America, it is a land of potential, the land of the founding fathers, and leader of many innovations in the past century. While America is a great place to live, and almost certainly a better place to be than in other parts of the world, it is still growing. There have been many things that America has fallen back from–many categories in which other nations have taken up the mantle. However, there is one area that is most disheartening–education. America has slowly been falling behind many other countries when it comes to educating its youth, and this is a trend that cannot continue.
There are a lot of subjects that the United States has regressed in such as English, Math, and Science just to name a few. We have also started to break into stats that are much less desirable. According to the World Bank, in the years from 2008-2011, the U.S. was in the top 10 nations that had the highest population of children outside of the education system. Now, some of that can be explained by some children deciding to opt into home schooling, but it is still a noticeable stat to see that many children in the U.S. are not attending school–public or otherwise. Some of the fault might lie with parents and/or the lifestyles they lead, but what are we doing as a nation that makes children less willing to attend school and learn?
The one upside to this issue, and yes, there is always a bright side, is that there is potential for America to grow and improve. There are many solutions to the problems that we face in America when it comes to educating this nation. There are certain schools–Challenger schools being one example–that wish to provide the best possible education that they can to students and bridge the gap between nations while also helping students to prepare for the future. The after school program I was a part of–Breakthrough Collaborative–was such an example. While it acted as an alternative form of education, it also fostered much-needed study skills and instilled desired attitudes that pushed students to excel. These programs helped to reinforce the idea that school is and can be another safe haven for students when not at home.
Another way to improve education in America is to foster and strengthen the connection between parents and teachers. Meaning, it should extend beyond just the occasional parent-teacher conferences. The two parties need to come together and recognize that they both want what is best for the students, as well as develop a plan to move forward from there. Both parents and teachers have failed to recognize that each other has useful information on how to reach a student, so that they can hopefully attain their full potential. As a united force, we can achieve so many more goals than apart. Although it may not fix things right away, it is an excellent place to start.
While America, especially in terms of education, is a great place to live, it has also fallen behind other nations in many areas. It is not the super world power that it used to be. However, we have a chance to improve ourselves and future generations while also becoming great innovators again. We have made some headway on improvements in terms of new schools and other educational endeavors. However, it is a work in progress and America, as a nation, still has much progress ahead to restore itself as a superpower. However, I believe we will succeed and I will continue to do my part while trying to improve the present, as well as strive for a better future.
Opinion By Lauren Bradley
Personal Observations and Experiences