What is the role of the public schools? The Center for Ethical Leadership (founded in 1991) says that public education is foundational to a healthy democracy and developing our humanity—not to have every student achieve high scores on standardized tests.
After you read this post, you decide if the U.S. public schools are doing their job and what that job description should be.
The goals of G. W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind, and Obama’s Race to the Top and the President’s insane Common Core agenda that demands 100 percent of high school graduates by 2014-15, who are 17/18 years old, must be college and/or career ready is horribly wrong when we look at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov) report on the educational needs of the job market.
According to bls.gov, if 100 percent of Americans were college educated, then most would be overqualified for 67 – 77 percent of the jobs [96.5 to 110.9 million], and 26 percent of those jobs [37.4 million] don’t even require a high school diploma or its equivalent. In 2013, 143.9 million Americans were employed in the civilian labor force.
How can there be a public education crises when only 40 percent of the jobs require a high school degree and by age 25, 90 percent of Americans have a high school degree or its equivalent? I think those numbers say that the workforce is overqualified and someone is cherry picking numbers to manufacture a public education crises.
Then there are the jobs that require a bachelor’s degree or better—that number is 23 percent [about 33 million jobs], but according to a special report of The Most Educated Countries in the World, 42.5 percent of Americans [about 90 million] have a college degree. That means for every job that requires a college degree, there are 2.7 college graduates, and Bill Gates and President Obama want more college graduates and are willing to punish teachers by firing them and then turn public schools over to corporations if public school teachers don’t achieve the President’s artificial and unnecessary goals.
To discover what happens to college graduates who live in countries with high college graduation rates, we only need to look at South Korea, Russia and Japan.
President Obama and his education secretary, Arne Duncan, have frequently cited Korea in contrast to America’s alleged shortcomings. They mention the diligence of its students, the commitment of its parents, its success in equipping successive generations to compete.
But the truth is that Korean officials are alarmed that many graduates are not finding jobs—more than 40 percent in the past year according to Washington Post.com
What’s even more shocking is the fact that the United States already has a higher percentage of college graduates than South Korea according to a special report of The Most Educated Countries in the World.
10. Australia, 38.3 %
9. Finland, 39.3 %
8. New Zealand, 39.3%
7. United Kingdom, 39.4%
6. South Korea, 40.4%
5. United States, 42.5%
4. Israel, 46.4%
3. Japan, 46.4%
2. Canada, 51.3%
1. Russia, 53.5%
As for Russia, according to DE, Germany’s international broadcaster, approximately 30 percent of Russian university graduates under the age of 25 don’t have a full-time job. If they do, they’ve had a rough time getting there.
Anywhere from 65 to 70 percent of graduates are not able to find work directly after graduation, but require, on average, five-to-six months to find a position. Nor is that position protected under Russian labor law. Twenty-five percent of those employed do not have a contract with their employer.
And often, those jobs do not provide enough to survive on. According to a study by the New Economic School in Moscow, more than 50 percent of young academics who work in the Russian public sector have second or even third jobs in order to make ends meet.
In addition, Japan’s college graduates also face a tough job market. The Wall Street Journal reports, “Monday’s data on how recent Japanese college graduates are faring in the job market show that, despite a slight improvement, the overall picture remains grim.”
In conclusion, what is the real agenda of President Obama, Bill Gates and the rest of the fake education reformers—a topic worth exploring?
Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).
Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).
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