Literacy's worth has changed and America has apparently become a "dropout nation".
In answer to this dilemma, fingers are pointing to several aspects of America's education system; there are incompetent educators, obsolete curriculum, overcrowded schools and lack of funding for the system. It is an unending blame game where there is no winner and all are losers. Frank Salvato (2006) vividly mentions in an online article that:
"It is ironic that liberal institutions of learning complete with accelerated courses in the humanities, sociology and ethics, are increasingly producing graduates who have no ethics, no understanding of morality and no mastery of the skills that can reasonably be described as the basics of education".
Here, Salvato is clearly pointing to how dismal students are being taught even in the so called well established academes. Many have been calling out for an overhaul in the system to refocus its aim to teach or educate students on what is important and relevant.
Old curriculum's and traditional teaching methods tend to be boring for students nowadays. Boredom leads to disinterest, which is one of the common reasons high school students drop out of their schools. The most obvious reason for dropping out of high school is poverty and poor academic performance. But even in suburban areas in America where money is not a big issue, parents and school authorities are finding it hard to keep kids at school. Often than not, students are not motivated to go back to school.
Some dropouts choose to go direct to work and earn money instead of "wasting" time learning things they can learn themselves. Dropping out of high school has become so common especially since the law gives anyone who is 16 years old (or 18 years old in some states) the right to discontinue his/her education given that they have valid reason to do so. In fact, according to a recent PR News Today (2006) online article, 3,000 American students drop out of school for every school day and that most of them are poor readers. Moreover, only half of the high school graduates continue on to finish their college degrees.
What most people tend to overlook is that dropping out of high school means minimum wage jobs and slim chances of going up the ladder. It's an almost certain way of being in a degenerative cycle, where dropouts rear children who choose to drop out of school eventually too. It is certainly a challenge for the school administrators, parents, and the society at large to make students realize that staying in school is the most important step they could take to improve their financial capacity in the future.
In an online article by the Oprah Winfrey Show (2006) website, it was stressed that American students used to be among the best in the world about 20 years ago. Presently however, American students are lagging in academic rankings and even ranking behind poorer and smaller countries like Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and India. There are also an increasing number of high school graduates who later find college level education hard to cope with. Their high school curriculum evidently did not train them to be apt to that level. Even more disappointing is that some who graduated top of their classes perform miserably in their college years.
What happens if the American education system continues to fail The country and its