Earlier this week I ran across a shocking report in the Washington Post on-line edition addressing international student test scores covering reading, math, and science excellence. All three academic fields are vital for the future success of students, and the economies of the countries in which these students reside.
In the interest of conserving space take a look at this link from the Washington Post report of test scores from the Program for International Student Assessment.
Obviously the report is shocking when we see that students in the United States rank 17th in Reading, 31st in Math, and 23rd in Science, and students in Shanghai, China rank #1 in all three essential categories. When we consider all the billions of dollars we have directed to the education of the American student, it is clear that the efforts directed from Washington and the Department of Education have resulted in totally unacceptable results.
Educational excellence is a complex issue, but the record of the American system indicates a failing grade. Immediately our leaders should objectively investigate why Chinese students achieve top grades, and we better do it ASAP. Our economy cannot be competitive with a report card such as we see in this report.
Remember the Department of Education was created under President Jimmy Carter back in 1979, and it now has 5,000 employees with a budget exceeding 68.6 billion dollars. Personally, I support President Ronald Reagan’s suggestion to close the entire Department because it is a total failure. Current Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan is an effective educator, but his hands are tied by political compromises, appalling union contracts, and a federal bureaucracy that is dysfunctional.
Your Commander suggests we begin to enforce strict discipline, accountability, parental involvement, and the elimination of teacher union restraints. It is essential to get politics out of the class room. It is detrimental. The all-knowing New York Times has picked up on this story and reports that this test has stunned educators. It is about time. Also, the NBC Nightly News reported last evening that these test results are a wake-up call. The results of this report card analysis cries for prompt and objective remedial action. WAKE UP AMERICA!