The fact that there are problems with the US education system is well known. Unfortunately, several of these issues are having very negative effects on the quality of the education our students are receiving. American students’ latest scores on the PISA (Programme of International Student Assessment), the international test taken by 15 year-olds around the world, show just how bad these problems are. Depending on the subject, American students are average or slightly below average compared to their international peers — ranking 17th in reading, 26th in math, and 21st in science. What’s wrong with the current education system? Here are two of the reasons:
Students Don’t Have the Right Skills
The US Education Department recently reported that the high school graduation rate is at an all-time high at 82 percent. However, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the largest standardized test administered in the United States, less than 40 percent of high school seniors in America have sufficient academic skills in math and reading to pass entry-level college courses. Additionally, a study released by the Education Trust concluded that “rather than ensuring students have access to a cohesive curriculum that aligns high school coursework and students’ future goals, high schools are prioritizing credit accrual, which treats graduation as the end goal.”
Students Aren’t Exposed to Career Options
Not only do students lack the skills to succeed after high school, they also aren’t given the necessary exposure to all of the options that exist after graduation, whether it be college or a technical trade. While high school students shouldn’t necessarily nail down a specific career path, they should be exploring their interests and personality in order to develop a general idea. That way, when the time comes to pick a career path, they can choose something relevant and fulfilling. If we want students to be prepared for highly skilled jobs in the foreseeable future, it is essential that they are able to explore the possibilities before they graduate. Without these opportunities, students will be left feeling aimless.
To prepare students for the future, we must empower them with the skills that help foster success after graduation. Programs like U can B are dedicated to assisting in the mission for improved education. U can B uses the real-world expertise of entrepreneurs and businesspeople to give students the chance to see what life is like after high school and college.
The U can B Curriculum is tailored to meet each individual school’s needs, which means each curriculum component can be expanded or contracted to fit within a specific number of weeks based on the strengths and weaknesses of the class. In order to best prepare students for the future, the U can B curriculum includes Entrepreneurship, Networking, Careers in the Trades, Technology, Film, Television, Science, and more. The statistics don’t lie, change is needed in the US education system. If we work together, we can give students the tools to become the innovators of tomorrow.