Headline June15, 2014



EDUCATION  is and always has been the fastest way up the socioeconomic ladder. And the payoff from a good education remains evident even in this weak recovery.

These schools were engines of social mobility that took people like Jobs and Wozniak and gave them educational grounding that helped them rise.

Today, California's public schools are a disaster, beset by dysfunction and disrepair. They rank at the bottom of country, just as the U.S. now sits at the bottom of the industrialized world by most measures of educational achievement.

The need for better education for most Americans has never been more urgent. While they have been sleeping, the rest of the world has been upgrading its skills.

Countries in Europe and Asia have worked hard to increase their college graduation rates,  while the  U.S.'s once the world's highest   -has flattened. Other countries have focused on:

Maths and science, while American degrees have  proliferated in  ''fields''  like sports exercise and leisure studies. 

The World's Economic Forum ranks the U.S.'s educational system 26th in the world, well behind those of countries like Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Canada and Singapore. In science and math, the U.S. scores even worse.

America's educational decline has has been the talking point and debate for over three decades, so much so that everybody is mumbed by the discussion. But the consequences of that crisis are only just becoming fully apparent 

As American education has collapsed, the median wages of the American worker have stagnated, and social mobility-    the beating heart of the American dream- has slowed to a standstill    

The unemployment rate for college graduates is just  4%  but for a high school dropouts it is 14%. If you dropout of high school  -and the U.S. has a  25% dropout rate  - you will have a depressed standard of living for the rest of your life.

Then there's the single largest deviation from merit in America's best colleges:

Their recruited athletes program.

The problem has gotten dramatically worse in the past 20 years. Colleges now have to drop their standards much lower to build sport teams.

These students, in turn, perform terribly in classrooms. A Senior admission officer at an Ivy League disclosed:

''You have to turn down hundreds of highly qualified applicants , including many truly talented amateur athletes, because we must take so many recruited athletes who are narrowly focused and less accomplished otherwise.

''They are gladiators, really,''  William Bowen, a former president of Princeton University, has documented the damage this system does to American higher education-

And yet no college president has the courage to change it.''  

The most troubling trend In America in recent years has been the decline in economic mobility.

The institutions that have been the best at opening access in the U.S. have been its colleges and universities.

What  -and how to do it?  Well, there is one simple, time-tested method. Work harder. Thomas Edison said that genius is  1% inspiration and  99% perspiration. Malcolm Gladwell found:

That behind many supposedly natural born talents like musical ability lay lots of practice  -by his calculations about  10,000  hours of practice.

U.S. school children spend less time in school than their peers abroad. They have shorter school days and a shorter school year. Children in South Korea will spend almost two year more in school than Americans by the end if high school.

Is it really so strange that they score higher on tests? 

Bill Gates has spent about $5 billion trying research and reform American education. When asked by the research author   -if he were running a school district and could wave a magic wand, what he would do:

His response : Hire the best teachers. That's what produces the best results for students, more than class size or money or curriculum.

''So the basic research into great teaching, that's now become our biggest investment,'' he says. One study estimated that if black students had a top quartile teacher four years in a row, that would be enough to close the black-white test score gap. 

So, the educational weave must  work hard  to even out the model and reward merit  -or  America will lose the dynamism has long made it so distinctive

The Honour and Serving of the Post continues at different times in the future. Stay on the blazing next one.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the developing world.  See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' Making The Grade '''

Good night and God bless!

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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