The domestic policy that President Obama should tackle first is education. Increasingly, the global economy is driven by technology, science, math, and engineering, but a recent research comparing fifteen year-olds in 65 countries found that average math scores among US students ranked 31st while US science scores ranked 23rd (Strach 74). Evidently, American students have fallen behind in performance over the last three decades and the government should intervene to develop educational policies aimed at preparing students for the technology and science driven global economy. As such, President Obama should consider developing strategies with the aim of improving education, specifically in science and technology education.
The challenges faced by American education system are not new, and since publishing A Nation at Risk more than thirty years ago, America has conceived the urgent need for reform. Despite the acknowledgement, today, less than 75 percent of freshmen graduate with four years of joining high school. To aggravate the issue, majority of those who graduate require remediation when they enroll in college. According to a recent survey of more than 10,000 of its graduates, the Harvard School of Business concluded that the K-112 education system used in America poses a threat to the nation’s competitive edge in science and technology.
In addressing the issue, President Obama should introduce more funds to the education system aimed at stimulating the number of students joining colleges. The additional funds would help recruit more teachers over the next decade and introduce new programs aimed at reducing the number of fresh men failing to complete their high school within four years. This will ensure a constant flow of fresh minds into colleges and enhance the number of qualified personnel. However, increasing spending rarely correlates with better results. The US has experienced these problems despite being among the highest spenders per student in the world. Many past research have refuted claims that literature strongly refutes claims that investing more funds in schools will result into better outcomes (Vaillant 392). The research also maintains that no clear relationship exist between high spending on education and achievement.
In order to make America retain its position as the world leader in innovation, President Obama should employ 100,000 new science and math teachers to help improve knowledge in those fields. Hiring more science and math teachers will meet the nation’s urgent need for graduates in science, engineering, technology, and math over the next decade. However, this might not prove useful because choice of subjects among students has significantly changed over the past decade. Today, many students consider social sciences and business courses more attractive due to the high salaries earned by managerial positions. Employing more science and math teachers could fail in achieving these goals because of student mindset. As such, President Obama should also consider introducing qualified career personnel in high schools and colleges to help student make appropriate career decisions. Nevertheless, these investments would improve the quality of education among students, ensuring that America’s net generation has the required tools to innovate and compete with the world.
President Obama should adopt incentives aimed at reforming their K-12 education system. The system has been in use for many years and is almost obsolete. The President should device programs aimed at promoting choice and innovation. This involves empowering parents by giving them a wider variety of schools to choose from for their children. At its core, children from low-income families and those with special needs must possess the freedom to choice the right school and funding. Ensuring access helps students get access to attractive options as well as the required support.
Injecting more science and math teachers to the education system could not help if states do not put in place high responsibility and standards for results. Such standards would ensure that students completing high school education prepare for college and work. In addition, giving annual testing could help keep both the students and teachers accountable for meeting their obligations. Over the next few years, more than half of employers will require education qualification beyond high school degree. This means that all students are expected to complete their high school education and join college. Offering mentorship and counseling programs could heal a great deal in ensuring lower drop rates among students completing high school.
The most valuable skill driving the global economy is education, because education has become more than just a pathway to success but a prerequisite. Despite these, America is one of the nations with the highest high school dropout rates in any industrialized nation. According to President Obama, the declining number of students completing their education is a prescription for economic doom. As such, Obama should encourage citizens to commit their time to complete career training or higher education. Introducing more science and math teachers could provide best results for improved education on science and math subjects. Reforms to the K-12 educational program could also help in reducing high school dropout rate.
Strach, Patricia. “Making Higher Education Affordable: Policy Design in Postwar America.” Journal of Policy History 21.1 (2009): 61-88. Academic Search Complete. Web. 30 Nov. 2012.
Vaillant, Denise. “Preparing Teachers For Inclusive Education In Latin America.” Prospects (00331538) 41.3 (2011): 385-398. Education Research Complete. Web. 30 Nov. 2012.