two teachers have shown their paychecks to their seniors to show the reality of taxes and what teachers actually make.
They both make roughly, before taxes, about $800 a week but get paid once every two weeks so $1,600 every two weeks before taxes. Teachers are underappreciated, underpaid, glorified babysitters that don’t get any respect when they are the foundation for the very civilization we have. Obviously there are countries in worst shape than the United States but the American people would be absolutely blind and ignorant to ignore the fact that they don’t have major problems with their education system.
More money is spent on welfare programs than the average American child’s education. Teachers are underpaid and schools are underfunded. All these trigger student receiving mediocre, at best, education that leaves them struggling in the dust racing to try and catch up to our foreign neighbors that dominate the workforce. If the United States continues at the rate at which they are going, the U,S. will no longer be a world superpower.