Education is one the best contributions that America offers to the world. The United States is where many of the most excellent institutions of higher education are located. The US primarily boasts of its Ivy League.
Despite being home to some of the best academic foundations, the education system in America, in general, also receives its share of criticisms and disapproval.
The problem lies in the issue of these best scholarly institutions being too expensive for the average American to afford. How then shall the progress of the general public take place, if America only educates the affluent class? Where does the average American stand if they have the intellect but not the financial capability needed to obtain the good education that their own nation is very much capable of providing them?
Even more, where does America rank in education? How does the education system in America compare to those of other countries?
The Education System in America: When We Make it all About Grades
How does completion of studies work in an American school?
Comparing the education system in America to that of the United Kingdom, we do not have a standard national curriculum that all schools, colleges, and universities have to follow. Hence, students are not prepared enough to take national examinations.
American students aim to obtain a high school diploma, after which they may choose to pursue a higher education. They then take the national SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) to get a score that is good enough to get into their priority choice of institution.
Basically, American students’ academic strengths and intellectual capacities are gauged by way of grades in the form of numbers, letters, and SAT scores. Community work and involvement in athletics are also significant factors for them to be accepted to their desired university. Some institutions also further assess applicants through standardized college aptitude examinations, including the foundation subjects of language and literature, mathematics, social sciences and current events, and logical reasoning.
Fast forward to years and years of hard labor at the University; students are handed their final academic evaluation in the form of their transcript of records. This transcript contains their grades and awards if any. Their transcript and their diploma are already an achievement after having completed higher education, whether or not they graduated with flying colors.
After that, the question of employment arises. In a nation divided by social classes and status, where the bias toward blue-chip universities is rampant, how does the average American degree holder ever manage to fare well in the job market?
Where Does America Rank In Education: The Decline of American Education in Global Rankings
Private organizations release university rankings on either a quarterly or yearly basis. The results vary from one survey company to the other. Therefore, these rankings are deemed very subjective. They also classify their rankings according to the field of expertise, and there is also the valuation of certain countries’ education systems in general, and not only their performance per college or university. This is where the countries’ rankings jumble and reshuffle.
Despite this, these rankings still make for a rather fair assessment measure for nations to use to evaluate and reevaluate their education system. America is not entirely behind, but the likes of Finland and Japan manage to fare better, owing to the unconventionality of their approach to educating their young citizens.
It is not, however, too late for a thorough study to restructure the education system in America, where and when it may be needed. This is not an easy feat. We cannot just walk into the Department of Education and request a major change in the system; it just does not work that way. After all, in education, there is money at play and a large amount at that. In many cases, education in the United States means business; that is why it is all about the scores and grades.