mployers have crossed a rubicon and no longer will sit passively on the sidelines while K-12 education in the United States continues to decline. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has analyzed the education situation in each state and offered a judgment on how well or poorly each state has performed in key areas, including academic achievement of students, return on investment of public funding, and postsecondary and workforce readiness of students.
While pockets of success exist in several states, the overall assessment from the chamber's Institute for a Competitive Workforce in a February 2007 report is troubling, indeed. A big factor of concern stems from the reasons behind the chamber's admission that its research is out of sync with today's—and tomorrow's—economic realities of a global marketplace.
Unlike their grandfathers, students in Michiana today will be competing in the future for jobs with boys and girls from all across the globe whose elementary and primary educational experiences and attitudes are vastly different than those of U.S. students. For instance, the math and science scores of fourth-grade children in the United States are in the middle-of-the-road internationally, close to the scores of fourth-graders from Finland and France. However, the math and science scores of U.S. eighth-grade students "start falling" compared to students in other nations, and the declines continue throughout high school for U.S. children, said David Huether, National Association of Manu-
facturers' chief econo-
mist, during the 2006 Economic Summit in South Bend. "We're being out-competed. Our education system is not doing a good enough job of getting our kids the proper math and science education to be able to go on to secondary and post-secondary education and have the skills to compete in the international marketplace," Huether said.
For its part, the chamber emphasized that its educational-provider grades for each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., would have been far worse if U.S. schools were compared to international schools.
"As for educational quality, the states' current performance is unacceptable," the chamber said. "While a number of states are engaging in promising efforts to build more innovative and accountable K-12 systems, there would have been far more Cs, Ds, and Fs had we not graded on a curve. The academic performance of every state needs to improve. This is true for all demographic groups, but especially for poor and minority students, who have too often been ill-served by today's schools"
U.S. Chamber Uses Academic Results and Business Metrics to Grade States on K-12 Education Efforts
Amid Ashes of Past Education Reform Quests, U.S. Chamber Sees the 'Business Plan' Approach to Reform as Best
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Today's K-12 Students in America will Compete Globally—Not Locally—for Next Generation of Jobs
For Large Number of U.S. Students, State School Officials Need To Improve Programs Across the Board, U.S. Chamber Says
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Indiana and Michigan Suffer Middle-of-the-Pack Blues concerning Kindergarten through 12th Grade Education Programs
Mediocre Education in the U.S. Means Less Competitive Individuals on the Global Marketplace Stage for Jobs
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From Academic Achievement to Data Quality, U.S. Chamber's Institute for a Competitive Workforce Comments on States
Indiana and Michigan Programs Earn Spots among Mediocre K-12 Educational States
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This page was last updated on: Friday, February 24, 2012