How Dumbed Down Education Is Creating a National Security Crisis
For the past few decades, our country’s educational system has seen both struggle and tremendous change. With the various ailments plaguing our educational system, education reforms have attempted to pick up those who are lagging behind. Furthermore, new methods of monitoring achievement have also been imposed through reform. This has led many to believe that our students are more uneducated than ever before. Dumbing down our educational system has created new problems and our national security may be at risk because of it.
A National Security Crisis
America’s youth are not prepared for the real world when they graduate from high school. High school graduates face three major options after receiving their diploma: join the workforce, join the military, or go to college. While a fair amount of high school graduates will choose to jump right into a job, a larger number of them will either turn to the military or higher education. Research has shown that they are ill-prepared for both.
The journey that takes most students through school before receiving their high school diploma is already filled with complexities. Our struggling educational system places scores from standardized testing at a higher value than the actual curriculum taught in the classroom. This means that students are only learning how to take tests, but are lacking in other learning opportunities to develop their potential skills and knowledge. Take that, along with achievement gaps, chronic absenteeism, and demoralized teachers, and students are already working with a built-in disadvantage leaving high school.
According to a 2018 report, about 30 percent of prospective recruits failed the Armed Forces Qualification Tests. In addition, it was found that less than one-third of Americans ages 17 to 24 are fit to serve the military. The educational system is cited as a problem. This is cause for extreme concern as volunteers who have already demonstrated a desire to serve will be turned away because they are not academically fit. The United States may have the strongest military in the world, but it needs people to fill its ranks.
What about higher education?
On the subject of higher education, a number of students simply do not finish college. While there are a multitude of factors to consider – socioeconomic status, individual and personal obstacles, even immigrant status – it must be recognized that some students are going into college unprepared and already falling behind their peers. Academic achievement will be a struggle if at all attained.
Educational achievement, David Skaggs asserts, is directly linked to economic success. In order for the United States to compete in the global economy, its citizens much contribute; and they cannot contribute if they are lacking in education. The weakness of the educational system stretches all the way up to higher education, with a leveling out of the ratio of adults with diplomas and certificates compared to those who do not.
Finally, educational achievement or confidence will lead to better citizens and civic engagement. Education plays a large role in helping citizens have a better understanding of their government. When citizens understand their government, they will be more inclined to contribute and participate, strengthening our country overall. Dumbed down education proves to hinder national security by producing citizens who are poorly informed, unprepared, and unmotivated to take part.