Is America's Education Failing?


Feb 20, 2007
"Weak education system threatens U.S. innovation, study says.

The single greatest threat to American prosperity is the country's educational system, said Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter, co-author of a new economic report released by the Council on Competitiveness."

Is America's education failing?

Should we invent a new system?
Better parents are the key. Today's kids just aren't as motivated. At some point, people will stop blaming the system and start accepting responsibility.
Better parents are the key. Today's kids just aren't as motivated. At some point, people will stop blaming the system and start accepting responsibility.

You're right.

Parents have to instill beliefs in their kids that education is important.

However, I do believe that there are some flaws in the education system (such as tenure, unmotivated teachers, etc).

I guess it's a combination of both.
Yes, as a student I can and will say that there are students who just aren't motivated about getting a good education.

My parents had me do my homework first thing after getting home from school for as long as I can remember. It eventually became a habit that stuck with me and enables me to continue my education.

Parents are a big factor in a child's education, you can't just let your child be in the hands of the schools for 6 hours a day and expect them to be fully functional members of society.

Today's society (and the one I partially grew up in) is all point and click, watching tv- instant this and that. Things are always faster, better, and I want (and can have them NOW).

There's nothing really wrong with that, but education does not work that way- at least in my experience of it.
It's all quantity vs. quality. Trying to get the most you can out of very little money only goes so far.

The system isn't perfect, and neither are the parents.

The children are our future, how much should we invest in it NOW for what possible benefits LATER?

Does anyone think that just properly funding the education system will enable proper quality in it? (feel free to go into how schools are funded, by the surrounding communities and taxes)
You're right.

Parents have to instill beliefs in their kids that education is important.

However, I do believe that there are some flaws in the education system (such as tenure, unmotivated teachers, etc).

I guess it's a combination of both.

Absolutely. Tenure/teacher's unions are also a downfall in the education system, but I've yet to hear someone come out and say "We can pump all the money in the world into schools, at some point the kids are going to have to take responsibility and get after it."
The problem with the current education system has very little to do with the teachers, and especially not teacher's unions. First of all, twenty, ten, and even five years ago, expectations were much lower than they are now in what students are to learn. Need proof? Ask a parent to help their third grader with their math homework. Nine times out of ten, the parent will agree that they never learned such complicated math when they were in school. The same goes for science, social studies, English, and especially technology-related courses.

Secondly, the No Child Left Behind legislation is doing just the opposite of what it proposes to do-- it's leaving children behind, namely the socio-economically disadvantaged. These laws put increasing pressure on teachers to stick to a government-mandated curriculum. If teachers deviate from the curriculum, then they run the risk of their students not passing the end of term exams. These unrealistic expectations force teachers to rush through their material, often not having the chance to touch on major issues. If their students don't pass, they risk either being fired or being placed on probationary employment status. Unreal expectations cause teachers who choose to work in challenging schools to often lose their jobs or force them to relocate to schools that are not experiencing problems making the mark. This leaves the disadvantaged schools (which traditionally have the lowest test scores) with a lack of quality teachers, or with an abundance of new, inexperienced teachers not accustomed to or equipped in dealing with the social and behavior problems that are typical of these schools. And I will agree that some teachers become unmotivated because of the catch-22 that their employment often leaves them in.

American schools aren't failing. American society is failing. Parents are increasingly feeling the burden of a world in which a single parent must work two and three jobs to support their children, often not having the time to properly monitor and encourage and raise their children. America just let go of segregated schools approximately fourty years ago, and many schools (because of forced districting) are still largely segregated. Some of our school's children have living relatives who had parents that were slaves. America has a harsh view of immigrants, particularly Mexicans, who continue to make up a larger and larger portion of our school systems' population.

And, let me tell you something else. America is the ONLY country in the entire world that factors in all students' scores. America offers a FREE public education to every child in this country, citizen or not. Severely mentally handicapped children, children who speak no English, children with learning disorders, children in foster care, homeless children living in shelters, abused children, impoverished children, behaviorally disordered children, etc. are all funneled in to one building and are all tested at the end of the year. The teachers are the heroes and sheroes on that battlefield cleaning up society's mess. So don't compare America's supposedly failing education system to Japan or Korea or Canada, because they aren't testing every student. They aren't dealing with the issues that American schools are dealing with, and they don't give the same education to every student.

The government is offering more and more tax breaks to those who send their children to private schools. What is happening is a large number of the public school children are emigrating into private schools, skewing the test scores in favor of schools that charge tuition and can afford to be selective. Private schools do not admit, nor are they generally equipped to deal with, students who are "problematic" in some aspect, whether it be social, academic, or behavioral. This leaves public schools with an even more densely homogenous concentration of socio-economically disadvantaged children, thus skimming off the upper-scoring students and reducing the test score averages.
No Problem w/ Education?

I don't what world the rest of ya'll are living on, but out here in California, the most populous state in the Union, the schools are deffinately part of the problem. While it is true that standards seem to be raising for elementary school kids, middle and high school kids are being consistently left behind. Standards across the board are dropping. I have brothers in high school, who are both in honors english classes. The school structure is set up so they only have 4 classes a day, yet they are reading only two books for the entire year. Art, music, even physical education courses have all been hacked and slashed. Everyone seems to be throwing money at little kids. And why? Because little kids can get a sympathy vote. No one is willing to increase funding for high school kids because they not cute enough to wrangle in voters. In short blaming parents and unmotivated kids a cheap lazy way around the problem. Are the schools as bad as some people think? Maybe not, but they still need to be fixed.
Tenure is terrible. Teacher's unions...well, I can accept their existence because a lot of teachers have been screwed by their employers in the past.

The parental thing is certainly part of the issue. My parents always made sure to trump up the advantages of school and as a result I was a model student (er, most of the time). A lot of my friends had parents who didn't care much for education and their grades suffered as a result. Interestingly, most of them had something to compensate though - some were brilliant musicians, others were athletic stars. There were also quite a few who didn't excel at anything, but they fill roles in society now as well.

Schools are highly stratified environments. You want to improve education, find a way to end that.
schools are simply an indoctrination tool for the coming lockdown of the people of this great country schools will be used as temporary prisons or detention centers children will be obediaent

all of them right up to the college aged Kiddies you all have been brainwashed and drugged beyond comprehension the school system is not to teach

it is to get Complacency and obedience

you all will wake up in another 20 yrs and see it when its too late

American schools aren't failing. American society is failing.

I agree. I think it has to do with the loss of confidence and trust in the teachers which has led to the loss of power for the teachers which has led to the loss of discipline for the schools. Also, I think diversity in our schools has also complicated the system and its curriculums. This has brought on the rise of liberalism in schools, especially in colleges. If you ever read a history textbook from sixty or seventy years ago, they're a hell of a lot better and more truthful than todays anti-national diluted history books. The biggest reason for our schools failing I believe can be narrowed down to having to treat people differently and loss of identity, moreover purpose for motivation and enthusiasm. And just to comment on School integration, Civil Rights a horse's ass. More like abuse of power and going against the wishes of the people.
While I think that bad parenting is probably the biggest detrimental factor WRT our children not learning anything, I feel that a lot of the blame can be laid at the feet of our government school system. While plenty of teachers do care, I believe, from experience, that because of the lack of incentive for teachers to suceed in educating our children our standards have fallen. If there were more competition in our government schools I think that more graduates would be better educated. Of coarse when it comes down to it the children themselves should be held responsible. You can blame external influences all you like, but if the child does not take personal responsibility to be competitive himself and study hard then putting the blame on teachers or parents is pointless. There have been plenty of people succeed regardless of having grown up in a broken home or going to a ****ty school.
Here's the Real Truth


By Debbie O'Hara
March 12, 2004

Without a doubt most people in this country would agree that the government schools are failing our children. The government's pat answer to the problem is always a lack of funds, but I hope to convince you that the true problem behind the failure of these schools is far more sinister than that. The real culprit is not a lack of money but the evil programs being advanced under the umbrella of a term called Multiculturalism, better known as diversity.

Unfortunately it looks as if most people have bought into the lack of funds argument that the government has set before us. They don't seem to have a problem digging ever deeper into their pockets and taking out their hard-earned cash when they hear that insatiable cry for more dollars. In fact in the recent March 2 election, my home state of California passed some bond measures that will give billions more to local schools. I personally find the money answer very hard to swallow after seeing the 2003 Condition of Education Report put out by the National Center for Education Statistics.

In 1991-92 the average annual U.S. cost to educate one child in the government schools was $6,729. By the 1999 -2000 school year the figure, adjusted for inflation, was $8,105. That is an over 20% increase in real dollars in less than 10 years. As we can see, even after spending exorbitant amounts of money on education, many of America's children are still graduating after 13 years of school basically illiterate. How can this be? How can schools be failing with so much money being invested in them? Is it possible that maybe the goals of the parents and the goals of government are not the same? Could it be that in the eyes of government the schools aren't failing at all but are actually reaching their hidden objectives?

The government objectives appear to be very light in the area of academics and heavy on brainwashing into what is termed multiculturalism or diversity. Many people probably wonder what could be wrong with that? Our children need to learn about other cultures, don't they? Certainly we should agree that learning about other cultures is important. But those who set the curriculum are not talking about learning the cultures of other peoples of the world like that of India, China, Japan and so forth. Multiculturalism is a euphemism for the myth of diversity. We have campuses full of people who look different but are programmed to think alike. While the multiculturalism being promoted in schools doesn't appear to have a clear definition, we can see a vast array of causes that are advanced under its name - AIDS awareness, homosexuality, radical feminism, sexual harassment, etc. Even teachers at the elementary grades and junior high level have been taught to give a watered-down multicultural curriculum to their students.

While we are told that our children are getting a values-free education because all cultures are being treated equally, we know that statement is not true because the traditional values of the West are condemned. The diversity promoting Multiculturalists have eliminated traditional male-female distinctions and tell us that sexual restraints have got to go. Our children are taught that morality is oppressive because it doesn't take into account the "alternative lifestyles" of "minorities". How can an educational system that promotes homosexuality be considered values-free? No major religion condones homosexuality. America's children are being taught values in the name of diversity that many parents spend 18 years trying to make sure that their children don't absorb.

A multicultural curriculum puts more emphasis on making students feel good than on academics. The teachers are not interested in facts but only on how their students feel. Teachers would never think of discussing the warlike nature of the Apaches that included ritual torture. In fact if a student was to bring up the truth, he would be considered intolerant. Teaching myth instead of fact is very important in teaching multiculture because if the real history books of non-Western cultures were being read, these other cultures would lose much of their attractiveness. To make sure that the truth is shouted down, Multiculturalism has given us "political correctness". Everybody better watch their speech or they may end up in a lawsuit. Since multiculturalism cannot be supported rationally, speech has to be suppressed to prevent people from challenging its fundamental premises. Neutrality is a pretense because we have really replaced the old values of Western civilization based on Judeo-Christian principles with a new set of values. All cultures are spoken of in a positive light except for Western culture because it believes in transcultural truth and that is the one thing that cannot be tolerated. In rejecting the values of the West, Multiculturalists obviously cannot say that they do not believe in value judgment.

Multiculturalism itself has become the new culture. It is a culture of blame instead of individual responsibility where the emphasis is on victims and victimhood. Dysfunction is the new standard and it appears that victims can do no wrong. We had the Menendez brothers who admitted killing their parents, but were not convicted because the jury heard they had been abused. A $2.9 million judgment against McDonalds was awarded to a woman who suffered burns when she spilled a cup of coffee that she was holding between her legs in a moving car. What insanity!

Multiculturalism is also a culture of radicalizing differences. Instead of uniting the American people by teaching what it means to be an American we celebrate our "differences". The local government schools in my area promote slogans like "Celebrating our Differences" and "Unity in Diversity", but I don't see unity; I see divisiveness. I thought segregation was supposed to be a bad thing, but you can go to almost any campus in America and you will find students that are celebrating their differences by choosing to segregate themselves into special clubs by race, gender or sexual preference. I hear of harassment going on at the local high school for those who don't wish to join these clubs.

Chronic malcontents are also bred by Multiculturalism. There is no pride instilled in these students about being American. Instead their new-found identities are based on their "victim" groups which are in search of oppressors. Oppression is the backbone of their identity; so much like a witch-hunt, oppressors must be found or their status of victimhood, and therefore their identiy, would be lost. Multiculture is causing horrendous dissension between the races, genders and among family members. More often than not the real victims are those who are singled out for reprisal through no fault of their own. These people are not morally flawed - just unlucky. No one is safe from this witch-hunt because there are not really any rules you can teach someone to tell him or her how to not give offense. Every individual acts in unpredictable ways so many people feel it is best to stick with their own group because it is not worth the trouble that you might offend someone of another group. So much for the myth of unity. Instead of the utopia promised under Multiculturalism, I think we have found ourselves back under the Medieval Inquisition.

Multiculturalism is a long chain of victimization and revenge that favors only certain sub-groups of people. One example is that of a growing number of American Blacks calling for reparations for slavery. Never mind that there are no American Blacks alive that were ever slaves or American Whites that were slave owners. Truth and justice are not the goal. The goal appears to be gaining preferred dominant status at the expense of others. Only a particular race, gender, sexual preference, etc. that shares the same "politically correct" ideology as the multiculturalist elites gets that special dominant status. How can multiculture possibly be thought superior to the religious tradition of the West that brought forgiveness, redemption and salvation for all classes of people?

Multiculturalism has caused the deconstruction of all meaning in a child's education. The West's quest for universal truth has been replaced by the emptiness of Multiculturalism. There is no framework on which our children can decide what is important and what is trivial. Without truth only the latest fads become the basis of instruction. We have a generation of children searching for meaning in what appears to be a meaningless world. Even if they don't believe in the Multicultural garbage they are being taught, they still do not have the basic tools they need to search for truth and meaning in their lives. The most important years of America's brightest children are being wasted.

Why are America's children being dumbed down and robbed of a real education? Why are they being taught to vie for victim status and to somehow think someone else owes them a living? Because the true objective of our Multicultural masters that run the government schools is to make good little socialists out of our children. And that is what socialists do - live at the expense of others. The purpose of the multicultural movement is to radically alter our entire culture so as to dumb down our children in order to make a One World Socialist Government acceptable to them. The intent is to wipe away all borders and to destroy nationhood. Their plans are working out well. We can see our current President, George W. Bush, carrying out his border destroying plans; following right along the same path as the last two administrations.

I am an adamant believer that the keys to the best education you can get is the reinforcement and belief of one as a whole, vigorous teaching and discipline as well as the instilling of ones own identity

It's common knowledge in good families that bad parenting has come from the break-down in Western Values. Morons will call this the change of Western values or modernizing of Western Values. In truth, it's the simple break-down in western values.