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What do you think is the problem with the U.S. education system/student

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Comparatively speaking, the United States does not starve its education system of revenue. The U.S. is one of the leaders in spending on Education, and yet it's schools are rated "average" by international bodies.

The three-yearly OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report, which compares the knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds in 70 countries around the world, ranked the United States 14th out of 34 OECD countries for reading skills, 17th for science and a below-average 25th for mathematics.

Worse, out of 34 OECD countries, only 8 have a lower high school graduation rate. The United States' education outcomes most resemble Poland's, a nation that spends less than half on education than the U.S.

The U.S. spent an average of $10,615 per student in 2010.  Some districts spent over $18,000 (D.C., NY).  Obviously, we can't throw money at a problem like this. 

So what is the real issue here?

Update:  This post just blew up today.  It's going to take me a while to read all of this.

by on Sep. 15, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Replies (191-200):
by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 8:36 PM

I can't read all of the posts here because it would take too long. I do want to point out, though, that there are many people here making blanket statements like "public schools do this" or "public schools don't do that" or whatever. The experience you have in one school or district is NOT the same as every other school or district. I teach in a district with 12 elementary schools. They all are teaching to the same Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics but not every teacher teaches the same way. To say that there is nobody teaching phonics, the love of literature, or basic math facts is incorrect. Please don't use words like ALL, NONE, NO ONE, NOBODY, or EVERYBODY. There are no absolutes.

by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 8:43 PM
There are studies that show that too much homework does not improve children's achievement. It actually can burn out the kids, make them too tired to learn after spending almost all day at school. Children should learn what is necessary at school, enjoy reading without pressure, than play and rest at home. Here is a great link about it:
by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 8:44 PM

Well I don't know about your state but the state of Louisiana does NOT keep its education system a priority.  The education budgets are constantly being slashed, it does not try to fix failing schools rather it just lets the school fail in a big burning failball (do it big right?) and the divide between rich and poor is so obvious and defined.  I wouldn't be surprised if this state contributed the most to drop out rates and below average performance.

by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 8:51 PM
I'd say parents who are not willing to hold their children accountable are the downfall of the system. It is great when lessons are of interest to the student but not all topics are interesting or fun to everyone. When kids don't learn that sometimes they have to plow through the tough stuff and they think they are entitled to a dog and pony show for every lesson it hurts them in the long run. To sum it up, the disregard of discipline as a value is causing the decline in the US ed system!
by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 9:16 PM
1 mom liked this

First, you ae not comparing apples to apples,.  In other countries only the brightest kids go to high school as others go into  technical programs.  Some call those high schools gymnasiums (sounds like gem nasiums with a hard G not a "J" sound).  others might get training for seamstresses,  or construction work or bakers, etc.  Only the best get the opportunity for the gymnasium or for college.  In our schools we educate everyone in the high schools here and if they can afford college or are poor enough, they get to go to college.   So the graduation rates and math and science scores in high schools vs. those in the gymnasiums are not the same as they have all good, ambitious students going in where we don't.  We allow all into highschool and some drop out.  In other countries, they don't drop out but go into trade schools or they may not be able to survive.

Our problem here is not just who goes to high school but also the students attitudes and that of the parents.  There the kids and the parents treat teachers like dirt rather than respected professionals.  Kids are rude and lazy and put in the hours but they don't do their best and they don't behave well.  There is little punishment or discipline a home and the teachers have a hard time with disciline in class.  Often ittakes a grat deal of time just getting kids to stop disrupting class so others can learn.  They can't kick kids out of class or the teacher gets in trouble rather than the kid.  Many parents don't go to school to see how the kids are doing.  If the teachers are called about the students' behavior, they defend their child rather than listening to the teacher and working with the teacher to enforce discipline.  I have had a stepson who laughs about the teacher and his sneaking a wire under his shirt to listen to his ipod and the teacher not knowing.  He puts his hand by his ear so she can't see the earphone.  Maybe she lets him go as then he isn't his usual smart mouth.  I've seen him on FB flashing some cash and worry that he might be into drugs.  His mother and sister have allowed gang bangers into their family and several have goine to jail over cocaine.  He is determined to graduate from high school and it is on his agenda, but he has no more ambition than that.  he doesn't want to work hard.  Some of their behavior problems are from depression and bi-polar situations. But the kids were running the house rather than the mother.  He has moved out and he is a senior this year.  My grandchildren, most of them are in college or in high school were getting A's and also in advanced classes.  They do not cause problems in school and haven't in the past.  Their parents expect a lot of them.  One family doesn't have as much discipline and therefore self-discipline as the other one but they don't get into trouble and do study. 

My ex was a store manager and they caught a kid who shoplifted.  They saw him take it and hide it and saw him until he left the store when they stopped him.  Ex decided not to press charges but to keep him out of store and call his parents about the situation.  They called and parents claimed their son would ever do that and wouldn't believe that he shoplifted.  He did and they caught him at it.  Instead of defending him, they should have been reading him the riot act.  This wasa kid from a good location and not someone who needed whatever he had stolen.  Why do parents defend their child instead of looking at it with an open ming?  I used to advise teachers and other school employees.  Most of the teacher problems came from misbehavior of kids and the parents failure to believe the teacher and to defend the child.  I have met with teachers, principals or superintendents and parents with their attornies.  Many times meeting with their attorney has been more calm than if they are meeting on their own.  We have then worked out some rules and ways in which the children could be helped and the parents having a better feedback on how things were going.     The parents need to step up and enforce discipline.  Parents don't seem to believe in rules or enforcing them.  There are good books out there on consequences for misbehavior and discipline and on giving kids responsibility and chores.  But too many don't think they have to work or are too busy for their kids.  I worked and the kids were still a priority to me until they were grown.  Other parents need to realize that the most imporant thing they will do will be in their homes with their children.


by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 9:31 PM

That's cool. I just feel like many people have misconceptions about what it means to be a student in these countires.

Quoting cjsmom1:

You're right it is quality that matters. I was trying to point out that our school days are shorter and that after school is finished many people don't believe kids should have to do anything school related (including homework).  Asian countries put a lot of emphasis on education and I do believe their system too strenuous on the kids.

Quoting mommynac:

The suicide rates of Chinese and Japanese students are escalating. A lot of it is due to the immense pressure they have to perform. I lived and taught in Japan, and I don't believe that attending school from 7:30 in the morning until 6:00 at night is reasonable or healthy for any kid. To me it's the quality, not just the quantity. JMO.

by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 9:38 PM
1 mom liked this

In my opinion it's our socities problem. Think about it most people in our country don't value education. Alot of people value the Kardashians of the world and could care less about being smart. Maybe if we started valuing academics more so would our children and maybe then we can truly be back on top.

by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 9:42 PM


Quoting LostTheSlipper:


Quoting Malley:

I'd be interested to find out how the average time spent on homework and studying in the US compares to other countries. As a teacher I get alot of pressure not to give much HW. Kids have busy lives with sports.

I'd REALLY like to find a movie (educational) I saw in high school or college on the life of a girl in either China or Japan and rewatch it. It showed her getting up at like 5:30 or something so she could get to prep classes before school, then she'd go to school, she'd leave school and go to some other type of learning thing, come home and have dinner, maybe do chores (can't remember fully) and then have to do homework till like 12 or 1am before going to sleep and doing it all over again. It was kind of interesting.

 That sounds like a ridiculous amount of work. She has no childhood in that show.  I believe in teaching our kids the value of hard work but thats just crazy. How old was she? I suppose she has the weekends off?? I know they are like that over there but its not what I'd want for my kids. I had some great childhood and teen memories and I feel those too have added value to my future. Just being a kid helps you to know what your true hobbies are, what you are truly passionate about rather than just following what society or mom and dad say you have to follow. Don't get me wrong, I believe in the kids getting there homework and chores done and doing well in school. I'm not saying I don't want my kid to work his/her butt off every now and again. I think some countries carry it too far though. 

by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 9:44 PM


Quoting pinkcsmtlgy:

In my opinion it's our socities problem. Think about it most people in our country don't value education. Alot of people value the Kardashians of the world and could care less about being smart. Maybe if we started valuing academics more so would our children and maybe then we can truly be back on top.

 I think thats part of it too even after what I wrote in my last reply above.

by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 10:05 PM

The problem is that the federal government runs it. Period. They ruin everything they touch.

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