What does education mean to you? We turn our attention to solving one of the nation’s most important problems, education. Education is one of the most important, if not the most important foundation that needs to be instilled in today’s children. The thing is, it is every parent’s dream to see their children choose and eventually reach a higher level of education. Are we overtaken by other countries, are they fast becoming the world’s leading authority and provider of higher education?
It is clear that we need higher education. We are in an education based economy, we have doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists and the list goes on. If we fail to hire workers with the training and skills we need, large companies will find it necessary to relocate to countries where the talent resides. To simply assert the position in the simplest way possible, we need to hire the best workforce in the world to stay competitive. We are outsourcing our needs because we don’t have the level of expertise needed to maintain our economy.
The need to outsource is only seen as a last resort because we cannot keep up with the rest of the world. Many times we don’t have much choice; we need raw materials and advanced technology to compete and that only comes with advanced education.
So how can we maintain our education and not sacrifice our economy? First we need to develop self-discipline and give teachers the tools they need so they can make a positive impact. We need to do more to ensure teachers are trained to teach the subjects they are presenting with a deeper understanding of the curriculum. The fact remains that “the United States has the lowest graduation rate in the world”. If we want to compete in a knowledge-based economy, we need to devote more resources to our teachers. Teachers need to reflect a greater focus on science and math to better prepare students and enable them to compete globally.
While other countries are graduating scientists and engineers at a staggering rate, our students are drifting away from these fields. We have many students looking for a quick fix. They are unwilling to put the time and effort into truly understanding the curriculum. I witnessed this firsthand when I was in high school and college. Many students who have done their homework the night before, no real research or effort has been put into their work. I remember many students who had great memories and managed to retain just enough to get by.
Understanding is the key to success in anything you do, if we complete our work without thorough understanding; we will not be prepared for “university”-based higher education.
Our level of education will play a major role in whether or not our future will be successful in today’s competitive marketplace. If performance and test scores are declining, who should step in and take charge? Should it be our parents, our schools, our government, or some combination? The debate and dilemma will continue until this growing problem is addressed.