The US educational system is not perfect, and there are numerous flaws that justify calls for reform. Even defenders of the current system can produce a long list of changes they’d like to see. The root of the problem is not incompetence, but stasis, complexity, and scale. American schools have a lofty goal: to create better human beings. But despite its great ambition, progress is slow and inconsistent.
While the educational system in the US has improved significantly over the last several decades, scores still remain troubling. And despite the gains in the past decades, racial and ethnic gaps remain, and the U.S. continues to struggle to provide a qualified workforce. While black students continue to make the largest gains, the overall performance of Hispanic students has suffered. Moreover, students from low-poverty states outperform their global peers, despite their low-income status.
Some students who drop out of school are motivated by a variety of factors. Others may not have the motivation to complete high school, or they may feel unmotivated by their teachers. Other reasons may include personal reasons and personal struggles. Among other things, students may feel unprepared for high school and that graduation requirements are out of reach. Some may also be frightened by the anti-immigrant rhetoric emanating from the White House and other parts of society.
In the United States, children start attending pre-school at two years old and go on to elementary school, junior high school, and high school from ninth to 12th grade. They also study for the SAT and ACT, while French students choose their major during high school. Ultimately, the two education systems differ in some ways, but both provide an excellent education for their citizens. So, when was the US education system on its high?