As we have seen all of the political dirty mudslinging as of late, the question of the education system in America always comes up for air again. In that, there has been shouted that there is a crisis in the system. Between the Common Core controversies, teachers being paid below the livable wage, and schools slashing funding left and right, it does seem that there is a crisis happening in the public school systems in the United States.
But what is the truth on the topic? Here are seven facts on the truth about the American education system to let you decide for yourself.
- The education assessment is mostly based on the graduation rate of students as opposed to overall performance. That means that C students are getting lumped together with the Valedictorians, because they all graduated. The statistic on graduation gets more depressing when we look at it from the perspective on race issues. In 2012, African American students only had a 69% graduation rate, while Latinos had a 73% graduation rate. Asians were the highest at 88% with Caucasian students sitting at 86%. Overall though, we should be doing better.
- In the early 1980s, the United States was considered the world leader on education, with our high school diplomas being worth more than any other country in the world. By today’s standards, we are currently sitting at 36th most valuable, having fallen terribly behind.
- It has been shown that the vast majority (97%) of low-income students need to use the school’s internet access in order to have any access to the internet at all. While this may not seem that bad, keep in mind that not all schools have internet access. There are 40 million students without high-speed internet in their schools, which means if there are any low-income students among them, which there likely is, those students will not have access to the internet at all. While you could think that the internet is a luxury, the truth is that we as a society have become so reliant on it that we need it to function at both school and work in order to be successful. Low-income students on the whole are at a disadvantage anyway, and adding in this to the mix cannot be a good helping hand to get them out of their current situation.
- There were approximately 1.3 million high school dropouts in 2010, which is the annual average for how many students do not graduate on time. More food for thought on the matter is that if those 1.3 million students had actually graduated from high school, the United States would have had approximately $337 billion more in income earnings over the course of those students’ lives than they had having not finished high school.
- If a third-grade student is capable of reading at the age appropriate level, that student is four times more likely to successfully graduate high school on time than a student who is behind in literacy.
- As far as four-year institutions are concerned, only about half of students who start out at a four-year college will graduate in the allotted four-years.
- Teachers are often assessed based on the testing abilities of their students. But taking this into consideration, about 14% of teachers will quit after they have only taught for one year. 33% of teachers will leave within their first three years teaching and half will leave within the first five years of teaching. It is hard to think that the two concepts are actually separate from each other, but there are obviously other contributing factors to this as well.