Teachers not only are denied cost of living raises, but many systems are laying off teachers and presenting massive furlough days.
Seemingly, we ignore the fact that according to a Harvard University study of 2011, U.S. math and reading competency scores fall below the average of global systems.
Additionally, according to The Broad Foundation — Education, founded by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad, “American students rank 25th in math and 21st in science compared to students in 30 industrialized countries… By the end of 8th grade, U.S. students are two years behind in the math being studied by peers in other countries. 70 percent of eighth graders can’t read proficiently, and most will never catch up.”
We expect our students to do well on all standardized tests, such as the CRCT, EOCT, and the GAA. The end result leads to an increased dropout rate. The poverty rate for families headed by dropouts is more than twice that of families headed by high school graduates.
Additionally, The Broad Foundation reports that 65 percent of U.S. convicts are dropouts and the lack of education is one of the strongest predictors of criminal activity: “A dropout is more than eight times as likely to be in jail or prison as a high school graduate and nearly 20 times as likely as a college graduate.”
In reading about the relationship between education and unemployment it is clear that the unemployment rate rises as education falls.
Common sense raises the question, “When do we re-examine our priorities and place more emphasis on our future by putting more importance on quality educators.” I continue to applaud the Floyd County School System and Rome City School System for doing what they can with what they have, but the pressure should come from the community by demanding an increased emphasis on public education.