Business of Giving: Bailing Out Our Schools
World-class education will propel economy into future.
If you look back at our nation's history, our wealth was not built solely by great ideas. Rather, it also came from a very well-educated workforce created by world-class public schools. Children of immigrants who arrived on our shores 100 years ago received an education that lifted them from poverty to the working class and beyond. That influx of new workers built factories and invented and perfected new technologies. Workers on the assembly line could earn a comfortable living.
For the past 2 decades, the factory jobs that created prosperous lives for so many across much of America have been disappearing. The only way we can uplift the children and grandchildren of the working class and prepare them for a different future is by putting a renewed focus on world-class education.
By world-class I mean an education with an academic commitment to science and math, not just a narrow focus on test-taking and reading and writing. This has been said before, but our need is growing more urgent. If we don't commit ourselves to science and math, we will be walloped by the countries that are doing just that.
Take a look at the 2007 Trends in International Math and Science Study (TIMSS). At the fourth-grade level, the US is bested in science by Singapore, Taipei, Hong Kong and Japan. By eighth grade, 9 countries are doing a better job of teaching science to kids, including Russia, the Czech Republic and Slovenia. If we're not creating the world's next scientists, innovators and creators, we put ourselves at risk of being surpassed by the countries that are.
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