Takuya Otani would love an MBA from a top U.S. business school, but he won’t apply, reported Blaine Harden of theWashington Post. Once a voracious consumer of American higher education, undergraduate enrollment in U.S. universities has fallen 52 percent since 2000; graduate enrollment has dropped 27 percent.
It is a potentially harmful decline that may prevent U.S students from competing in a global market. Education, which is the foundation to everything, is needed to guarantee a country’s success and here in the U.S. it is spiraling down to something obsolete.
CNN Contributor, LZ Granderson informed May 11, 2011, that at 180 days, the U.S has one of the shortest school years of the countries tested, and ranked 14th in Reading and 25th in Math. South Korea has 220 school days, and a No. 2 ranking in Math. Finland is first in Math and Science at 190 days. Although cutting into summer vacation won’t solve all of the education problems, Granderson suggests that more class time could help.
By ninth grade, summer learning loss could be blamed for roughly two-thirds of the achievement gap, explained David Von Drehle of Time Magazine. Harris Cooper, a summer-learning expert at Duke University, stated that U.S kids lose about a month of progress in math. These problems compound year after year. The three-month stretch serves as an “education eraser”. At the beginning of each academic year after a child returns from summer vacation a month is required for teachers to focus on re-teaching what the students learned the previous school year.
Today, more children are becoming sedentary. To tackle this issue, some public schools, parents and advocates are suggesting year round school to help continue exercising the minds of children. In 2009, The Chicago Board of Education voted to put more than a quarter of elementary school students in the nation’s third-largest school district on a year-round schedule. And, many parents are excited about the schedule, as illustrated in the video above, reported by Jane Park. The switch will lead to better student retention of knowledge and less time being spent playing catch-up in the fall, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
While the benefits are present in year round school, implications have been shown for state and local governments as well as parents. In Traverse City, Michigan, Kate Fox, of UpNorthLive.com, conveyed that school districts are facing up to $900,000 in budget cuts. Food, wages, electricity, and transportation would go up with year round school. And, parents say this will complicate their attempts to juggle family schedules and childcare.
Although the lack of funds and scheduling may be a damper for both government officials and parents, undoubtedly, the education system in the U.S needs to improve if it wants to remain the most influential country in the world.