Image Source: World Bulletin
BY JING LIU
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A new report from a Council on Foreign Relations task force says failing American schools could threaten national security. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who co-led the task force, spoke to CBS about the report.
“American kids are falling behind their peers in any number of ways. But the most important thing is we need to educate our people for the challenges of the 21st century, and our schools, unfortunately, are not doing that.”
Some of the challenges the report points to simply involve staffing America’s security agencies. Without an emphasis on foreign language, the country won’t produce enough intelligence agents. And KMSB explains, even the military might have difficulty recruiting.
“A diploma or GED is needed to join the military, and nationally one in four students does not graduate. Also, another 30 percent of graduates don’t do well enough on aptitude tests to serve in the military.”
The report also claims poor school performance will make the U.S. less competitive economically and increase the income gap. It makes several recommendations, which a writer for Gather summarizes.
“1) Expanding the Common Core, to include science, foreign languages, and technology,
2) Expanding school choice, including allowing students to enroll in voucher programs and charter schools, or
3) Introducing a ‘National Security Readiness Audit,’ assembled by governors as a uniform performance standard.”
The report is being compared to a Reagan-era paper called “Nation at Risk,” that echoed many of the new report’s themes. But a blogger for The Washington Post says while “Nation at Risk” proposed ways to fix America’s public schools, the new report treats them like a lost cause.
“The new report seems to look at public schools as if they are the bad guys that need to be put out of business, with a new business taking over, funded with public dollars… Its recommendations would lead to further privatization of public schools and even more emphasis on standardized testing.”
But an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal praises the report’s suggestions, saying school choice is the clear solution.
“The good news is that this grim data is helping to change the education debate, moving away from the dogma that fixing schools requires more money. Even excluding teacher pensions and other benefits, per-pupil spending today is more than three times what it was in 1960...”
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