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U.S. Education Reform and National Security

Summary of the Overview of the report from the Council on Foreign Relations

The Council on Foreign Relations sponsored an independent Task Force, which developed this report on how education plays a role in national security. Joel Klein, former chancellor of New York City’s school system; and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, were the chairs of the task force. The report states that the United States spends more on K-12 education than any other developed country, though they determined that our students are still behind students in all the other countries. They looked at the results from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), an international standardized test, and found that students in the U.S. ranked 14th in reading, 25th in math, and 17th in science compared to the other developed countries.

The Task Force found that with U.S. students lagging behind the rest of the developed countries there is in fact a national security threat. They mentioned five specific threatened areas in the report: economic growth and competitiveness, physical safety, intellectual property, U.S. global awareness, and U.S. unity and cohesion. Each of these areas currently is or will become a vulnerable spot if we do not improve our education system.

The report discusses three proposals to attempt to fix America’s lagging education system. The first is to implement educational expectations and assessments in subjects that are important to our national security. To do this they are encouraging all states to expand the common core standards and include them in every classroom nationwide.

The second proposal is to make some structural changes in order to provide students and families with school choice options. The final report tells states to “stop locking disadvantaged students into failing schools without any options. …”

The last proposal from the Task Force is to

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Weekend Reading: What School Choice Has To Do With National Security

‘Do not Pass Go’, ‘Do Not Collect $200’, unless you’ve read “National Security Issue” from the Las Vegas Journal:

“It could hardly get more clear: The performance of the public schools has become so bad that even a bipartisan, middle-of-the road panel says the low educational attainment of our younger generations threatens American security.” READ MORE…

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