Let's Talk Dollars and Sense
According to American Revolution 2.0--a white paper published by GSV, "By not taking control of our educational system and career preparedness, we are losing the ability to control our destiny." Of course, ultimately God is in control of our destiny, so that statement may be slightly dramatic, but for the sake of this article, there is some truth in this statement.
To begin with, we can't sit by idly and allow the education (and future) of our children be determined by a formula. Every child is different. Every learner is different. And it is important to create and provide opportunities for all types of individuals to successively attain an education that is meaningful and lasting and offers them opportunities for a bright future.
"The fate of our future won't be decided on a battlefield. It will be determined in a classroom." -Waiting for Superman
What's been going on with US education up until now? It seems like so much money is being spent but what is the outcome? Here are some interesting facts presented in American Revolution 2.0...
- Spending per student has tripled since 1970 and doubled since 1980 but achievement levels have stayed the same.
- The U.S. spends 2.5 times more than other developed countries on post secondary education per student.
- Only 25% of high school graduates in 2011 met all 4 ACT college-readiness benchmarks.
- In 2011, only 1 of 4 graduating seniors were prepared for college coursework.
- 1.7 million college students need remedial classes each year. 50% of students entering two-year universities and 20% of those entering four-year universities take at least one remedial class
- 70% of students who enter community colleges in the U.S. do not graduate.
A U.S. high school student drops out every 26 seconds. And...
- Each dropout costs the nation about $260,000 in lost earnings, taxes, and productivity over a lifetime.
- Each dropout class costs the nation $325 billion in lost contributions, which is equal to the combined GDP of Kansas, Utah, Nebraska, and Alaska every year.
- In 2010, the U.S. ranked 49th in adult literacy.
- The U.S. ranks 16th for its college graduation rate and 20th for high school graduation rate among 34 countries.
We're spending the money-- we're putting more and more into brick and mortar schools and textbooks but the results we're looking for aren't coming. Could it be that we're not focusing our attention in the right place? Are we trying to make our students fit into one type of box instead of diversifying our offerings and letting them decide how they learn best?
"History is a race between education and catastrophe."-H.G. Wells
According to the Department of Education "students in online conditions did as well or better than those learning from face-to-face instruction." Although integrated learning models may be "non-traditional", what about society is traditional anymore? A great product isn't great if it doesn't work and ours is clearly loosing it's effectiveness. Which will win? Effective education and the bright future of it's students or the catastrophe that awaits if we continue any longer with our heads in the sand.
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