Tag Archives: public education in the United States is a success

Not Broken! – Part 3/5

Because the United States does not offer vocational programs in its public high schools, comparing US graduations rates to that of other countries that offer vocational training toward secondary high school graduation is not a fair and/or equal comparison. If we remove the vocational programs in other countries then we are comparing apples to apples instead of apples to cucumbers, and we end up with a more realistic rating of the top ten countries with the United Kingdom removed from the list.

Skilled Labor Shortage – high unemployment and a labor shortage at the same time

In North America, there is far less of a tradition in the public schools of vocational education of any sort, but in the UK and EU, there are vocational programs. However, there is a difference: “The UK requires much less general education and permits all training to take place on employers’ premises, whereas in other countries attendance at college or apprenticeship centers is the rule.” Source:

The graduation rates of 17/18 year olds of the top ten countries compared for academics not vocational programs:

1. United States = 75.5%

2. Japan = 72%

3. Ireland = 70%

4. South Korea = 66%

5. Norway = 60%

6. Denmark = 55%

7. Finland = 48%

8. Germany = 39%

9. Italy = 35%

10. Switzerland = 30%

In addition, there are 193 countries represented in the UN, putting the United States high-school academic graduation rate (age 17/18) number one of all the nations that are members of the UN.

In addition, the US has the third-largest population on the Earth, and due to population size, it seems fair to compare the US to other countries with large populations.

1. China = 1.347 billion (According to data from China’s Ministry of Education, China has a 99% (160 million) attendance rate for primary school. However, about 63% finished Senior Middle School and 45% complete Vocational School of 15 – 18 yr olds)

2. India = 1.21 billion (49% of females participate in secondary schools compared to 59% of males)

3. United States = 314.2 million (75.5% completed secondary education by 18 yrs of age. However, by gender, more than 90% of girls complete high school or its equivalent, while only 85% of boys do. In the US, high school focuses primarily on the social and academic and does not offer a vocational program toward graduation.

4. Indonesia = 237.6 million (29% complete general education programs and 17% complete vocational training)

5. Brazil = 192.4 million (65% complete general education programs and 9% complete vocational training)

6. Pakistan = 180.5 million (20% of females participate in the secondary schools compared to 35% of males)

7. Nigeria = 166.6 million (43% of females participate in secondary schools compared to 45% of males)

8. Bangladesh = 152.5 million (43% of females participate in secondary schools compared to 40% of males)

9. Russia = 143.1 million (53% complete general education programs and 41% complete vocational training)

10. Japan = 112.3 million (72% complete general education programs and 23% complete vocational training)

Primary Source:

Continued on September 4, 2012 in Not Broken! – Part 4 or return to Part 2


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.

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Not Broken! – Part 1/5

Regardless of the opinions of others or what the US media says, the facts clearly prove US public schools are not broken and most public school teachers are succeeding at the job they were hired to do, which is teaching American children each state’s mandated academic curriculum to prepare for college with more success than any country on Earth.

If anything is missing, it is vocational training (more on this later) as it exists in many other countries—something missing in American public education.

However, that is not the fault of the teachers or the teacher unions. That is the fault of politicians due to the political nature of public education in the United States and standards-based education reform.

In fact, education reform in the United States since the 1980s has been largely driven by the setting of academic standards for what students should know and be able to do.

Standards-based education reform in the US started with the publication of A Nation at Risk in 1983. Then in 1989, an education summit involving all fifty state governors and President George H. W. Bush (Republican) resulted in the adoption of national education goals for the year 2000.

For this reason, every public school teacher in America should boycott the classroom as the next school year starts in August/September of 2012, demand respect and the truth about the achievements in public education in the United States before returning to the classroom to teach.

It is time for Americans to stop using public school teachers as scapegoats to cover up the truth that if there is any failure, it belongs to Presidents George H. W. Bush, Clinton, G. W. Bush; Obama, and the 1996 National Educational Summit where 44 governors and 50 corporate CEO’s set the academic priorities of public education.

millions of jobs unfilled due to the lack of vocational training in the US public schools

Joseph Goebbels, one of Hitler’s inner circle in the Nazi Party, once said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will come to believe it.”

The big lie I’m talking about is what I keep reading and hearing about the US public schools being broken and that teachers and the teacher unions are at fault.

You see, it all depends on how the facts are presented and what is left out.

The critics of public education have a loud voice and use language that shows the glass half empty instead of 90% full, which is more accurate. Once all the facts of high-school graduation rates or its alternatives are known, the perception changes dramatically.

To learn the truth, one must start more than a century in the past and chart the progress.

Continued on September 2, 2012 in Not Broken! – Part 2


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”


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