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Education System Failure Leads to Economic Failure
George P. Shultz warns that unless there’s a turnaround in the American education system, it will have a negative impact on the growth of the country’s GDP.
It is only a matter of time until the decline of our educational system will have a negative impact on our position as a world power, write George P. Shultz for The Wall Street Journal. The importance of a good fundamental K-12 education is proven by the fact that over the last few decades, it is the countries with the best schools that are growing the fastest, greatly outpacing the economic growth of the United States. And as the scores on math and science improve, so does the growth rate. According to the information provided by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, improvement in schooling is directly proportional to the rate of economic expansion.
Although our country is still growing at a faster-than-average rate, Shultz postulates that this is due to the legislative climate that is committed to business-friendliness via lower taxes, emphasis on law and order and enforcement of strong property rights. The U.S. also benefits from strong higher-education system that draws not only the best and the brightest American students, but the most promising ones from all over the world. However, even these institutions will eventually see a decline as the quality of graduates produced by the American elementary and secondary schools declines as well.
The GDP growth isn’t the only thing that would improve with better schooling. Access to good and cheap education promotes social and economic mobility thus keeping alive the treasured concept of the American Dream.
One of the most troubling issues that arise out educational failure is that schools are leaving behind minority students, especially Hispanics who are making up an ever-expanding part of the American population. In California, once one of the best states for educational achievement, and now one of the worst, Latino students perform no better on standardized exams than their Mexican counterparts. It is anticipated that the Latino population will come to dominate California in only a few years, so unless steps are taken quickly, the state’s population will be completely academically unprepared to support its industry.
Many believe that one of the quickest ways of improving academic outcome for children is to engage their parents in the process. Although the parents might understandably protest that, especially in this economic environment, they don’t have the time or expertise to devote to supplementing inadequate education in schools, but the personal finance blog Moneying.com, suggests several ways to add elements of homeschooling without breaking the time bank. Things as simple as talking and engaging with your child, encouraging original problem-solving, and promoting independent hobbies lead to children who are free and creative thinkers who have trust in their judgment. While the K-12 education system seems designed to produce dilettantes, by covering a multitude of subjects without delving deeply in any, parents are in excellent position to help their kids identify their interests and engage with them fully.
Think about it, do you want a well-rounded doctor, or a doctor who knows everything there is to know about his field? Pliability is an ingredient to success, but it’s niche-specific mastery that makes you better than your competition. In international schools, children are tested early to know where their true talents may lie. Then, they are directed to those courses that are most suited for them. These are the cultures who successfully groom their children for entrepreneurism. And it’s those children who are best prepared for the new global economy.
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