Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentPolitics · 1 decade ago

Do we not put enough emphasis on education?

Recently there was an international coding contest, and the finals were completely dominated by Russians and Chinese.

We have a GDP of about 14.5 Trillion, while we only spend 50 Billion a year on education. By %, that isn't very high compared to other countries. We're the richest (by far) country in the world, we should be able to get our kids the best education. 3 out of 4 Academics in the US, come from foreign countries. We seem to put more of an emphasize on the military than we do with anything else.

We completely fall behind in everything. The only thing we seem to be good at internationally, is sports, while the majority of our population sinks behind the rest of the industrial world in academics.

16 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Education is the most important thing societies have, and there CANNOT be too much emphasis on learning. We do not stress it enough, but there ARE people who, for tangled reasons of their own, are deteriorating overall quality. And it is NOT a bureaucratic thing, at least not in the usually understood sense.

    This is my pet peeve, and I am so passionate on it, I have to constantly restrain myself.

    Guess what? The right wing effort to support private schools from the public purse is part of it. But only a very small part. The left wing effort to be "fair" is ALSO part of it, but only to the extent it is excessive, and again, only a very small part.

    Errors in the "Three R's" philosophy and in the way too politically correct approach are equally WRONG. In particular, kids do not get anywhere NEAR enough modern history, from say 1900 to the present, and the books STINK.

    But there's another problem that no one seems to want to acknowledge. The quality of our teachers--and this part of it has NOTHING to do with politics--STINKS. We don't pay them enough, they are given textbooks which are monstrously flawed, and the really brilliant minds are afraid to go near a profession where there are all kinds of cliquey, crazy "unwritten rules" and the pay is not sufficient to compensate for the garbage one has to put up with.

    Our colleges and universities are still among the best in the world, but our primary and secondary education is ridiculously bad, and has gotten continually worse for seventy years or so.

    And we can blame TOO MUCH POLITICS, left, right, and just plain STUPID local and "clubby" politics, and too little money.

    I was lucky. In primary school, I had four or five really enthusiastic teachers who got my curiosity going, such that I read far, far more than most kids do now. In junior high, I had two or three who got my juices flowing in history, the Constitution, and even--dare I say this?--firearms. In High School, in a smaller town, I had a GREAT biology teacher. And I mean one of the BEST teachers I have ever encountered, at any level. His contract was not renewed just a couple of years after I graduated, basically because he was not popular with other teachers and got frustrated when he tried to raise academic standards.

    I never forgot that. Most of the teachers there were bad to unbelieveably HORRIBLE. One of my math instructors was so boring that when I dozed off one day in an advanced algebra class, I popped awake, determined to get notes from the class valedictorian, who sat next to me. Sorry. HE, too, had drifted off to the "land of nod".

    In college, I had a great many professors who were cranky, demanding, opinionated (and yes, some of them were very conservative, even back then, in the 60's!) but who reveled in

    discussing hot issues, especially in pre-law. The best were

    radicals, and what surprised me was, the most respected students

    from both groups were almost ALWAYS from the "flip side" of the political spectrum! I asked a tough old constitutional law professor with a pure, old world socialist bent why two arch-right wing reactionaries in his classes always got the best grades, and of course, he looked down his glasses at me as if I were insane, and he snorted out: "Obviously, they were the best students. And they kept me awake, so I noticed!"

    That tradition seems to have died in K-12. An instructor who discusses the Holocaust much may get nasty visits from parents

    for something construed as "pro Zionist" or "antisemitic", simultaneously, so one learns to avoid the subject, completely if possible, as much as he or she can if it cannot be entirely ignored.

    That is downright sick, and the politics--yours, mine, and the "other guy's" need to be wrung out of it for education at the lower levels to work AT ALL.

  • 1 decade ago

    We absolutely do not put enough emphasis on education in the United States. 50 Billion Dollars a year is a good bit of money to spend but the way we are spending this money is debated.

    Ridiculous testing (such as No Child Left Behind) should've never been created yet alone continued.

    Writing is not emphasized enough in education, especially in high school. Other subjects such as Art, Music, Drama, Social Studies, Chemistry, and Physics are being pushed aside for more Math and Reading classes.

    What makes America unique is that we learn a broad array of topics and have a very specialized education in many subjects, not just all Math and Reading.

    The root of the problem lies in the curriculum and the students. The teachers must motivate the students. The students must motivate themselves. The curriculum must be challenging enough in order to want these students to achieve.

    In particular, there should be a 'generalized' curriculum for elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools that every single school must follow.

    In particular for high schools, equal time should be alloted for every subject. High school students, I believe, MUST take Calculus BEFORE they graduate on top of their other Math requirements, Physics AND Chemistry on top of their other Science requirements, and 2 (mandated) Writing classes as well as a Senior Portfolio that focuses 75% on Analytical Writing (Essays, Research Papers) and 25% on Creative Writing. Also, EVERY SINGLE STUDENT should take AT LEAST 1 AP or I.B. class BEFORE they graduate.

    This curriculum would challenge our students greatly. Now, would their be an increased amount of high school dropouts? Yes. But, this curriculum focuses on the needs of an ever-changing world and allows us to be a global competitor. And the Russians and Chinese probably have a curriculum similar to this anyways.

  • 1 decade ago

    Spending is not the solution; management is.

    We spend more money on education per capita than any other country; however, our public educational system is horrible.

    The problem with that is complex but the main cracks are known. At my school, for example, if a student fails a course, they give the student to do a project. Basically, a student does not have to go to school an entire semester and still get the credit by doing a project, which can be easily done with the help of the Internet. Now, tell me, is that student going to be a contribution to society? My answer is NO.

    And how about for all the dropouts? Isn't it the largest waste of money ever to school and feed someone who passes his classes with a minimum grade and then, say at his junior year, simply leaves school and goes on the street to do drugs, and possibly get in trouble. So, look what we're doing, investing our money -- OUR tax money -- on people that will actually do more bad that good.

  • momin
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    I actual have 2 drivers in my company with an training one with a masters in american literature and yet another with BA in Phsycology they the two paintings properly and make the comparable as my different adult adult males who're only severe college grads some stages are actual valueless till you prefer to coach and make a million/2 of what i pay .

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It's not the money, but the dems and lefties have destroyed the curriculum with "Heather has Two Mommies" and "Conflict Resolution" classes while the Chinese study math, physics and science. The left has been in charge of education for the last 50 years, so be sure to send them a thank you note...

    Thanks to the Teachers union, also, for making sure you can't fire crappy teachers.

    EDIT - Standards for completion have slipped so badly that a college degree is an expensive ticket to get you in the door to a job but means diddly squat about what you know.

  • 1 decade ago

    We absolutely don't put enough emphasis on education, and you're right we are quickly falling behind all the other industrialized nations in everything.

    It is more satisfying to spend that money on prisons than colleges.

  • 1 decade ago

    In Ca anyways, half of the budget goes to education (at least this was the case for the past 20 years), yet the drop out rate here is insanely high, the highest being 57% in cities like LA.

    Meaning it's not a money issue.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    States take care of education and the government should not be involved. We need to eliminate the Department of Education. Education has gone completely downhill since its inception.

    Please, before you go blaming anyone for the dismal education in this country, look at the parents. Most parents are to blame if their child drops out or fails to succeed.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    We don't put enough emphasis on learning...they just keep injecting more money and bureaucracy into the system w/ ZERO results.

    They need to put teachers on merit pay -- get rid of tenure.

    Abolish the Department of Education -- waste of money and space

    Parents need to take a proactive stance in school -- be involved and help the teachers teach their kids rather than using the public school system as a daycare center.

    Source(s): CA
  • Em
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Major corporations import people from other countries to fill positions because they can pay them less. We have many educated people who could fill positions that are given to immigrants, while corporations complain that we do not have enough qualified people here. I do think, though, that our educational institutions are often inferior to other countries, and getting worse. As long as trained and educated workers can be found who will ask less of their employers, we will continue to fall behind and education will continue to decline in quality.

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