It’s not rocket science to figure this out, but the quality of education certainly has serious implications for the economic prosperity and national security for any nation, the US most definitely included.
I’ve said it for years.
Now a new report from the Council on Foreign Relations reiterates these common-sense truisms.
What makes findings from this new report compelling, however, is the stature of a co-chair of the task force that created the study. This person is Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. secretary of state. She probably knows something about national security on a scale few others can match.
A few key points quoted from the study documentation:
• While the United States invests more in K-12 public education than many other developed countries, its students are ill prepared to compete with their global peers.
• Although the United States is a nation of immigrants, roughly eight in ten Americans speak only English and a decreasing number of schools are teaching foreign languages.
• A recent report by ACT, the not-for-profit testing organization, found that only 22 percent of U.S. high school students met “college ready” standards in all of their core subjects; these figures are even lower for African-American and Hispanic students.
• The lack of preparedness poses threats on five national security fronts: economic growth and competitiveness, physical safety, intellectual property, U.S. global awareness, and U.S. unity and cohesion.
I need to do more thinking about the task force’s specific recommendations to deal with these issues, but whether or not those specific ideas are the right answer, it is clear that we need to do something better for our students.