Where American Education Lines Up Against China

New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow compares the United States with China in terms of education, and America comes up short.

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It's no secret that America's educational systems could use some help. New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow charges that the country is in dire straits. Lining up statistics from a recent report, Blow details how students in the United States have little chance of besting their competitors -- specifically, students in China.

This week, the Center for American Progress and the Center for the Next Generation released a report entitled "The Race That Really Matters: Comparing U.S., Chinese and Indian Investments in the Next Generation Workforce." The findings were breathtaking:

* Half of U.S. children get no early childhood education, and we have no national strategy to increase enrollment.

* More than a quarter of U.S. children have a chronic health condition, such as obesity or asthma, threatening their capacity to learn.

* More than 22 percent of U.S. children lived in poverty in 2010, up from about 17 percent in 2007.

* More than half of U.S. postsecondary students drop out without receiving a degree.

Now compare that with the report's findings on China. It estimates that "by 2030, China will have 200 million college graduates -- more than the entire U.S. work force," and points out that by 2020 China plans to:

* Enroll 40 million children in preschool, a 50 percent increase from today.

* Provide 70 percent of children in China with three years of preschool.

* Graduate 95 percent of Chinese youths through nine years of compulsory education (that's 165 million students, more than the U.S. labor force).

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