Where American Education Lines Up Against China


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).


Read Charles M. Blow's entire piece at the New York Times.

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