What do you think about when you hear the United States of America? What comes to your head? You might be thinking about the big American dream, which is going to school, studying to become a doctor or anything you want and making millions. When our parents came to America they were thinking about what was best for our future in education and finance. That is why they came here. So would you think that you or your parents would be devastated to come to realize that the US is 14th in the world when it comes to education? I am not saying that is bad by any means. However, if you are the richest country in the world, that also means you have the most resources so there should be no reason to be 14, you should be 1st, or at least in the top 5. One of the most well-educated country on the planet is South Korea. South Korea doesn’t spend nearly as much on education as the United States. South Korea spends 11.3 million on education. On the other hand, the United States spends 1 trillion on education. Therefore having a well-educated nation is not a question of money. According to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development America spends more on education than any other nation. (“WHAT country spends the most on education”, n.d.).  Some of the reasons for this is because about 1.2 million students drop out each year which is 7000 kids per day. To add on 25 percent of freshmen fail to graduate high school.On the contrary South Korea doesn’t give you an option of dropping out unless you have an emergency. Dropping out in South Korea is so unheard of when you search up “drop out rates for South Korea” nothing about that shows up. South Korea’s school hours are relentless at about double of average American hours or 16 hours of education. Students go to school at 8:00 am to about 10:00 pm. Not only in primary school but many of the students attend the hagwon school which is a private after-school program. Education in South Korea is so strict that they school on Saturday. There is a common perception among standard makers and the public that U.S. students across the nation spend less time in school students and have a disadvantage than in other countries.  As U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan stated at a recent Congressional hearing: “Our students today are competing against children in India and China. Those students are going to school 25 to 30 percent longer than we are. Our students, I think, are at a competitive disadvantage. I think we’re doing them a disservice.”(time of school,n.d.) Well according to the research I have done this is not entirely true. According to the OECD, students in China and India are not forced to stay at school and learn for that long. Since every state has its own time standards and requirements for each school, it is nearly impossible to compare the U.S. as a whole to other countries. However, time requirements typically do not vary a lot from state to state. Most require between 175 and 180 days of school and/or between 900 and 1,000 hours of instructional time per year, depending on the grade level. It is also important to note that school hours vary between school grades. In India, you are required to have been in school and learning for 200 days or 800 hours from grades 1-5. From grades 6-10 you are required to have 220 days or 1000 hours (Rajadhyaksha, 2014). So as you can see American education and Indian education are similar in hours and days required. So, in my opinion, it is a question of fixing the problems we have today in our teaching methods and mentalities. One of the many problems in modern American education system is not being up to date with society. Our society is quickly and rapidly growing. However, our schools, teachers teaching methods and education the teachers are teaching haven’t for nearly a century. So much so that thought leaders from across the planet agree that the current system of education was designed in the industrial age. All day teachers tell and govern students lives by telling them what to do and think. all day long students do nothing could follow instructions such as, sit down, take out your books, turn to page 40, solve problem number three, and stop talking. at school, you’re rewarded for doing exactly what you’re told these are Industrial Age values that were really important for factory workers. their success depended on following instructions and doing exactly what they were told. This is how factory workers were and it following instruction depended on their success. However in today’s world how far can you get by simply following instructions? the modern world values people who can be creative who can communicate their ideas and collaborate with others. but students don’t get a chance to develop such skills in a system that’s based on Industrial Age values. In today’s schooling system students have a lack of autonomy and control. This is because teachers tell us what to do and when to do it with a schedule based on what’s best for them and the students don’t have a say in it. However adults today pick what they have to do and when they have to do it. This gives them self control and balance in life. Students today don’t have those qualities and it will be hard for them to gain them as adults. Today’s way of learning is incorrect and i say this because when you have a test a teacher gives you what you have to learn and tells you to memorize it. I believe this is very wrong because most of the information you stayed up hours to memorize, you forget it by a week or even less. One of the worst thing that is wrong with education in America today is no room for creativity and passion. We have not only seen this in America but in many countries like China and many more. We have a very basic and standardized way of learning where every kid learns the same thing at the same time in the same way. This is extremely wrong because we are all different and unique in our own ways. If i am good at science and it comes easily to me that does not mean it will come as easy to someone else. science or math might come faster to some students that other. Many students have passions for when they grow up and teachers in our schools don’t tell and teach students how to excel in their passion and make it a career. For example i personally want to be a orthopedic surgeon and learning history, English, and Arabic is not going to help me become a orthopedic surgeon. I am not saying that history English and Arabic are not  important by any means however they will not help me become and excel in being a orthopedic surgeon in the future. Now do the teachers and schools of today’s help kids find their passion, no. many kids may have the following questions, what am i good at, what am i going to do in the future, what do i want to be, how does this contribute to the world. What many kids do not know is that many famous and successful inventors actually either dropped out of school or did bad in school. Thomas Edison’s teachers told him that he will never be successful because he was to energetic and did bad in school. Walt Disney, was fired from Kansas star because his boss said “he lacked imagination and productive ideas”. Bill Gates the richest man on the planet dropped out of Harvard one of the best colleges in America because he wanted to start a business with his friend Paul Allen called traf-O-data unfortunately if failed and when he tried again Microsoft came to be and now the drop out is the richest man on the planet. And finally one of the smartest person ever who was in undoubtedly the person who effected physics the most Albert Einstein. He could not even talk until he was four years old. He acted up in school and was not only suspended but expelled. However he came up with E = mc2 and had a huge impact on physics. Now each of us are different human beings so we all retain information in different ways and need different resources to learn and retain the information. However in the education system leaves no room for being different and you are considered a failure if you lack behind. some kids need more time to get things than other kids. For hours each day kids get lectured for doing something wrong or even just to learn. However sal khan a very effective teacher who started khan academy said “lecturing is a dehumanizing experience thirty kids with fingers on their lips not allowed to interact with each other”.  Now we don’t need to be lectured we need to use those hours on asking the teacher questions. The last and most important thing that the education system does today is not making sure everyone know everything completely. The last and most important thing that the education system does today is not making sure everyone know everything completely. In our education system the teacher teaches the lesson, gives homework and then a few days later a test. There is always going to be a student who does not completely get something so they get a 75% on there test which means they did not get 25% of the lesson or what he is supposed to learn. However the teacher moves on and continues onto harder lessons. This is like asking a group of construction workers to build a house and when you come back 2 weeks later you see many problems, the concrete isn’t dried you missed spots and overall the foundation is pretty bad (75 out of a 100) and the contractor comes back and says let’s move one and start building the first floor, then the second and then the third. Eventually you are done the house is not bad but it’s not the best .a few week months go by and there is a tornado the tornado hits your house and it collapses. Now this example is like a kid who got a 75 on his test. He will keep learning, growing and building on those weak fundamentals. So when a big standardized test comes along he will know nothing. here in the United States we love to brag about being number one except when it comes to education that is where we regularly rank around 14th in the world. but you know what country does consistently rate among the best in the world in education Finland. Apparently Finland is actually a leader in world education. not only does Finland have the highest high school graduation rate in Europe but on international tests the Finnish students regularly rank near the top and reading math and science. and the Finns do this without overloading kids with endless hours of homework. so why does Finland have the most efficient educational system on earth. Well here are five reasons why Finland is set apart from the rest of the world. Number one is that no child gets left behind. the Finnish government sends a PV (box of supplies and clothes) to every family with a newborn child. then from there on child care is heavily taken care of. allowing most families to send their children into some form of early childhood education. Finland’s public schools also concentrate on making sure that every student achieves basic knowledge in the subjects that they study. whereas here in the u.s. students and school districts are expected to compete against one another for limited resources surely creating a system of winners and losers. this difference in approach is one of the reasons why the achievement gap that exists between the rich and poor in American schools is smaller in Finland than anywhere else in the world. The second reason is that Finnish children don’t even start school until they turn seven and once they’re in school they get almost triple the amount of recess time as American students. they’re rarely assigned homework until high school and they almost never take standardized tests. in fact Finnish students are only required to take one standardized test and that’s not until the end of high school. The third reason Finland is better in education than most countries in the world is that the teachers are actually get this respected. becoming a teacher isn’t easy in Finland there are only eight universities that offer the master’s programs required to earn a teaching credential and only one in 10 applicants get accepted so it’s no surprise that teachers in Finland receive roughly the same level of respect as doctors and lawyers. plus thanks to powerful unions Finnish teachers only spend four hours a day in the classroom and take two hours a week for professional development. reason number four, Finns believe that when it comes to education patience hands-on learning and focusing on problem-solving are more important than listening to lectures mindless test preparation and memorization of information that students will directly forget as soon as they leave the exam room I know it’s a really crazy concept right. then Finnish teachers don’t race through lessons to cram as much information as possible into students heads so that the students can then express that information back out on a standardized test. instead they give priority to moving slowly and taking as much time as necessary to thoroughly investigate and learn fewer topics but in much greater depth reason. number five, Finland may not be the socialist paradise every Bernie Sanders voter dreams about but it’s pretty close. almost everyone in Finland is middle class so income inequality is not nearly the problem there that it is in the united states. almost all Finnish kids come to school well fed rested and ready to learn. There is no cops patrolling the school hallways and certainly. Finland also has far fewer immigrant students it is kind of like Donald Trump’s dream I guess. only one in 40 students in Finnish schools has immigrant parents or is a immigrant themselves. compared that number to the US public schools where that figure is one in five. that means there are not nearly as many kids in Finland schools who are trying to learn math, science, and history in a completely new language all while also trying to learn that new language itself so should we instead of thinking America is the best in everything. Maybe we should take notes from what Finland is doing. Now there is a solution to America is make the requirements to become a teacher higher. In america the requirements aren’t that much however they aren’t the lowest. You need at least a bachelor’s degree minimum, but a master’s is preferred and would help you pay. You need to be experienced


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