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The Education Race This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.


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The United States is losing in education. We are becoming increasingly illiterate and can’t compete in math and science. One recent study showed that 21-23% of the country is “unable to locate information in text”. This problem, however, has nothing to do with the budget. We spend roughly 5.7% of our entire GDP on education, whereas China spends only 1.9% of their GDP on education. This shows that the issue lies within the fundamentals of our education system, and not in the total money.

We are not pushing our students hard enough in the vital areas needed to compete globally. At my high school, only two years of math are required, which is the exact same amount as tech/business classes. That is not right. We should not be forced to take a tech class we do not care about when taking another math class is an alternative. The same goes for Social Studies. Four years are required at my high school. However, I am positive that the exact time that George Washington died will in no way help us in figuring out the worlds next great problem, but math and science will. Math and science are what drive the economy and all innovation.

The requirements for high school graduation have been reduced for no reason. In America, we don’t fail students because it may “demoralize” them, whereas in China, it is relatively common. In China, after each grade the students are forced to take an entrance exam, and if they pass, they move on, and if not, they fail. This assures that all the kids in the classes are able to keep up as you move to tougher classes. This allows more content to be covered, and the teacher does not have to worry about a few kids not being able to keep up.

Lastly, I think we could learn from China in the way that they treat their teachers. We do not need a state of the art “smart board” when in reality it is just a glorified white board. That money should instead go to the teachers. In China, teachers do not pay taxes on their salaries, and there is a “teacher’s day” on September 29th that rewards them. China spends far less on education, yet their teachers are happier, and the students perform better.

The educational state of our country needs a complete overhaul if we want to compete with the rest of the world. Additional spending does not matter. What does matter is how hard we are pushing students, and how we can assure that the top students are taught by experienced, enthusiastic, and well compensated teachers. In doing this, we will be able to bring more competitive students into the workforce



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