America's Shortcoming

America is full of talk. Unintelligent, America boasts about being the best and having the best, but America does not. The heart of this esteemed country is uneducated compared to the rest of the world.

America might have the best entertainers; the best known athletes, dancers, and singers are American, but America does not have the best students. Many American students don’t take advantage of the public education system and so they don’t even compete with students from over seas. The most profitable subjects are most thoroughly mastered by students from other countries such as China, India, and Japan. Then, the people of those nations immigrate to America, take advantage of the educational system, and become doctors or scientists. Professions in the high-paying fields of math and science are being occupied by immigrants rather than Americans whom are under-educated in such areas, and so a strong education is necessary for every American.

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Perhaps Americans are advanced in the arts; for the most part every American can write a decent paper. But, not every American can solve a basic algebra problem and that’s where the money is. There is not much profit to be gained in writing or art, but there is definitely opportunity in math and science. Unfortunately America has not taken advantage of that opportunity as shown by international tests. The Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) tested about half-million students from 41 different countries and showed that US fourth graders performed barely above average, US middle school students barely missed the average, and US high school students were drastically below the international average. The tests even displayed the heart-breaking fact that American students in advanced math and science courses didn’t even compete with their peers from over seas.

Americans are tremendously behind. Its disappointing that American students don’t even posses the potential to receive one of the highest paying jobs in America since all of them are related to science or math. Surgeons earn a salary of $219,770, which is currently the highest average salary in the US. American students aren’t even moderately equipped with the tools they need to compete or even succeed in the international work force. It’s really sad because America boasts about having the best of everything, but maybe they don’t have the best educational system? But the system can’t behold all the blame; some American students might think they can drop out of school and become a famous rapper or basketball player, but do they realize that they have more of a chance becoming a doctor? If they just endure the couple extra years of schooling their future would dramatically be changed.

But it seems that some students don’t realize that. Based on a report from the Digest of Education Statistics, African Americans have the second highest drop out rate in the entire country. In addition to that there are the most, 24.7%, African Americans below the poverty line. There appears to be a direct correlation to education and earnings; if you don’t invest your time in getting educated, then no one will invest in you.

To get a decent job one has to be educated. A high school diploma is absolutely required, and a college degree is definite. If those are not under a student’s belt then they’ll end up poor and below the poverty line or with one of the lowest paid jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the lowest paying jobs included fast-food cooks and dishwashers. So, a student could choose to drop out and kill a successful future or finish up their schooling and forget being a dishwasher.

Labor jobs are extinct. Its no longer possible to get a job that will feed a family and not have graduated high school. Machines have taken over the past jobs of men and it’s the people that create those machines that have jobs. The engineers are the ones who can feed their family and still have money left over. They are the type of students who endured the extra years of schooling, and surprisingly they have a successful future. Employers want educated people and there’s a shortage of these jewels in America.

Each year Congress is pressured by employers to increase the amount of available visas, and in 2007 Congress gave in when they distributed 20,000 visas to foreigners with at least a master’s degree from a US college. The US government is allowing educated foreigners to stay in America for work and the US businesses are the force behind them doing so. Even Bill Gates agreed when he was testifying to Congress “warning of dangers to the economy if employers can’t import skilled workers to fill job gaps”. There are specialized job gaps in America because there are not enough specialized Americans. A report from the National Science Board in 2004 revealed that the US ranked 17th in the world in the percentage of students pursuing natural science and engineering degrees.

Why don’t Americans take advantage of their opportunities and just attempt to pursue a profitable job. Its not that jobs in the arts aren’t honorable, but that those fields are over-saturated and its very difficult to stand out from your colleagues. Engineering and natural sciences, both of which are in the subjects American students are behind in, are profitable and available professions. The job openings that employers such as Bill Gates have provided require knowledge in those exact fields. There are not enough Americans with master degrees and so employers have to look over seas to fill those positions. How about Americans spend a little bit more time on math and science so that employers can see that there are qualified skilled workers right here in America.

The people from the same country as those with specialized work visas are settling in America and doing superb in school. Unlike Americans it seems that foreigners prize education and actually use it to their advantage. They don’t party and fool around before they take an exam, they study and teach themselves material not taught in schools then excel. These are the people who succeed in America and in the international work force. In 2003, 35% of all doctorates distributed were given to foreign born students.

That same year, 45% of all doctorates awarded from the top ten universities in the US were given to foreign-born students. It seems as if immigrants, unlike some Americans, know how to successfully receive an education. Indians especially appear to be the most successful immigrants to America as almost 40% of all Indians have a master’s, doctorate or other professional degree, which is five times the national average. Additionally, according to the 2000 U.S.

Census, Indian American men had “the highest year-round, full-time median earnings of $51,094”. The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin says there are close to 35,000 Indian American doctors. Taking advantage of education does work as immigrants, especially Indians, have figured. The process is simple; use your education and get a high paying job. Why is it so confusing for Americans? Immigrants come to America with a feasible plan and execute it.

Americans try to be entertainers and their efforts amounting to anything is slim, but they could just study subjects regarding math or science and success could be guaranteed. Still, the ones who do want to succeed cant just rely on the public school systems because even then they won’t compare with students internationally. So, is the blame on the students or the system? Its chilling how America claims to the best country when under the surface the citizens aren’t even adequately educated. Our “advanced” students don’t even compare with students from other countries. Why is it that immigrants come to America and financially succeed by prospering in professions centered around math and science when American students aren’t even equipped to enter those fields? Maybe American students are too focused on trying get rich without effort, but they would be so much better off just putting in hard work.

If money drives America, then why isn’t the idea of a high salary luring students to pursue math and science related jobs; it definitely lures immigrants. Education directly links with the amount of money earned and still many American students don’t take education seriously. This all results in employers not being able to even consider Americans for jobs that require a higher education; they have to rely on the educated from across seas. Doesn’t that make America not so great a country? Whether it’s the American students’ fault for not trying to do better or the school system for not designing a proper curriculum, something needs to be fixed.To some extent it is the responsibility of Americas citizens to make it a great country. We, the citizens of America, need to step it up and become international competitors.

We need to refocus our goals to one of commitment to establishing a firm education for our generation and the next. American students need to start valuing education and America needs to make their curriculum one worth valuing.