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The Decline Of American Education And The Decline Of America

1776 words - 7 pages

“We are going to do in the future what Americans are doing today. Your job is to invent the future” says Jaithirth Rao of the Indian company MphasiS to Thomas Friedman, author of The World is Flat (389). America has always been abreast of the latest and greatest ideas and designs. However, America’s position in the world is becoming increasingly difficult to guarantee due the decreasing number of college graduates. Tamar Lewin reports in a New York Times article how a recent study by Complete College America discovered that “despite decades of steadily climbing enrollment rates, the percentage of students making it to the finish line is barely budging” (College Graduation Rates). Why? A simple answer is that a large number of American high schools aren’t adequately preparing their students for college. To reset this trend, good work ethic, innovative courses, and early vocational and technical training should be introduced and encouraged in high schools. Thomas Friedman and his book The World is Flat describe the effects of globalization on the world. Foreign schools are quickly rising to and even surpassing the levels of education in America, putting our place in the world in jeopardy.
In America, good work ethic has become a trait that is becoming more and more difficult to find. High schools teachers expect their students to practice it, but where would they learn it from? Good work ethic is a trait that is built over time, not one that is simply learnt in an afternoon. Too often, students find that they can make it through high school without ever having to use good work ethic, and as a result, don’t bother to learn how to build it up. A simple solution to this would be to make students take a mandatory study skills class their freshman year, and to expose them to the benefits of having a good work ethic. Building this skill wouldn’t just help them to get through school, but through their whole lives. A 2005 study by Susan Fauts connecting work ethic to employability found that “employers often cite strong work ethic as the most desired characteristic in a new employee” (Work Ethic and Employment Status). If good work ethic can be consistently taught to students across the nation, it can become a flourishing trait once again.
While there is little doubt that good work ethic is a trait to be desired in America, there is some debate as to who is responsible for teaching it. Some think it is the parent’s responsibility, not the schools’. If all parents were like Amy Chua, Tiger Mom, that might work. In an article in the
Wall Street Journal Chua writes that some parents believe that “if [their] children did not excel at school then there was a problem and parents were not doing their job” (Why Chinese Mothers are Superior). Realistically, not all parents have the ability to teach their kids, due to a lack of time or ability. It would certainly be unfair if students whose parents couldn’t teach them...

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