In the academic race, we once reigned supreme. Now chasing the coattails of other countries, America currently ranks 15th, 23rd and 31st in reading, science and math respectively. In a CNN primetime special, Restoring the American Dream: Fixing Education, Fareed Zakaria investigates our failing education system.
Zakaria discusses just how lacking the current state of US education is by illuminating the successful attributes of current leading academic systems—South Korea and Finland. In South Korea the school day lasts from eight a.m. to four p.m. Their academic calendar consists of two hundred and five school days. This scheduling provides South Korean students with almost two more years of schooling than American students receive in their academic career.
In contrast, Finland finds that success begins and ends with their teachers. When teaching is a greatly respected and desired profession, as is the case in Finland, teachers are held to a higher standard and a higher quality of teaching results. Focusing on this latter aspect, Zakaria discusses the quality of teachers in America with Bill Gates.
“If I was in charge of a school district, it [education structure reform] would be about hiring the best teachers,” states Bill Gates. Proud receiver of a three-year grant on the efficacy of personalized learning platforms from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, MetaMetrics aligns with Gates’ call of action to improve teaching. In this CNN interview Gates continues, “One study says that if students had a top teacher for four years straight, the achievement gap between blacks and whites would disappear.”
Gates’ makes a compelling argument that the cultivation of great teaching is undeniably necessary for the United States to regain leadership in the academic world. We applaud The Gates Foundation and their colossal efforts in fixing education.
Improving teaching is just one highlight of Restoring the American Dream: Fixing Education. An informative broadcast; we encourage everyone to check out this CNN Special as Zakaria sheds light on America’s current education state and reformation process.