It’s Time to Acknowledge America’s Education Crisis

The recent Supreme Court ruling regarding college admissions has once again thrust America’s educational system into the spotlight. A major question that has come from this ruling is whether America’s children are being intellectually and academically prepared to even enter or succeed in these colleges and universities. The tragic answer is that America’s public education system is failing to equip our youth with the tools necessary to succeed in higher education and in their future professional lives. We are failing America’s most valuable asset—our children.

According to the Department of Education’s own report on the state of education in America, we are experiencing what is essentially an educational crisis. Scores in every subject and grade level have been declining over the years. While illogical and unscientific Covid policies certainly worsened the crisis to a point that lawmakers can no longer ignore the problem, the situation has actually been declining for years. Especially concerning are scores in reading and mathematics, with close to one third of students in elementary school behind in grade-level reading and only about a third of fourth graders able to perform grade-level math.

Earlier this year, the nation was shocked to hear that 55 Chicago schools reported zero proficiency in math or reading despite billions of dollars of federal funding for the schools. But this crisis is not unique to Chicago. In my own Houston community, the Texas Education Agency has had to intervene in the leadership of the state’s largest public school district after years of failing to adequately educate our community’s children.

Unfortunately for America’s youth and the future of our nation, public schools have put core educational instruction on the back burner, instead prioritising culturally sensational philosophies. We now see schools artificially inflating grades in order to ‘pass’ students who do not have the educational tools necessary to succeed in higher grades. While this is done under the guise of “equity,” it is unfortunately setting kids up for future failure when they find themselves unprepared for the next steps in their education, and ultimately, for adulthood and success in society.

Likewise, we see schools ditching the concepts of expectations and consequences, both educational and behavioural, including things like homework deadlines. Besides the negative effect this has on mastering educational principles that will be used to learn more difficult concepts later, this lack of personal accountability and consequences has our youth growing accustomed to an unrealistically lenient reality which does not exist in our society. We do our children a disservice when we do not intellectually and emotionally prepare them to deal with reality, including things like personal consequences or meeting deadlines. Imagine their shock when their first employer sets a hard deadline for a project, and they have no experience with being required to meet a deadline. They will have been set up for anxiety and potential failure rather than confidence and success.

Beyond these misguided but culturally relevant philosophies that are failing to prepare our students for success, core educational instruction also has been eclipsed by ideological indoctrination.

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