American Education, Lack Of

Today's Wall Street Journal has an editorial entitled “America's C-.” Much of the opinion piece centers on how certain countries are pulling ahead of the United States and Europe when it comes to education.

But why?

The OECD researchers identified several key characteristics that most successful school systems share—namely, decentralization, competition and flexibility. These aren't exactly the hallmarks of your typical American school system, where choice and accountability aren't usually on the curriculum.

I have to agree. I prefer schools that compete on the basis of actually teaching people something useful. This year we gave up on the Ridgefield public school system and moved Alana and Ryan to a private Christian school (even though I'm not a Christian). The change has been dramatic. Alana actually likes going to school. She also seems to be learning something.

The situation is dire:

U.S. dominance in technology, science and business has largely been carried on the shoulders of the generation of workers who went to high school when the Beatles were still together. With an ever-higher percentage of the work force expected to be employed in knowledge-based industries, school reform is a question of U.S. economic survival.

Being someone in the business of applied technology, I have to agree. While I can get a workforce from anywhere (which really annoys people here), why would anyone hire me to manage it if they can hire local?

Josh Poulson

Posted Wednesday, Dec 15 2004 07:58 AM

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