An independent study, sponsored and written by The Council on Foreign Relations, has recently been released claiming that the United States’ K-12 school systems are failing to prepare students to grow up and protect the country. The report titled, U.S. Education Reform and National Security, notes that while the Unites States invests more in K-12 public education than many other developing countries, its students are unprepared to compete with their global peers. A member of the Council’s task force, Margaret Spellings, comments that there are not enough people educated in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. Being prepared in these fields ultimately helps our country with national defense as well as global competitiveness. She also highlights the lack of people who know and understand foreign languages and how this affects the United States’ conflict resolution abilities and economic growth.
The Council on Foreign Relation’s task force is lead by former U.S. secretary of state, Condoleeza Rice, and former head of New York City public schools, Joel Klein. The task force warns that unless the problems within public education are fixed, the United States will not be able to lead or even keep pace in the global economy.
So what can our country do to fix these problems? The reports recommend three main focus areas in order to improve the educational system and ultimately national defense. The first is to expand state standards to include STEM focused lessons and foreign languages that are vital to protecting national security. The second is to give parents and students school choice, which includes access to charter schools and other options. The third is to conduct national readiness audits in all schools and hold them accountable if they’re not meeting standards.
Members of the council adamantly encourage Americans to get involved and discuss educational issues with their local legislatures. They believe that their message and recommendations can help to reshape education in the Unites States and put this country on track to be an educational, economic, military, and diplomatic global leader.
For more information on the Council on Foreign Relations and the U.S. Education Reform and National Security Report CLICK HERE.