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.