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FACTDROP: Weak US Schools A National Security Risk, Report Warns


Weak US Schools A National Security Risk, Report Warns

Πηγή: myfoxphilly
By The Wall Street Journal
March 21 2012

Flaws in US schools increasingly are causing a national security risk, producing adults without the math, science and language skills necessary to ensure American leadership in the 21st century, a report issued by the Council on Foreign Relations warns.

Warning that "the education crisis is a national security crisis," the report, released Tuesday, says that too many schools are failing to adequately equip students for the workforce and that many have stopped teaching the sort of basic civics that prepare students for citizenship.

Resources and expertise are not distributed equitably, often hurting the most at-risk students. The situation, it says, puts the country's "future economic prosperity, global position and physical safety at risk."

The report notes that US students have performed poorly on international assessment tests against those from other nations that are making rapid strides. It points to reported shortages of qualified workers in the US life-science and aerospace industries and notes that the State Department and intelligence agencies are "facing critical language shortfalls in areas of strategic interest."

It cites a recent study saying that more than half of Americans aged 17 to 24 are not qualified to join the military because they drop out of high school or graduate but lack the math, science and English skills to perform well on standardized military-qualification tests.

The authors recommend expanding core standards for states -- now focused on math and literacy -- to science, technology and foreign-language skills.

The report urges wider use of charter schools and other alternatives to neighborhood public schools that are underperforming, and it suggests an annual "national security readiness audit" to help policymakers and citizens assess the "level of educational readiness."

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