Concerned about America’s Education System? You’re not the only one, nor am I! However, Bill Gates is also sharing some initial concerns according to a recent article posted on CNN.
So what are the biggest concerns according to America’s richest? According to Gates in a recent interview, the biggest fallback of the American education system is the lack of adequate preparation for college.
Gates has three of his own children with the oldest being ten. While all of his children are currently Elementary school aged, it won’t be long for them to move into high school and college which makes it time to start thinking about how appropriate and adequate of an education Elementary children currently receive.
Also, most parents are legitimately concerned over whether or not their child will be able to get into a good college, as well as whether or not they will be properly prepared.
So, are the average American public schools doing all that they can in order to provide the best opportunities for our students? Realistically, there is always room to grow.
One area that is currently being pushed and will probably always have room for improvement is the area of higher standards. It is clear that many American public schools have state standards, however, they are often not high enough.
It is nothing short of tragic when a student performs at a level that they not only surpass, but become quickly bored in. This is not only a tragic situation, it is also all to common in thousands of schools.
So why are the standards so low? The answer is simple. The government has somehow valued students succeeding and feeling good about themselves above what the students could actually accomplish were the standards to be set slightly higher.
Because so many schools are forced to care more about the students’ self esteem than their potential intellectual capacity and success; millions of students are not being challenged enough academically.
While students’ self esteem is of course important, it is also quite important that they are being asked to achieve at a high level. It is no secret that American students are performing much poorer than students in other developed nations (Japan, China and India greatly surpass our scores) and this may most likely be due to low standards in academic courses. Not only do the American school systems fall behind developed nations, there are also developing nations that do not fall far behind America’s scores.
Gates’ children have been placed in private schools, which tend to have higher academic standards and overall behavioral standards. This is a wise decision for any family who wants their children to have the greatest opportunities to succeed.
Gates also mentioned the proposition of rewarding teacher talent and success monetarily rather than providing a higher salary due to longevity. This is also an exceptional idea because teacher success should be worth more than simply ‘sticking it out.’
It was also noted that the idea of having consequences for not meeting educational goals is a factor that needs to exist in order for proper accountability to take place. In other words, if a school is not measuring up to the selected standards, there needs to be some kind of action taking place.
It is also immeasurably important that the consequences, or actions that take place due to a school falling beneath the set standards, are not only healthy and helpful, but that they are proven to work and improve a school’s current situation.
Gates also promoted and approved innovative school attempts such as charter schools owned by private companies. Essentially, these types of schools and innovations should set the standard and model the type of academic excellence America needs to strive for.
So why are the standards lower in America than in some other developed countries, particularly in Asia?
Clearly, the job market is a little steadier and the economy is as well. Most American students do not really worry about finding a job because there always seems to be something to fall back on. However, in some of the more overly populated developed nations, that is simply not the case. Many Chinese students study for hours and hours at extremely young ages. For example, it is not uncommon for a 13 year old Chinese student to spend 7 hours a night on homework, doing work that most Americans either don’t know how to do, or won’t do until college. While this may not be a concern to Americans presently, it is something to be aware of and could likely grow into a concern with the changing economy and job market.
Also, the Universities in America are doing an excellent job of competing in the global economy, however if American primary schools continue to fall behind, American Universities will be forced to lower their standards as well.