The United States, as a whole, is getting dumber. At least that is the case when compared to the rest of the industrialized world. Among 36 industrialized nations that were examined by The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the US was ranked 18th in secondary education.
Now a lot could be said about that opening fact. However, one of the main questions that many, including myself, ask is “Why?” “We’re America, we’ve always been #1 at everything, what happened?” Well, looks like it’s time for a reality check and often times reality doesn’t fit inside our preconceived notions. So why exactly are we falling behind others in the area of education? My own personal opinion rests mainly on the amount of funding our public education receives here in the US. For 2010, the national budget calls for approximately $46.7 billion to go to the Department of Education. This is even up 12.8% from 2009′s budget. $46.7 billion may sound like a lot, but let’s compare that to the budget for military spending, which happens to be approximately $663.7 billion. Tack on $52.5 billion for Veterans Affairs, $42.7 billion for Homeland Security, and you’re talking nearly $759 billion. In case you’re following and doing the math, that is 16 times more than the education budget!
There’s an old cliche that goes by “knowledge is power.” This is true and I think it’s something we here in the US should listen to. What good is pumping money into a military budget when we are not adequately educating our children in science, math, and history? With the world advancing in technology the way it is, you can no longer rely on becoming a power by brute force alone. You need intelligence and educated individuals. You NEED education. So here’s a note to the US. Put more money back into education and back off some on the military budget. You’d be amazed at how quickly you gain more respect in the world (it’s been waning quite a bit lately).
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