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What is the Money For?

Updated on February 5, 2012


On What?
On What? | Source


The amount of money spent on education, on a per student basis, the United States is third in the world. The first two are Switzerland and Austria.

If the money is being spent, where is the education?

It has long been known that the United States did not have the best education results in the world but now, despite extra expense, the statistics are getting worse.

In a recent study the US was placed behind 31 other countries in Math and 16 other countries in reading, yet third in expenditure.

It isn’t that the kids are not born as smart as the rest of the world, they are. It is the education system itself that brings them down. In a recent study carried out between 26 countries, at 4th grade US students were placed in the middle of the field, at 8th grade the US students were in the bottom third and on finishing school, the US students were placed last. Yet the money is being spent.

Mrs. Obama

Really | Source

Salad Bars

Now there is talk that Mrs. Obama would like to see salad bars in all schools.

The thought of better nutrition for the kids is a noble one but surely the best way to get people to eat healthier, is education. If you can’t teach the kids to read what’s on the menu, how do you expect them to take advantage of it? If the kids can read but can’t learn what is healthier for them, why would they eat salad?

The world’s greatest concentration of PhDs is South Korea, which most US students couldn’t even find on a map. Do their schools have salad bars? I didn’t see their name in the top three for expenditure per student.

Teachers have a hard job and a heavy responsibility and deserve a good wage to do their job. However, they must do their job. I do not blame the average teacher, who probably does their best but somewhere something isn’t working. Yet the money is being spent.

Department of Education

Needs Educating
Needs Educating | Source

Top Down

I believe that the problem lies at the top of the chain.

When businesses need minimum education standards and they cannot be filled by Americans, foreigners have to be brought in. This is bad for the country but supposedly it is more important that it makes the politicians look bad. To stop this, the politicians lower the standards for passing tests. When educators object, their salaries are raised and the objections fade.

Today in the United States, the ability to finish school has been placed ahead of what is actually learned in school. A high school diploma is not what it once was. Once it represented what you had learned; now it just means you attended the allotted number of classes.

I know, people will say that if the American education is so bad, why do so many pay to go to the States for their education?

News flash, it is not because it is the best or the cheapest.

It is because the degrees are recognized by US companies and that perhaps they are easier, or at least less intense than they are elsewhere.

Is the progression of other countries educational standards mirrored by their ability to create successful businesses and is it the opposite that is happening in the US.

Isn’t it time that the United States politicians stopped taking the easy way out, to try and look good in the short term and started to make hard decisions that would bring the jobs back to the US. They should start with education and for the sake of the children, stop teaching them that they are the best and start teaching them to be the best.

They could start by teaching the students that just because you pay the most for something; it doesn’t mean that it is the best.


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    • sparkster profile image

      Sparkster Publishing 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      This is so true, great hub. And great comment by diogenes too. UK kids just want to party, take drugs and have sex. There's very little education to the younger generations.

    • somethgblue profile image

      somethgblue 5 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

      As recent college graduate I was stunned when I had to take a basic English course and found many of my fellow students fresh out of HS were reading and writing at the 8th grade level.

      Upon graduating I realized that my HS education thirty years ago was 10 times better than the education I had just paid for.

      Conclusion: You really can teach STUPID and you can do it at the College level.

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

      I don't know why Anglo kids in Britain and the US lag so far behind so many other nation's youngsters. Maybe we are so accustomed to getting everything with no real effort. Now the good days are over, the lack of education is really beginning to show. Part of the problem must be the WWW where information on everything is replacing memory and kids don't need to program their own "computers." I saw a program on Chinese and their auto industry last night. They have copied much in the West, but still it is incredible how far their own designers and manufacturers have come in just ten years. It seems unavoidable that they will have surpassed anything in the West unless we buck up our ideas. They will soon be satisfying much of their needs from within.

      If North American kids and Brit kids don't buck up and get their minds off partying, sex, computer games, drugs and all, they will be left in the dust by brilliant, disciplined Asians and Brazilians


    • maxoxam41 profile image

      Deforest 5 years ago from USA

      A Polish friend of mine before accessing to college had to go to high school to pass the US equivalence. He laughed at the American level and thought it was a joke!

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 5 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      This is a very clearly written and accurate article rafken.I am a student of Graphic design on line and I can attest to the statement "It is because the degrees are recognized by US companies and that perhaps they are easier, or at least less intense than they are elsewhere."

      PS I shared this hub.