Education — especially in a world where academic knowledge, strong skills, and technical knowhow are required to obtain a ‘good paying’ job — is too important to have a near monopoly by the state given their dismal track record in progressing our students’ knowledge and capabilities. While education’s value goes well beyond career training, obtaining a job its subsequent paycheck is critical to a person’s survival and their economic and social mobility in twenty-first century America. Obtaining superior education and training are paramount in the aforementioned endeavor.
According to a study co-authored by National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE) and the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce healthcare, community service, and STEM are projected to be the fastest growing career clusters in the next several years.1 For the most part, securing one of these careers will require having experienced very strong classroom instruction leading to real measurable learning of the fundamentals of reading, writing, and mathematics. Considering the sophisticated American economy that is being projected, can we expect students to become employed in these highly skilled jobs with the same quality of education and knowledge students of the nineteen-seventies possessed?
In terms of the states’ contribution to our students’ knowledge and skills, one can look at The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) which is a seemingly well accepted nationally representative assessment of how our state dominated educational system is performing. The results show their performance is not improving. Historical data highlights the fact American high school student achievement has stagnated for forty years the essential subjects of reading and math.2
The charts below show flat reading and math scores for America’s high school students going back to the nineteen-seventies.
Overall, the states’ educational system is not providing what students require to succeed in the twenty-first century when measured by the abysmal rates of obtaining career qualifying credentials such as an ‘earned’ high school diploma, apprenticeship completion, or a ‘legitimate’ college degree within a field meeting the needs of future employers.
Faced with stagnant performance for nearly forty years, most other fields outside of the state dominated educational system would look at themselves and likely embrace changes to their systems. For the future of our youth and nation, should not the state dominated educational system do the same?
- Carnevalle, Anthony, Nicole Smith, and Jeff Strohl. “Recovery: Job Growth and Education Requirements Through 2020.” CEW Georgetown. Georgetown University, June 2013. Web. 25 Feb. 2017.
“Summary of Major Findings.” NAEP – 2012 Long-Term Trend: Summary of Major Findings. US Department of Education, 2012. Web. 25 Feb. 2017.