Waiting For Superman

Davis Guggenheim, the director of Waiting for ‘Superman,’ points out what is obvious to many when he says, “We’ve doubled what we spend on each child. But double the money is worth it if we’re producing better results. Unfortunately, we’re not.”

The trailer points out some interesting information many people do not know:

Factually, it depends upon the timeframe in comparing what is spent per child. If one takes constant dollars, then US taxpayers are paying three times more today than what was spent in 1971 on a per child basis. And, since that time, key test scores have gone down, while tests have become somewhat easier.

Witness scores of the SAT (the Scholastic Achievement Test or Scholastic Assessment Test): In 1972 there were 2,817 students who reached the pinnacle of scoring 750 or above (out of 800) in the language arts section and by 1994 that number plummeted by almost half, to 1,438, even though the test had been simplified.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) shows relatively flat scores the past several decades in both reading and math with little improvement in any of the grade levels tested and measured.

While some people throw the blame at teachers and others point their finger at parents this truly is the responsibility of every single citizen. As the video above points out, and has been verified by many studies, illiteracy costs all Americans their hard-earned money, whether it be in the form of lost wages, crime, social welfare, remedial eduction, etc.

There are those, including government officials, who feel eliminating summer vacation must be done to assist in reaching education achievement goals. That particular solution will not eradicate the poorly educated. If one looks at the fact that summer vacations have existed for pretty much as long as has the public school system, including the time when America was at the top.

What is missing are firmly grounding students in the basics; reading, writing and arithmetic.

There are those that will scoff at the simplicity of the above idea, using arguments that children must be prepared for the 21st century.

Amazingly enough, those basics are still very much around and required of individuals for employment in virtually any field in 2011 and are not likely to dim from view in years and decades to come.

As pointed out in the National Reading Panel report, after a comprehensive analysis of the low literacy rate, phonics and phonemic awareness are two of the five required elements to effectively teach reading skills.

And, as other studies have concluded, once a person is able to read proficiently they become not only a life-long learner, but a better citizen in almost all aspects of life.

Thus, we must all become Superpeople to eliminate this issue in America.

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