American education system compared to other countries

American education is the world’s best and that’s unarguable. Or at least, that’s what many people think. But is it really? As you’ll learn on this site, it might not be quite what you’ve been lead to believe. this is because we have been made to believe many things because of not having first hand information. We shall be equipping you with the right knowledge.

American education is the most expensive in the world per person, yet ranked 25th based on Standardized Achievement test scores, 25th compared to average population IQ scores, and 33rd compared to GDP’s created per person.

Continue reading for more on u s education compared to other countries 2020 american education system compared to other countries pdf u s education compared to other countries 2019 special features of education in usa.

 The U.S. education system is very different than most other countries in the world, though there are some exceptions. So, what is the American education system like, and how does it compare to other countries? Many students ask this question while planning on studying abroad or while looking into which colleges to apply to.

U.S. continues to find itself as one of the most divisive countries in the world as far as education is concerned. While some educational institutions have witnessed a revolution in the improvements they have seen on the student scale, many schools still map below par by international standards. There are great schools and bad schools, poor teachers and empowered teachers within the United States. So what is exactly wrong with American education system? Does it lack a democratic approach or is it just inadequate?

Education | UNICEF

America’s education system, while it has made some incredible strides over the past 50 years, still has plenty of room for improvement. Compared to other countries, America is at a distinct disadvantage. The country spends more per student than just about any other country in the world—money that is not always well-spent and does not always result in improved academic outcomes.

But what are the differences between America’s education system and those of other countries? We can learn a lot by comparing the two. Let’s take a look at some of the key differences.

In every country but America, students go to school for more days each year. In America, kids go to school for 180 days per year—a stark contrast to places like Japan, where kids attend school for 243 days per year.

In many countries, everyone goes to school for free—there is no cost associated with education. In America, we spend $11,392 per student per year on average. Not all of this is paid by families directly: over 70% of that cost is covered by local taxes. But even so, this costs American families hundreds or thousands of dollars each year in the form of property taxes and sales taxes used to pay for schools.

Overview of US education system

In the near future, do you visualize studying at an American university? If that’s the case, what do you really know about American universities? That is why reading the article below is important, since you’ll learn about the American education system compared to other countries. Read on to find out more.

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Before going to college, American students attend primary and secondary schools for 12-13 years. They typically begin their educational journey at the age of five or six in elementary school, which they attend until the fifth or sixth grade. Students then attend middle school for two or three years. Finally, students complete four years of high school.

If you’re looking to expand your horizons, it’s important to consider whether that expansion will involve leaving your home country or staying in it.

The American education system is among the best in the world, but there are plenty of options for those who want to explore other countries.

Europe has long been a hub for higher education, and it’s not hard to see why. The European Union (EU) itself maintains a list of “Erasmus Universities” that operate within its borders, and those universities are known for their high-quality educational opportunities and international outlook.

However, Asia is on the rise as an educational destination. In particular, China has become increasingly accessible for foreigners who want to study abroad in the past few decades. It’s even become possible for US students to go on exchange programs in China!

Another option is Australia—a country with one of the most diverse student bodies in the world. There are over 250 000 students from more than 180 countries studying at Australian universities right now!

Educational Options

The educational system in the United States includes public institutions, funded by the federal and state and local governments, charter schools, private schools, and homeschooling options. Public schools have mandated curricula and requirements such as state testing; funding is dependent on property taxes.

Private schools have more freedom to determine curriculum and hire staff, but funding comes from private sources. Parents who prefer to provide a state-recognized curriculum can homeschool their children.

Most students in public and private schools learn English while others are enrolled in various models of bilingual education.

American Schools vs. the World: Expensive, Unequal, Bad at Math - The  Atlantic

American Education System Compared To Other Countries

The educational system in America is something that most Americans are quite proud of. Every American child has the opportunity to get a free education via public schools that are funded by the state, federal and local government. Public schools teach a set curriculum and use standardized tests to track the progress of their students.

In addition to this free public schooling, parents have the opportunity to homeschool their children, or to send them to a private school. This system ensures that every child, no matter where in America they live, and no matter what their parent’s financial situation is, has a chance to get a high quality education.

The Educational System in America – Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths in American Education

Certainly, the educational system in America is better for students than the systems used in some Asian countries. Many Asian schools, while incredibly good at preparing children for tests and producing school leavers with a good work ethic, put undue pressure on their students. Rote learning and high volumes of homework are all well and good, but if the price is burnout, high suicide rates and students that lack creative thinking skills, maybe the system is failing?

American children get to study a wide range of subjects and are exposed to many different learning methods. This can only be a good thing when it comes to preparing people for the real world.

Weaknesses In American Education

If you want to examine weaknesses in the educational system in America, perhaps the best place to start is by talking to American students.In an article published in The Tiger News, the oldest college newspaper in South Carolina,

student Emily Harvin noted that the American education system is primarily focused on preparing people for jobs. The thought of studying for the sake of study is alien, and people focus from an early age on learning skills for the job they will do later in life, rather than on learning how to learn – or learning because they enjoy acquiring knowledge. The American education system does not nurture creativity or encourage people to focus on innovation.

In some ways, this is a good thing because it encourages specialization. However, in other ways it is a bad thing. Someone who wants to change careers later in life will be forced to go back to school because their education to date has been too narrow. In addition, if our public schooling system does not create innovators, where will the next big startup come from?

Admittedly, our private schooling system and our best universities are good at creating innovative thinkers, but it seems unfair that those who can afford to go to private schools get such a head start. Perhaps it is time to reconsider how the public schooling system works.

Finland is one country that out-performs the United States in most areas, and this is particularly interesting because the educational philosophy employed by Finnish schools differs dramatically from that of the United States. Finnish students spend far less time in the classroom, they enjoy 50 minute recesses, lunch is free, and students get very little homework. In addition, there are no standardized tests.

In spite of this incredibly relaxed schooling system, they ranked sixth for mathematics, third for reading, and second for science in the 2009 PISA report. Why is it that Finland does so well?

Over the last 40 years, Finnish schools have gone from being some of the worst performers to some of the best. They did this by ignoring standardized testing and taking a more focused approach.

  • They have a more collaborative view of how education should work, and they believe in making the most of the time in the classroom, rather than throwing more time and more money at an issue when there will be diminishing returns.
  • To become a teacher in Finland, you must earn a master’s degree.
  • Competition to become a teacher is fierce, and only the best will get a position.
  • Only one in ten applications for a job as a primary school teacher are accepted.
  • The reasoning is simple – good teachers get good results.

u s education system for international students

Studying in the United States has many advantages, but before you pick which program best meets your needs, you will first want to learn about the U.S. education system. There is a wide range of choices and opportunities, and you should have all of the information you need to make a decision that is right for you.

Role of U.S. Government in Education

Unlike in many other countries, the United States central government does not control the educational system. Rather, the higher education systems are either: 1) controlled by independent groups of people, or trustees (in the case of private schools); or 2) shared between local and state governments (in the case of public schools). A major difference between these two types of schools is the cost. Private schools are generally much more expensive to attend than their public school counterparts, mainly because the private schools must rely on sources outside of the government for their funding. Please see What Will an Education in the US Cost? for more information on the costs of public vs. private schools.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Education reviews and recognizes “accrediting agencies” that in turn ensure the quality of the school and their programs. Most colleges and universities have what is called “regional accreditation” from an agency that oversees that particular part of the country where the school is located. You will want to make sure that the school you choose has accreditation, meaning that it has met specific academic, administrative and financial standards. Accreditation also ensures that your degree will be recognized by other educational institutions and employers.

Certain fields of study will also have “program accreditation” in addition to regional accreditation. For example, the Accrediting Board of Engineering and Technology accredits engineering programs. Your overseas educational adviser can help you find out if program accreditation exists in your field of study.

Successful Implementation of High-Quality Instructional Materials - Center  for American Progress

What Are My Options to Earn a Degree?

Education is mandatory in the United States until the age of 16, and the majority of students do finish high school. After completing 12 years of primary and secondary school, students often begin post-secondary learning, or higher education. The first level of higher education is undergraduate study; beyond an undergraduate degree a student may choose to receive a graduate education, also known as postgraduate work. Traditionally these programs are undertaken on campus, however there is a growing number of accredited online college degrees that are appearing for students from all around the world. They can offer some fantastic benefits to international students.

If you are debating the two-year degree option versus a four-year undergraduate course of study, you will want to think carefully about your goals. Some employers prefer candidates who have studied a full four years, particularly in competitive fields where there may be many students vying for jobs. Other professional fields may have a need for employees with only two years of study under their belts. You need to do your research to make an informed choice.

Additionally, some other non-degree options exist outside of the traditional university setting which students should explore as another option.

Applying to Schools

Although admission policies vary from one school to the next, most determine admission based on several common criteria, including a student’s high school course of study, high school Grade Point Average (GPA), participation in extracurricular activities, SAT or ACT exam scores, a written essay, and possibly a personal interview.

When looking at a potential student’s high school records, the university admissions office will consider whether the student has taken courses in high school that will prepare them for more difficult coursework. The admissions office will also consider the student’s GPA. A GPA is a quantitative figure averaging a student’s accumulated grades.

University admissions officers also like to see applications from students who have taken part in extracurricular activities, such as theatre or art clubs, scholastic clubs, or athletic teams. Participation in these kinds of activities demonstrate that the student has learned valuable skills such as teamwork and leadership.

Most high school students in the US take either the (SAT Reasoning Test) or the (ACT) during their final year of high school. These are standardized quantitative exams. Each school sets a minimum SAT or ACT score that a student must achieve in order to gain admission.

Universities will often require that applicants write an essay as part of their application. Each admissions office determines the length and content of the essay. For tips on writing an admissions essay, check out our Essay Writing Center. The applicant may also be required to have a personal interview with a representative from the admissions office.

Education | UNICEF

Undergraduate Study

University students who are pursuing a Bachelor’s degree are called “undergraduates.” Most universities offer undergraduate students a liberal education, which means students are required to take courses across several disciplines before choosing one major field of study in which to specialize. Undergraduate students will often ask each other, “What is your major?” meaning, “What is your major field of study?”

Courses at most universities are only one semester long. Each course is assigned a number of credit hours, generally based on how much time is spent in class. Most courses are three credits, but some might be one, two, four, or five credits. All degree programs require that their students completely a minimum number of credits before they are eligible for graduation. Most Bachelor’s degree programs do not require students to write a final thesis.

Graduate Study

Students who are pursuing a Master’s or Doctoral degree are called “graduate students.” Graduate and professional programs are specialized, meaning students have one field of study from the beginning.

Students continue to take courses at the graduate level, and a final thesis is required for most programs. Doctoral students take courses until they have earned enough credit hours to attend their qualifying exams, which are usually taken over several days and often include both a written and oral component. After doctoral students pass their qualifying exams, they are advanced to candidacy and can begin writing their dissertation. Before the degree is given, the candidate’s completed dissertation must be orally defended before the candidate’s faculty committee.

characteristics of u s education system

How the Educational System in America Compares to Other Countries

A. Education as a Conserving Force

1. The avowed function of schools is to teach the attitudes, values, roles, information, and training necessary for the maintenance of society.
2. There is an explicit or implicit assumption in U.S. schools that the American way is the only right way.
3. School texts rarely discuss internal struggles or the racist history of the U.S.

B. Mass Education

1. People in the U.S. have a basic faith in education.
2. A democratic society requires an educated citizenry so that individuals can participate in the decisions of public policy.
3. As a result of the goal of mass education, an increasing proportion of people have received an education throughout U.S. history.

C. Local Control of Education

1. The majority of money and control for education comes from local communities.
2. There is a general fear of centralization of education.
3. Local school boards believe they know best the special needs of their children.
4. There are several problems within having a system of local boards:

—a. Local tax monies that finance schools are dependent on local tax bases that vary by class.
—b. People who are dissatisfied with high taxes will vote down taxes to help schools.
—c. Typically local school boards do not represent all segments of their community.
—d. School boards may be controlled by the religious views of the majority.
—e. There is a lack of curriculum standardization across the nation’s 15,367 school districts.

——1) This leads to a wide variation in the preparation of students.
——2) There is also a wide variation of requirements when a child moves from one school district to another. On average, people move once every five years.

—f. Vouchers are also a problem because they set up an educational “free market” that creates competition for students.

D. Competitive Nature of U.S. Education

1. Schools in a highly competitive society are likely to be highly competitive themselves.
2. Throughout different aspects of school, such as academics, clubs, and sports, students learns two lessons:

—a. Your classmates are enemies because if they succeed, it is at your expense.
—b. You had better not fail. Fear of failure becomes a greater motivator than intellectual curiosity or love of knowledge.

E. “Sifting and Sorting” Functions of Schools

1. School performance sorts out those who will occupy the higher and lower rungs in the occupational-prestige ladder.
2. Sorting is done with respect to two criteria: a child’s ability and her/his social class background.
3. “Tracking” is the placing of students in curricula consistent with expectations for occupations

F. Preoccupation with Order and Control

1. Schools are organized around constraints of individual freedom.
2. The clock regiments the school day.
3. Some schools demand conformity in dress codes.
4. Teachers are rated on how quiet and orderly their classrooms are.
5. Some profound paradoxes are created based on order and control in education

—a. Formal education encourages creativity but curbs creative individuals
—b. Formal education encourages the open mind but teaches dogma.
—c. Formal education talks of meeting individual needs but encourages conformity.
—d. Formal education wants students to reach their potential, but fosters competition that causes some students to be labeled as failures.
—e. Formal education is based on a meritocracy but systematically benefits certain groups of people regardless of their talent.

G. Hidden Curriculum

1. Non-academic values, norms, beliefs, and attitudes.
2. Teaches children discipline, order, cooperativeness, and conformity.
3. Skills thought necessary to assist students to fit into modern bureaucratic society.
4. Children learning “their place” in the larger work-a-day world.

american education system problems

Once upon a time, enthusiasts designed a formal education system to meet the economic demands of the industrial revolution. Fast forward to today and, with the current global economic climate, it seems apparent that the now established education system is unable to meet the needs of our hyper-connected society – a society that is in a constant state of evolution. Let’s examine 18 problems that prevent the US education system from regaining its former preeminence.

  1. Parents are not involved enough. Of all the things out of the control of teachers, this one is perhaps the most frustrating. Time spent in the classroom is simply not enough for teachers to instruct every student, to teach them what they need to know. There must, inevitably, be some interaction outside school hours. Of course, students at a socio-economic disadvantage often struggle in school, particularly if parents lack higher levels of education. But students from middle and upper class families aren’t off the hook, either. The demands of careers and an over-dependence on schools put higher-class kids at risk too when it comes to the lack of parental involvement in academics.
  2. Schools are closing left and right. It’s been a rough year for public schools. Many have found themselves on the chopping block. Parents, students and communities as a whole feel targeted, even if school board members are quick to cite unbiased numbers. There is no concrete way to declare a winner in these cases, either. Sometimes, a school closing is simply inevitable but communities should first look for other solutions. Instead of shutting down underutilized public schools – icons of the community – districts should consider other neighborhood uses, such as a community center or adult education classes. Closing public schools should not be a short-sighted procedure. The decision should focus on the only investment that really matters: a quality public education for all our nation’s children.
  3. Our schools are overcrowded. The smaller the class, the better the individual student experience. A study by the National Center for Education Statistics found that 14 percent of U.S. schools exceed capacity. At a time where children need more attention than ever to succeed, overcrowded classrooms are making it even tougher to learn and tougher still for teachers to be effective.
  4. Technology comes with its downsides. I am an advocate for technology in the classroom. I think that ignoring the educational opportunities that technology has afforded us puts kids at a disadvantage. being said, screen culture overall has made the jobs of teachers much more difficult. Education has become synonymous with entertainment in many ways. Parents are quick to download educational games as soon as kids have the dexterity to operate a touch screen, and with the best of intentions. The quick-hit way that children are learning academics before and during their K-12 careers makes it even more difficult for teachers to keep up in the classroom setting, particularly since each student’s knowledge base and technological savvy varies.
  5. There is a lack of diversity in gifted education. The “talented and gifted” label is one bestowed upon the brightest and most advanced students. Beginning in early elementary grades, TAG programs separate student peers for the sake of individualized learning initiatives. Though the ideology is sound, the practice of it is often a monotone, unattractive look at contemporary American public schools. District schools need to find ways to better recognize different types of learning talent and look beyond the typical “gifted” student model. The national push to make talented and gifted programs better mirror the contemporary and ever-evolving student body is a step in the right direction. Real change happens on a smaller scale though – in individual districts, schools and TAG programs. That progress must start with understanding of the makeup of a particular student body and include innovative ways to include all students in TAG learning initiatives.
  6. School spending is stagnant, even in our improving economy. As the U.S. economy continues to improve, according to news headlines, one area is still feeling the squeeze from the recession years: K-12 public school spending. A report this month from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that 34 states are contributing less funding on a per student basis than they did prior to the recession years. Since states are responsible for 44 percent of total education funding in the U.S., these dismal numbers mean a continued crack down on school budgets despite an improving economy. If we cannot find the funding for our public schools, how can we expect things like the achievement gap to close or high school graduation rates to rise? It was understandable that budgets had to be slashed when the bottom dropped out of the economy. Now we are in a more stable place, though, it is time to get back to funding what matters most: the education of our K-12 students.
  7. We are still using the teacher training methods of yesterday. With respect to the students of the past, modern classrooms are full of sophisticated youngsters that show up with a detailed view of the world formed from more than home life experiences. Instant access to information from instant a child can press a touchscreen on a Smartphone and widespread socialization from as young as six weeks old in the form of childcare atmospheres – kids arrive at Kindergarten with less naivety than previous generations. Teachers don’t, in other words, get a clean slate. Instead, they get young minds cluttered with random information and ideas, all of which need fostering or remediating.
  8. There is a lack of teacher education innovation. It stands to reason that if students are changing, teachers must change too. More specifically, it is time to modify teacher education to reflect the demands of the modern K – 12 classrooms. There are policy and practice changes taking place all over the world – many driven by teachers – that address the cultural shifts in the classroom. Public education in America needs teachers who are better trained to meet the needs of specific student populations, understand the necessary role of distance learning, and are willing to speak up to facilitate classroom change. Without these teachers, effective reform to meet global demand is not possible.
  9. Some students are lost to the school-to-prison pipeline. Sadly, over half of black young men who attend urban high schools do not earn a diploma. Of these dropouts, too, nearly 60 percent will go to prison at some point. Perhaps there is no real connection between these two statistics, or the eerily similar ones associated with young Latino men. Are these young people bad apples, destined to fail academically and then to live a life of crime? If some of the theories of genetic predisposition are true, perhaps these young men never stood a chance at success and have simply accepted their lots in life. But what if those answers, all of them, are just cop-outs? What if scoffing at a connection between a strong education and a life lived on the straight and narrow is an easy way to bypass the real issues in K-12 learning? Students who are at risk of dropping out of high school or turning to crime need more than a good report card. They need alternative suggestions on living a life that rises above their current circumstances. For a young person to truly have a shot at an honest life, he or she has to believe in the value of an education and its impact on good citizenship. That belief system has to come from direct conversations about making smart choices with trusted adults and peers.
  10. There is a nationwide college-gender gap, and surprisingly, we are not focusing on it. If you have been following education hot button issues for any length of time, you’ve likely read about the nationwide push to better encourage girls in areas like science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The thought is that by showing young women that these topics are just as appropriate for them as their male peers, more women will find lasting careers in these traditionally male-dominated fields. I’m all for more women in the STEM workplace but with all this focus in one area, are educators neglecting an even larger gender gap issue? I wonder how much of this trend is based on practicality and how much is based on a lingering social convention that women need to “prove” themselves when it comes to the workforce. Do women simply need a degree to land a job in any field? If so, the opposite is certainly not true for men – at least not yet. Will the young men in our classrooms today have a worse quality of life if they do not attend college – or will it be about the same?
  11. We still do not know how to handle high school dropouts. It seems that every time the issue of high school dropouts is discussed, it all centers on money. U.S. Census Statistics tell us that 38 percent of high school dropouts fall below the poverty line, compared with 18 percent of total households in every demographic. Dropouts are also 40 percent more likely to rent their residences and spend $450 less per month on housing costs than the overall population. Only around 60 percent of dropouts own vehicles and they spend over $300 less on entertainment annually than average Americans. It’s clear that a high school diploma is in fact the ticket to higher earnings, at least on a collective level. The negative financial ramifications of dropping out of high school cannot be denied, but the way they are over-emphasized seems like a worn-out tactic to me. Instead of focusing on students as earners, we really need to value them as learners so that we can encourage them to finish their high school education.
  12. We have not achieved education equity. Equity in education has long been an ideal. It’s an ideal celebrated in a variety of contexts, too. Even the Founding Fathers celebrated education as an ideal – something to which every citizen ought to be entitled. Unfortunately, though, the practice of equity in education has been less than effective. Equity, in the end, is a difficult ideal to maintain and many strategies attempting to maintain it have fallen far short in the implementation. To achieve equity, school systems need to have an approach for analyzing findings about recommended shifts in learning approaches and objectives. These approaches should also help teachers and administrators understand not what they have to avoid but what it is that they can do to achieve optimal equity moving forward.
  13. Technology brings a whole new dimension to cheating. Academic dishonesty is nothing new. As long as there have been homework assignments and tests, there have been cheaters. The way that cheating looks has changed over time, though. Technology has made it easier than ever. Perhaps the most interesting caveat of modern-day cheating in U.S. classrooms is that students often do not think they have done anything wrong. Schools must develop anti-cheating policies that include technology and those policies must be updated consistently. Teachers must stay vigilant, too, when it comes to what their students are doing in classrooms and how technology could be playing a negative role in the learning process. Parents must also talk to their kids about the appropriate ways to find academic answers and alert them to unethical behaviors that may seem innocent in their own eyes.
  14. We still struggle with making teacher tenure benefit both students and teachers. One of the most contested points of teacher contracts is the issue of tenure. Hardline education reformers argue that tenure protects underperforming teachers, which ends up punishing the students. Teachers unions challenge (among other reasons) that with the ever-changing landscape of K-12 education, including evaluation systems, tenure is necessary to protect the jobs of excellent teachers who could otherwise be ousted unfairly. It can often be a sticking point – and one that can lead to costly time out of classrooms, as recently seen in large school systems like New York City and Chicago. Now, I’m not suggesting that teachers just “give up” but I would support adjusting the expectations for tenure. It seems an appropriate step in the right direction for teachers in all types of schools. That energy then can be redirected towards realistic and helpful stipulations in teachers’ contracts that benefit the entire industry.
  15. More of our schools need to consider year-round schooling. Does it work? The traditional school year, with roughly three months of vacation days every summer, was first implemented when America was an agricultural society. The time off was not implemented to accommodate contemporary concerns, like children needing “down time” to decompress and “be kids.” The system was born out of economic necessity. In fact, the first schools that went against the summers-off version of the academic calendar were in urban areas that did not revolve around the agricultural calendar, like Chicago and New York, as early as the mid-1800s. It was much later, however, that the idea as a whole gained momentum. Overall, year-round schooling seems to show a slight advantage academically to students enrolled, but the numbers of students are not high enough to really get a good read on it at this point. What does seem clear, however, is that at-risk students do far better without a long summer break, and other students are not harmed by the year-round schedule.
  16. We are still wrestling the achievement gap. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Education released student performance data in its National Assessment for Educational Progress report. The data is compiled every two years and it assesses reading and math achievements for fourth and eighth graders. This particular report also outlines differences between students based on racial and socioeconomic demographics. The data points to the places in the U.S. that still struggle with inequality in student opportunity and performance, otherwise known as the achievement gap. The achievement gap will likely always exist in some capacity, in much the same way that the U.S. high school dropout rate will likely never make it down to zero. This doesn’t mean it is a lost cause, of course. Every student who succeeds, from any demographic, is another victory in K-12 education and it benefits society as a whole. Better recognition by every educator, parent and citizen of the true problem that exists is a start; actionable programs are the next step.
  17. We need to consider how school security measures affect students. In theory, parents and educators would do anything to keep students safe, whether those students are pre-Kindergartners or wrapping up a college career. Nothing is too outlandish or over-the-top when it comes to protecting our kids and young adults. Metal detectors, security cameras, more police presence in school hallways, gated campuses – they all work toward the end goal of sheltering students and their educators, protecting some of the most vulnerable of our citizens. Emotions aside, though, how much does school security really increase actual safety? Do school security efforts actually hinder the learning experience? It sounds good to taut the virtues of tighter policies on school campuses but is it all just empty rhetoric? Given the fact that state spending per student is lower than at the start of the recession, how much should schools shell out on security costs? Perhaps the best investment we can make to safeguard our students and educators is in personal vigilance. Perhaps less reliance on so-called safety measures would lead to higher alertness.
  18. We need to make assistive technology more available for students with disabilities. A key to improving the educational experience for students with disabilities is better accommodations in schools and continued improvements in assistive technology. Assistive technology in K-12 classrooms, by definition, is designed to “improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability.” While the word “technology” automatically conjures up images of cutting-edge electronics, some assistive technology is possible with just simple accommodations. Whether high-tech or simple in design, assistive technology has the ability to transform the learning experiences for the children who benefit. Assistive technology is important for providing a sound education for K-12 students with disabilities but benefits the greater good of the country, too. Nearly one-fourth of a specific student population is not being properly served and with so many technological advances, that is a number I believe can drop. Assistive technology in simple and complex platforms has the ability to lift the entire educational experience and provide a better life foundation for K-12 students with disabilities.

Some of these reasons are well-known and long-standing issues. However, others—such as the emergence of a screen culture—are new and even somewhat unexpected challenges. However, the nature of each issue does not matter. All of them are standing in the way of our becoming globally competitive.

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