What does education mean to you? Let us turn our attention to solving one of the nation’s most important problems, education. Education is one of the most important foundations, if not the most important, that should be instilled in today’s children. The fact is that it is the dream of every parent to see their children choose and eventually achieve a higher level of education. Are we being overtaken by other countries, are they fast becoming the world’s leading authority and provider of higher education?
It is clear that we have a need for higher education. We are in an economy that is based on education, we have doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists and the list goes on. If we can’t hire workers with the training and skills we need, big companies will be forced to relocate to countries where the talent resides. To phrase the position as simply as possible, we must hire the best workforce in the world to remain competitive. We are outsourcing our needs because we don’t have the level of expertise that is required to maintain our own 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 many options; we need raw materials and advanced technology to compete and that only comes with advanced education.
So how do we maintain our education and not sacrifice our economy? We must first develop self-discipline and give teachers the necessary tools so that they can have a positive impact. We must do more to ensure that teachers have the training to teach the subjects they present with a deeper understanding of the curriculum. The fact is that “America has the lowest high school graduation rate in the world.” If we are to compete in a knowledge-based economy, we must 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 an impressive rate, our students are moving away from these fields. We have many students looking for a quick fix. They are not willing to put in the time and effort to really understand the curriculum. I witnessed this firsthand when I was in high school and college. Many students who did their homework the night before did not put any real research or effort into their work. I remember many students who had a great memory and were able to retain enough to get by.
Understanding is the key to success in whatever you do, if we complete our work without deep understanding; we will not be prepared for a “University” based higher education.
Our level of education will play a significant 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 a combination? The debate and dilemma will continue until this growing problem is addressed.