Education in America

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While there may be more than one factor that can affect how a student performs in school, the only one that will truly improve the quality of education that student gets in grades K-12 in the American educational system is the level of involvement of the parent. Whether that means the parent ensures their child is behaving at school, going to bed with enough time to get a good night’s sleep or simply making sure their child is doing their homework, the problem will never move towards a solution without parents accepting that their child’s failure in school is their failure as a parent. This seems like a harsh accusation but students’ performance in the American education system has been holding steady if not declining for quite some time now, despite our greatest efforts to throw money at it. In 2008, the U.S. spent $10,995 on each elementary and secondary student compared to an average of $8,169 for member countries of the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). South Korea spent on average $6,723 per student, a noticeable difference of more than $4,000, yet consistently outperformed American students in math, science and reading. If we are spending more on education than South Korea, why are their students scoring higher than our students? The answer is simple: money can’t solve this problem. Children growing up in South Korea are raised in a culture of education. They spend 8 hours a day in school only to come home and get tutored or spend the rest of their night going over school work. It isn’t a choice for children to go to primary school and then on to college, it’s part of their lifestyle. When asked about his school’s dropout rate, the principal of an all girls’ high school said “No one just drops out of school, they may transfer, but to drop out of school is a major disaster.” The statistics back it up. While in South Korea 93% of all students graduate high school, that number drops to 75% in America, more than 1.2 million students...
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