Education in the United States

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James Hite
Professor Truong
English 101
18 May 2013
Education in the United States

This great country on the federal, state, and local level needs to invest more money in educating its citizens. In the past the United States boasted a higher percentage of technically trained, well educated, top of their field professionals to fulfill the needs of not only this great country, but those of the rest of the world too. However those days seem to be over. Today most highly technical and intellectual jobs such as engineering, chemistry, physics, and research doctors are held by individuals who were educated elsewhere. Students in the United States test among the lowest in the world in the basic skills of math, science, and English. It is evident that educating the Americans of the future generation has somehow gotten way too low on this country’s priority list. We have done a poor job of properly educating our citizens in recent years to be able to compete in the world market of tomorrow. The United States should pass legislature mandating higher pay for K-12 teachers, higher test scoring standards for schools, teachers, and students, smaller classrooms, and colleges should start actively recruiting prospective students in public schools at the elementary age, which is much earlier than they do today.

There are many who believe that our teachers here in the United States are severely underpaid. In an article in Weatoday by Tim Walker called “Low Pay Comes at a Higher Cost for Kids” The average construction worker in South Dakota makes about thirty-five thousand dollars per year. This is more than the average teacher makes per year nationwide. Many across the country believe that this is unacceptable and is causing our country to fall far behind the rest of the world in its ability to give its citizen’s a quality education. According to the same article there are “two key factors that determine how professional pay enhances overall teacher quality, particularly as it pertains to attracting new, well qualified teachers. One is that “higher pay promotes competition and therefore more and better teaching applicants.” Secondly, “Raising pay increases the “national status” of the profession, again making it more attractive to potential recruits. There is a clear statistical correlation between higher pay and student performance in all schools worldwide. Based on this and other facts Mr. Walker states in his article that a “ten percent raise in teachers’ pay would produce about a five to ten percent increase in overall student performance.” The quality of our teachers here in the United States is of fundamental importance. If we as a nation desire to give our children a quality education and secure our spot as a world leader in the upcoming millennium, we must be willing and able to invest as much (if not more) than the rest of the world does to educate their children. The truth is we are actually paying so much more in so many ways by refusing to invest properly in our children and our future. It is interesting that in recent years many states including California have put a new emphasis on teacher quality and evaluating teacher’s performance in the classroom but they all failed to take the next logical step, which is to offer teachers more incentive in the form of higher pay and better benefits to do well. If California and other states would take this vital step, this would cause more people to desire to become teachers, and it would improve the quality of them too.

Higher testing standards for all schools are an important step in helping our country become more competitive in the world market against countries like Korea and Japan. In an article written by Frontline correspondent John Merrow and producer John Tulenko when they interviewed teachers and school administrators who are grappling with the realities of increased testing and its effects on the...
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