Importance of Education in America

February 28, 2011
Finland was named most prosperous nations on earth in 2009. In the nine sections that judged prosperity education was number three. In the United Sates today, education is becoming less and less of a priority. As this priority decreases in value, the economy is spirally downhill and is moving backwards in development. Education is the most important factor in developing a country yet it keeps getting looked over in the United States.

As a whole, Americans believe that education is more important than ever but it doesn’t show. California’s universities have faced the deepest state budget cuts in decades, and public-university officials have lowered salaries, furloughed employees, and reduced enrollments. Nearly every state in the United States is in a similar situation. Here in Nevada, Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, told a crowd of higher education constituents that there are no way legislators can avoid cuts to education. More than half of our taxes in Nevada go towards public education and officials have not budgeted them properly. In the next 16 months Nevada will have $900 million less in education than government officials budgeted for. Mary Jo Parise-Malloy said in March of 2008, "We already have a shortage of teachers because we can't afford to pay them enough, and we're just getting deeper and deeper in the hole and our per-pupil funding gets farther and father away from the national average every year.” If education was the United States top priority then it wouldn’t be declining so fast.

Our economy in the United States is run on many factors and education is one of the biggest ones. Our economy is becoming more and more knowledge based, jobs being created from new ideas and technical innovation. According to the National Association of Manufacturers, in 2010 there were an estimated 5.3 million high-skill jobs available to qualified workers and 14 million more 10 years later. Odds are Americans will not be the ones taking these jobs when 25% of students drop out without the proper skills to succeed and Americans graduate from high skill without the basic math, reading, and writing skills. 60% of employers say that high school graduate’s skills are poor in math and English, two of the most important subjects in school.

How is America supposed to improve on education with all the teacher cuts? In some schools class sizes have been nearly doubled due to the shortage of staff. Due to budget cuts to schools teachers do not always have the right supplies to teach lessons. This wouldn’t be so bad if the teachers were not getting salary cuts too. On top of this in 2001 the No Child Left Behind act was set in place. Teachers and school officials for the most part are not very happy with the act because it has shown no sign of improving education. The act has forced teachers to select certain skills for students to learn in order to pass state exams which can lead to misinterpretation of lessons. Teaching is hard enough job as it is but with the salary cuts, budget cuts to schools, and the No Child Left Behind act being a teacher is very difficult today.

Education is a huge factor in the success of a country. Higher education has risen so high in prices most students can not afford it, and many students can not pursue education after high school because they have not learned the necessary skills. Teachers are barely getting paid enough to support themselves yet we ask them to teach over 150 students each year. Our government officials need to fix our education in order to fix America.

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