Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Education Spending Does Not Equal Results

Once again, the U.S. was globally embarrassed in an international assessment of education results.  The renowned Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (http://www.oecd.org/) released it's latest results today.  The U.S. did not fare to well.

  • The U.S. ranked 14th in reading
  • The U.S. ranked 25th in mathematics
  • The U.S. ranked 17th in science
Clearly, despite the expenditures, U.S. students are not meeting international educational standards.  It is well known, that the U.S. does not have a spending problem in terms of providing education for its students.  But why isn't all of the money being thrown at it, working?  The Heritage Foundation studied this, and money does not equal results.

In its 2010 annual report card on education, the American Legislative Exchange Council (http://www.alec.org/) also validated that education spending does not always guarantee results.

The case is also true on a state level for the State of Delaware.  Despite spending over $13,000 per student, the standard has mediocre results:

Like Delaware, the United States has not addressed the root cause of the education problem - which is reforming the education system to meet the skill needs of the business community.  On a global scale, the U.S. is not creating an educated workforce that can compete with students in higher proficiency in mathematics, science, and even reading comprehension.  The education gap is of great concern because America is losing its competitive edge, at the expense of education unions and special interests.

If the U.S. wants to remain competitive, meaningful education reform devoid of education unions and special interests must take place at the federal and each state level.  The U.S. and each state can longer afford to allow teacher's unions to dictate the curriculum and educational testing standards. 

But true education reform cannot be conducted with being a priority at home.  Unless the student has a nurturing and supporting environment, the student has no incentive to study and succeed.  Parental involvement in ensuring their child is getting the appropriate education they require is essential to developing a future employee in this global workforce.

The short-term and long-term education vitality of the U.S, and each state also is contingent on producing continual high quality workforce that can meet the ever changing needs of this global economy.  As technology and innovation become the cornerstone of the economy, competence in mathematics, science and technology must be attained.  The U.S. must re-focus its energies on technological and scientific innovation that can springboard to manufacturing on U.S. soil.  But without American innovation in all facets of science and technology, done with a competent workforce, this cannot be attained.

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