Reclaiming America’s Leadership In Education
Today, the United States is an acknowledged leader in the world when it comes to technology and scientific innovation. This leadership can be traced back some 54 years ago when the U.S. led the race not only to send the first human to space but also to become a leader in math, science, technology and engineering.
Americans could not help but reminisce such greatness especially with the release of "Hidden Figures." This movie recalled the events and the American mathematicians who helped John Glenn orbit the earth. With such intelligence and greatness, one could not help but wonder if the U.S. can still hold on to its reputation as the leader of technology and innovation, given the state of its educational system.
At present, there's an obvious disconnection or mismatch in the ability possessed by young Americans compared to the skills, which the 21st-century employment opportunities require. Wired said the dismal performance showed by American students in the PISA assessment for reading, math and science is proof of the urgent need to address the underlying problems in public education.
Congress tried to remedy this by updating The Perkins Act, also known as the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act. This legislation aimed to reduce the education and labor requirement gap by providing over $1 billion for the country's technical education.
As per People Net, there are many vocational programs in the U.S. but these programs do not really prepare students for the requirements of high-quality work opportunities. With the Perkins Act revised, students will have a better chance of meeting the demands of employers and become globally competitive. Many have called the legislation as a great investment in the future of America's young people.
The academic sector is also banking on P-TECH, an education model that allows students to earn both a diploma in high school and an associate degree in the field of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The program is expected to arm students with basic STEM education while teaching them critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are essential in the workplace.
The P-TECH schools are located primarily in communities that are underserved both in the rural and urban areas. It is expected to be able to reach out to thousands of young students in no time at all.