The US education system: guilty of mediocrity

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Category: American Education
Published on Monday, 30 April 2012 Written by Anonymous Teacher

duncecapConvincing someone that the US education system is failing miserably should be an easy task. after all, there's ample evidence.

Every year, American students prove their inferiority to foreign counterparts.

People often attribute the failure of American public schools to the fact that American schools have to deal with many students who don't speak English as their primary language. This argument falls flat when we examine the multiculturalism of other school systems, such as the French public school system.

French public schools are just as multicultural as American ones.

However, few people outside of brain-washed educational specialists (who seem to view the data with blinders on) have taken a good hard look at the American educational system. Many, I believe, are ignorant of just how bad things have gotten.

Here with an enlightening description of the US education system, is Bruce Deitrick Prince of Improve-Education.org

US education system

In the richest country on earth, which spends much more per student than any other country, we seem always to wallow in mediocrity. Why do you think that is so? Isn’t the answer obvious? Our elite educators (I never mean teachers) strive for mediocrity. At the very least, they settle for it. This is precisely what they’re guilty of. (Sort of like someone driving at 40 in the left lane of an interstate. You can be ticketed for that. You should be.)

The more I studied American education, the more I had the feeling of being at a crime scene. So much wasted talent, so many wounded (e.g., fifty million functional illiterates). What eats at you is that there is tragedy, but it is unnecessary. The people in charge of education didn't have to go down the wrong road. They chose it.

In education, I don’t start from some idealistic notion that every kid can be a rocket scientist. I’m concerned with very simple goals: reading; writing; arithmetic; knowing the main geographical, historical and scientific facts; having enough general information to read the daily paper. But these easy goals are often not reached. It’s when you confront this failure that you are sure that our top educators are guilty of malfeasance. As guilty as O.J.

In fact, many prestigious commissions and authorities have reached the same conclusion. I’m particularly struck by Professor Arthur Bestor’s book “Educational Wastelands -- The Retreat From Knowledge In Our Public schools,” published more than 50 years ago. This book depicts an Education Establishment that is deliberately aiming low (inanely boasting all the while, “We don’t teach history. We teach children.”) In 1983, the “Nation at Risk” report concluded that our public schools were so bad they may as well have been designed by a hostile foreign power!

So, the failure of the schools is well established; indeed you hear top educators saying the system is broken from top to bottom, etc. And they’re talking about their own handiwork. As I say, the failure is a fact.

Source: Improve-Education

Let me clear things up a little. Bruce uses the word educator to refer to the education professors, bureaucrats, etc. who dictate what teachers should do in the classrooms. He uses the word teacher to refer tho those of us on the front lines actually teaching (or trying to teach) students.

Video documenting how poorly Americans are educated

What's odd is that educators in general don't seem to dismiss the fact that our education system in the US is failing.

But instead of trying to learn from the success of other countries, American educators stubbornly stick to the same methods we've been using for the last 50 years. You know.. the one's that have been failing for the last 50 years.

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