US Education- The Declining Continues


We are living now in a world, full of new possibilities. New technologies are being invented and implemented in various aspects of our daily life. The internet & mobile communication have unbarred the limitations of time & place. Consequently, with the graduation of high techonologies, high productive industries are no longer subjects to any borders or restricted resources. Clearly a new era has begun to emerge.

In this newly evolved world, education has been considered important more than ever. Today getting educated has emerged into something immensely innovative , acquainting students to new ideas and new challenges. However, the fact is slightly different in the US. The advantages of education in the sectors of economy, technology and defense are unfortunately in the path of eroding. The future of America seems to be at risk as the country is falling behind the rest of the world as far as education is concerned.

What Are The Facts Behind The Figures

The education in the US has always been measured with the figures of test scores in Math & Science. Everything from the intellectual tenacity of students to the level & methods of teaching- is figured out with the ranking of test scores. Although these are all important matrics to be evaluated, there is also another vital genre, that needs to be assessed- educational attainment. Various surveys, done in different times, displays the fact that,
–If being compared with the rest of the world, the numbers of students, who go for the higher study in the US, move down to the ladder. In the US, the high school graduation rate hovers around 75%. In many countries in Asia and Scandinavia, that rate is upwards of 90%. But the numbers are even more dismal in the US when you look at higher education attainment.

The Rates To Be Worried About

If you are someone who are enthralled by the upgraded modernization of US society, you can be intimidated by the rates of accomplishments in America’s higher education arena. According to a new study from the Council on Foreign Relations,

    • US has fallen 10 spots in both high school and college graduation rates in the last 30 years.
    • Americans between ages 25 and 34 currently rank 10th out of 33 countries for high school attainment and 13th out of 34 countries for college attainment.
    • As far as graduating in 4 years is concerned, Virginia has been considered to grab the highest percentage of students, which is 46%.
    • While Virginia is placed on the first position in 4 years’ graduation, Nevada’s stance is at quite behind-8.75%.
    • Iowa possesses the rate of 68.67% at the 6 years’ graduation which is reckoned as the highest.
    • However, Nevada again is the lowest one in the case of 6 years’ graduation too, rating 25.5%.

The Explanation It Needs


why is the academic sector of the US going through an inert phase, in spite of its higher placement in per pupil investment in the world? Economist Veronique de Rugy explains, giving the answer,
“ a lack of accountability in our education system has led to stagnant scores and complacency”.
Further unfolding her view, she adds,
“We have tried spending more money and putting more teachers in classrooms for more than a generation, with no observable improvements to anything except the schools’ bottom lines.”

However, it is also true that many students from foreign countries still would like to come to the US, as the certificets of American Universities are valued in every nook of the world. Defying all the high cost, that American education seeks, people choose to attain degree over here, as it provides with some of the best employments & earning opportunities. Therefore, the problem conspicuously is not about the quality in higher education. What is the fundamental issue here is the small number of American citizens, obtaining degrees in important job related areas and the even smaller number of the pupils, who aspire undergo the rigorous study, that those fields need.

Hence, The Consequence

This downfall in academics has definitely not confined only in the genre of education and has impacted other connected areas too. One of the major aspects, that got affected by this poor students rate, is the area of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math), having 3 million unfulfilled jobs and only 300,00 graduates annually. The consequence of this huge shortage has left companies with two options. Either they have to import foreign workers, emptying all the funds, or move operations abroad.

The picture seems to get even more depressing, when about half of all engineering doctoral degrees are awarded to non-US nationals. According to the OECD, the US has less PhD STEM graduates (per million population) than many other developed countries.

The implications of this shortfall are not only economic, but it also causes a national security concern, as it will become increasingly difficult to fill sensitive security-related jobs.

Still A Ray Of Hope

Despite all this facts & figures are worth worrying, there is a hint of optimism appears. According to a recent report, the national high school graduation rate surpassed 80 percent in 2012 for the first time, which itself is a mark in US history. If this rate of improvement could have been maintained in the past few years, the country could have seen the picture of 90% rate by 2020, meeting the goal set by America’s Promise Alliance, the group founded by former secretary of state Colin Powell. Nevertheless, it is proven that if given the proper chance and effort, the education level of the country can be elevated all over again.

The Final Words

Any issue can not be distinctly point out as the sole problem with the education in US. If anything the country needs to develop the situation is a serious overhaul. The entire system needs to be groomed to attract qualified, motivated teachers, who can motivate students to walk ahead towards higher education. Besides, national and state curriculums need to be updated, examination methods need to be redesigned. It is quite obvious that without a well educated population the American advantage will continue to erode in every field. But it is also a fact that the future is in the hands of the next generation. So the scope & time of improvement are still there to be looked after.

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