What went wrong with America's schools

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateA, November 1994

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degridation of america's school system from the '60s -

Education is the key to any countries economic success. For a country to be economically sound, the business and industry within that country must be financially prosperous. In todays high tech world economy, businesses and industries need well educated employees to prosper. Therefore, the deterioration of a countries educational system should be considered a major economic problem. Between 1965 and 1980, the performance of American students dramatically declined, the educational system fell backwards, and it is affecting todays schools, as well as the future of the US's work force.

During that 15 year period, US students' test scores severely dropped in comparison to other industrial countries. After 1980, the dropping scores leveled off, and recently, they have begun in increase. But American students must play catch-up with the rest of the world, and todays public school system is not prepared to facilitate the major leap forward that our educational system needs.

Before 1965, America's public school system was producing better educated students with less money and fewer supplies than today. Each class was approximately 40% larger than today's classes, and they functioned with about one-third of the real dollar expenditures of present day schools. They taught with fewer books and less equipment, and did not have any of todays audio-visual material and equipment. Then, between 1965 and 1980, real dollar expenditures per student doubled as teacher to student ratio dropped by one forth. Yet, with more money and fewer students per class, student achievement deteriorated in every available measure. In 15 years, national SAT scores declined by 5 points annually. That 75 point drop has put the US behind greatly, and has left todays students with a lot of ground to make up in order to reach other countries test score...