The American education system and others around the world are extremely important when it comes to molding the minds of future leaders and business owners. What’s questionable is the way the systems differ. Americans don’t always value education the way they should. It is mostly taken for granted, while on a global standpoint, education is taken more seriously.

There is an exam given every few years to high school students around the world called the Program for International Student Assessment. The exam is coordinated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. It’s used to compare educational results from around the globe, and the U.S. usually places at an average standing. According to the exam, some countries in Europe, such as Poland and Germany, struggle with the distribution of education like the U.S., but many parts of Europe actually have higher-performing systems on the spectrum. Singapore, Japan and other countries in East Asia sit at the top of the scale.

This test is able to see where countries are having the most problems and help try to fix them. The U.S. is trying to get rid of a curriculum that has been in place for decades and trying to implement the Common Core. Many teachers and students have complaints about this Common Core education and find it terrible. It completely takes the fun out of being a teacher. Arts and crafts projects are no longer a part of the child’s school day. Elementary school teachers who teach in kindergarten classrooms are even having desks taken out of their rooms. That being said, it’s no wonder why American schools are deemed average, considering the teachers aren’t even happy to work anymore.

The PISA exam also shows statistics about what other countries are implementing. Schools around the world try to implement successful strategies. The test results report that Common Core is working and raising education averages in other places, which is why America is trying to implement it now.

People question the future of America whenever they see a child on their cell phone or make a nonsensical remark. Now they won’t have to. Children and teachers are being turned into robots where the system treats everyone identically. Every teacher must teach the same thing, the same way. America is only an average country because there’s no fear for failure. If a person fails, they can still end up being successful. Even though times are different than before, we are still the land of opportunity, even for failures.

Look at a country like Vietnam, where many children live in poverty. Their education system is on a high average according to the OECD scale. The motivation is there. Countries in Asia and Northern Europe have children who live in poverty but fight inequality through the education that is offered to them, ensure that their citizens can excel.

The world is trying to make positive changes to education systems, but what works for some countries may not work for ours. Arts and crafts are fun. Children should learn how to color and make fun crafts while learning more structured material as well.

Common Core in many other nations is working exceptionally well, but there are so many differing aspects that people need to consider when taking fun things away from learning. Many of these countries that have implemented the Common Core do not have the supplies to teach art and have to focus more on learning mathematics, science and linguistics. Our country does have the supplies. It’s the money that isn’t being spared.

Email Jennifer Greenberg at jennifer.greenberg@cardinalpointsonline.com.

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