The Greatest Crisis For National Security: Education And Our Future

As a college professor, I have witnessed the catastrophic decline in educational standards in public education over the past 40 years. This represents the greatest crisis for our national security in the 21st century.

Young people today may be able to do well at video games, and to connect socially via Facebook and other social websites, but they do not have the basic skills or higher level thinking processes necessary for the secure future of our nation.

When half of our students drop out of high school before graduation in many urban districts, and when only one third of high school graduates come to college, if they do at all, in a well prepared way without the need for remedial work in English and Math, that is a real warning sign for our future.

When countries in Asia and Europe outdo our graduates, and are ahead of us in many fields of knowledge, that is a sign of impending emergency. How are we, the leaders of the free world, to compete and to meet the challenges that face us in this new century?

I wonder, as many do, are we in the direction of dramatic decline, when we have young people who have no thirst for knowledge, who are easily bored, who lack an attention span, who come out of high school with no GK, general knowledge base, to build on?

When we have so many examples of college students, including many who are so ill equipped and lacking in motivation, who seem to show up just to gain financial support from government, and are more interested in the money than the learning, it screams out that we MUST raise standards of what our country expects from its students.

But also, it mandates that our parents MUST instill in their children the importance of learning, not just the acquisition of money for “trying” college, but really putting education first as a priority goal, over video games and “hanging out” on social websites as the way young people “waste” their youth NOT learning what they need, and we need, for their and our survival long term!

If one thinks about it, this is exactly what President Obama has said over and over again. Education is the single most important goal and aim that all of us must emphasize for our own personal futures and our national security.

Do not forget that even in this Great Recession that we are going through, that those with education and professional degrees, have a LOWER unemployment rate than other groups. So again, it rings true: EDUCATION, EDUCATION, and EDUCATION–similar to the saying that when one buys a home, what matters is LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! 🙂

4 comments on “The Greatest Crisis For National Security: Education And Our Future

  1. David December 5, 2009 10:48 pm

    Dear Dr. Feinman,

    Our students aren’t learning because the teachers aren’t teaching. We need to get rid of those teachers and then pay the one’s who want to be there more money. I work all day and when I come home I’m tired. I just want to relax when I’m at home. How can I do in a couple hours after I get home from work what the teachers (that I’m paying for from my taxes) have a whole day to do with my kids? If the teachers aren’t going to teach my kids, at least cut my taxes, get rid of schools and let me take a vacation so that I can have a baby sitter take care of my kids. Wait a minute! Without schools, I’ll have to pay more money for a baby sitter than I’m paying from my taxes, so I’ll have to work twice as hard and make more money to make ends meet. I guess we’ll stick with this whole teacher thing, but I still don’t like them. I remember I never liked any of my teachers growing up and junior says he’s always bored in class. Why don’t these teachers entertain my children? Is it too much to expect that they will baby sit, educate, and entertain my children for a salary just above the federal welfare line? These teachers are so lazy. I can only hope that we start holding them more accountable.


    A Concerned Parent

  2. David December 6, 2009 11:48 pm

    Of course the fictitious letter I wrote above represents why I believe that the educational crisis in America will not be solved anytime soon. Parents don’t want to be held accountable or responsible for their children’s learning! It’s easier to blame others than to take responsibility for one’s own children.

  3. CutnPaste December 7, 2009 9:19 am

    A compelling and persuasive presentation of reality, David, but we need to keep alive the dream that we can improve the system and work like heck to make it happen.

  4. Mike December 8, 2009 7:25 am

    I totally agree with David. I myself am in college to be a teacher. Actually a social studies/history teacher which is the subject that American high school students perform worst in as compared to the rest of the world. Granted there are many lousy teachers, however I believe that a lot of that has to do with parents simply not caring about their child’s upbringing, let alone their education. For every lousy teacher, there are at least 5 lousy parents. Too many folks are involved in their own situation too much with their job or what ever and do not give a lick about their kid’s school situation. So when I think about this I cannot help but believe that this issue will not be solved for quite some time. 🙁

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