State of America’s Children


State of America’s Children

While back the American education used to actually be the desire of the whole world due to its comprehensive systems geared at molding the child to a responsible and productive citizen but this has gone into calamitous straits in the recent years. The latest research on the country’s rank nationally in terms of overall educational accomplishment reveals that the country is ranked number 21st amongst twenty five developed countries globally for students aged 15 years.

Statistics revealed that more than 60% of the 4th grade students in public schools in 2009 achieved quite dismally in reading and doing mathematics which was below the stipulated grade level. The table below compares this aspect between the numerous students coupled with their ethical backgrounds and also amongst all States in the country.

  Total White Black Hispanic Asian,








Alaska Native

Total White Black Hispanic Asian,







District of Colombia 83


25 89 83 _ _ 83 19 91 76 _ _
Florida 64


55 82 69 44 _ 60 47 80 67 27 _




44 77 80 44 _ 43 33 70 75 30 _


A lot of students who attend public school, nursery school throughout the 12th grade, are really struggling; nevertheless, poor children as well as minority children are in essence the ones extremely struggling due to their cultural, ethnic and family backgrounds. Usually they often drop behind in school education and tend to dropout out of school, thus increasing their peril of entering the structure of criminality and this takes them towards the prison pipeline. Studies show that the best means of limiting juvenile delinquency is by such students settling in school along with getting an excellence education and by far this is the definite route towards an accountable and productive parenthood (Rumberger 2011).

The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) in 2010 compiled a report regarding the state of America’s children and it consists of a compressive and reliable state as well as national data on numerous aspects of life including education, early childhood development, child welfare, health, and poverty and in their report it is revealed that the country apparently expends approximately three times much on a prisoner than they do on a public school student.  Also, it reveals that the American schools have adopted resegregation whereby 78% of students having Hispanic backgrounds and 73% who are black primarily attend minority schools.

More studies indicate that over 60% of 4th grade students in public schools read or do mathematics below the grade level and it goes on to specify that 84% Hispanic and 855 of Black students read lower than grade level. Te trend goes on to designate that the Black scholars are actually additionally three times to receive school suspension than their Pacific Islander/Asian or White counterparts. The part which brings a lot of discontent to the general public is discovering that 11% of White high school pupils, 39% of Hispanic, and 46% of Black students seemingly attend the two thousand of the country known drop out schools and this translates into fewer than 60% of all the entire freshman class which will graduate after 4 years holding a standard diploma.

The high drop out of students belonging to the Hispanic and Black origins has been explained by many researchers and majority of them site economic, educational, and socio-cultural reasons which make the students abandon school. For instance, McMillan indicates that the Hispanic speaking students who had reported that they had difficulties in speaking English had a dropout rate of 32.95 while those who were good at oral communication using English had a drop our rate of 19.2%. Therefore, if the student did poorly in spoken English then the probability that they had poor English reading skills was high and this definitely translates them absconding school (Rumberger 2011).

Families’ responsibilities have been recorded as factors which too negatively impact pupils and consequently force them drop out. The University of California in Santa Barbara through Russell W. Rumberger carried out a research through interviewing some scholars with the aim of disclosing the reason behind their dropping out of school.  “About 20% of dropouts report that they left school because they had to help out their families’ responsibility” (Rumberger 2011). The study went further to show that 37% of the male students who dropped out as a result of family responsibility were Blacks while 47 percent were Hispanic. More so, the males had higher chances of abandoning school to further their family responsibilities than their female counterparts.  On the other hand, the females composed of 30% Blacks, 60% Hispanic and 10% whites (Rumberger 2011). It can be deduced that blacks and Hispanics had high chances of not completing school as evident in the study and this can be related to many issues like single parenthood, socio-cultural and economic downfalls.

Thornburgh (2006) noted that current researchers bring out astonishing statistics pertaining school drop outs and they argue that almost 1/3rd of students in high schools will not graduate across the nation. It is even worse for the African Americans and Latinos as the rate of drop out approaches a disturbing 50%.

There are psychological factors involved in the increment in high school dropout as Bridgeland et al (2006) recorded that 47% of the study group they studied didn’t discover that school was interesting and therefore they dropped out. Moreover, lots of the interviewees said that the teachers lacked engagement and were only interested with finishing the coursework rather than teaching the class. The lack of adult engagement also appears where in the study done by Bridgeland et al in 2006 shows that 69% of the student dropouts alleged that the adults in their life including family members didn’t suppose them to achieve well in academics, and such low expectations added to their choice to drop out.

In a report on study which involved interrogations with educators, Bridgeland, Dilulio, and Balfanz (2009) established that barely 32% of the assessed high school educators approved with the testimonial that they should anticipate all pupils to meet elevated academic values and provide additional support to those struggling students to aid them in meeting those standards (p. 22). Experimental research has absolutely confirmed that teachers’ anticipations do certainly affect both the grades along with students’ probability of dropping out (Kaufman, Bradbury, & Owings, 1992).




Impact of school drop out

A report carried in July 2011 revealed that high school student’ dropouts actually cost the country about $320-359 billion yearly in incarceration costs, welfare, health, taxable income, as well as lost wages. A testimony by National center for Education statistics stated that high school drop outs would earn approximately $630,000 less in their life span than somebody who had received at least a General Education Development certification.  Furthermore, dropouts are actually not qualified for about 90% of the current jobs within the economy and this high dropout rate is a big contributor to the escalating unemployment rate across the nation (Zhao 2011).


The US Low Standards for Teacher Training

The low level of education in the country is wanting according to a report by the Program for international Student Assessment (PISA) in 2009 as it ranked 25th in math, 17th in science, and 14th in reading out of 70 counties worldwide in fifteen year olds. This can be attributed to many issues discussed above but another factor to blame is the low standard of teacher training in the country. Statistics composed by Jody Heymann shows that the country actually lags behind in terms of its teachers’ requirements for upper secondary level than most countries like Spain, Finland, Czech Republic, and Portugal as they employ teachers who have a master’s degree while in U.S. the level is a teacher with mere bachelor’s degree who apparently has no training (Brady 2013).

Therefore, numerous school systems turn down teachers who have higher degrees and take in those with a mere bachelor’s degree and a sort of federal or state certification. Seemingly, other states possess some sort of alternative routes regarding the finishing of an alternative certification course while the tutor concurrently teaches permanent. The lack of federal mandate regarding teacher’s education requirement is really taking down the education sector since their educational levels influences the pupils’ performance. Correspondingly, a study done by the Utah State University in 2008 established that those science teachers who had advanced degrees in education or science greatly improved their pupils’ scientific achievements. Therefore, the federal and state education policy makers ought to review policies demanding that all science and math teachers to advance further up in the learning ladder prior to taking up teaching roles in schools (Zhang 2008).




















Work cited

Brady, H. (2013, March 21). U.S. science teachers are behind in training, degree requirements. – Slate Magazine. Politics, Business, Technology, and the Arts – Slate Magazine. Retrieved June 12, 2013, from

Bridgeland, J. M., Dilulio, J. J., & Balfanz, R. (2009). On the Front Lines of Schools: Perspectives of Teachers and Principals on the High School Dropout Problem. Retrieved June 12, 2013, from

Kaufman, P., Bradbury, D., & Owings, J. (1992). Characteristics of At-Risk Students. Published in NELS:88. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics

McMillen, M., Kaufman, P. and Klein, S. 1997. Dropout Rates in the United States: 1995. Washington: US Dept of Education. NCES 97-473.

Rumberger, R. W. (2011). Dropping out why students drop out of high school and what can be done about it. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Thornburgh, N. (2006, April 9). Dropout Nation – TIME. Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews – Retrieved June 12, 2013, from,9171,1181646-8,00.html

Zhang Danhui (2008, December 1). The Effects of Teacher Education Level, Teaching Experience, And Teaching Behaviors On Student Science Achievement. Utah State University. Retrieved June 12, 2013, from

Zhao, E. (2011, October 20). High School Dropout Rates For Minority And Poor Students Disproportionately High. Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post. Retrieved June 12, 2013, from